Thinking Your Way Through a Labyrinth of Contemporary Issues
After taking some time for contemplation about the result of the General Election, I have begun to understand things with more clarity. For any follower of politics it is important to understand what has unfolded and decide what the best course of action should be next.
The Coalition Government at the beginning of their term started with an aggressive, manipulative and cynical campaign against The Labour Party. From 2010 they were already blaming Labour for the economic collapse of 2008. Presumably the Tory Spin doctors had taken the gamble that the public would assume that as Labour were in power when the crunch hit, then it must have been their fault. The idea does seem logical and feasible to the ‘common-sense’ thinking ‘man-on-the street’. Of course the public don’t want to be bamboozled with economic complexity which the majority don’t understand and simply don’t care about. The public want a straightforward and simplistic way of making their own judgement over who crashed the economy, and it is important to remember that the mainstream media angle on this particular issue certainly helps the public make their minds up.
Now the Tories seemed to understand the former, or their savvy (and expensive) political advisers did. This is obviously not admirable politics yet it has been the way of things for the past two decades or so. New Labour under Blair were particularly good at this style of manipulative and media-savvy politics. We should be able to remember them taking John Major and the Tories to task, portraying them as miserable, out of date and “weak, weak, weak”.
What I found quite pathetic about the Labour Party under Ed was that they hardly ever tackled the Tory accusations head-on, accusations which were mostly built on foundations as stable as George Osborne’s bottom-lip at Margaret Thatcher’s funeral. It almost seemed that the aggressive and antagonistic manner of the Tory accusations became too much for Ed to cope with, like a taunted school kid who’s only defensive tactic against the taunts of school-yard bullies is to tut, shrug your shoulders and just ignore them.
I’m afraid that the strategy of ignoring Tory taunts and hoping that the public would see through such cynical aggression was one which wasted a hell of a lot of time for Labour and allowed the public to make their minds’ up at a time when the Tory argument and line of debate was clear and printed on the front pages of the mainstream newspapers. The Labour riposte, which was desperately needed, never came in time and was never loud enough or clear enough to be understood and made sense of by the public.
I actually believe the election could have gone either way, and we have to recognise that Ed and Labour did have most of the mainstream media cynically, and most brutally hounding them up to the election. Labour did have the odds against them funding-wise and in many other respects certainly compared with the resources the Tories had at their disposal. This sort of thing unfortunately can decide election results and probably did play a part in this election, yet Labour still had a chance and they could have won it if only they had confidently challenged the Tory line of debate about who caused the crash. They could have shamed the Tories over cowardly attacks on Ed’s character and personal integrity; they also could have shown pride to be promoting more socialist-leaning policies, yet they cowered and shrank in the face of the vicious onslaught of right-wing dogma and manipulation.
Tom Bone – Editor at Consensus44