If I were a candidate, the last thing I would be doing is talking about or tweeting about Ukip. I would be out on the doorstep listening to those who think they are being ignored, responding with local facts and evidence and talking up Labour plans to ensure that the cost of living crisis is tackled and that everyone benefits from EU membership and economic growth.
Ukip are growing their support by claiming to represent the disenfranchised – the last party to successfully do this was Labour. [...] we have the economic message and the local campaigning strength to re-engage those losing faith in politics and economics. I will do my bit by spending less time on Twitter and more time on the doorstep.Seems a fair point. In short, she is saying that insulting UKIP and their supporters for objecting to career politicians is not a great way of encouraging potential UKIP voters to like Labour. Instead, says Jacqui, activists should get out and tell the public all about the wonderful things Labour have planned for us.
Well, after yesterday, we know a little bit more about what they are offering when they knock on our door, don't we?
Banning alcohol sponsorship; telling supermarkets to make their products harder for us to find; taking the tasty ingredients out of food; raising the cost of booze; dictating what you can do in your own car; banishing Walker's crisp to the naughty step till after 9pm; bringing in plain packaging despite it tanking in Australia; forcing adults to be fit; and banning Frosties.
According to Labour MP Chuka Umunna, all the above will be "empowering people", not ordering us about, absolutely not ... and this from someone said to be leading a "revolt" against the proposals!
As Frank Davis muses, one can only assume that the objections are because these ideas are not hideous enough.
But I'm puzzled that the Labour party is revolting against Red Ed’s fascist health plans. I can only suppose that the bastards actually want the health plans to be much more draconian than Ed is proposing, perhaps with compulsory P.E. for the entire UK population, with everyone assembling daily under barked loudspeaker instructions on village greens and town squares to perform a regime of press-ups and knee-bends and marathon runs specifically designed to kill off unfit smokers and drinkers and fat people (who oughtn't to be alive anyway).
I'm sure they will want something along those lines. Or maybe something even worse.Comments on all media platforms yesterday - whether they be right, left or centre - have been significantly opposed to this kind of wholesale nannying, perhaps why Labour are trying to back-track a tad.
Not that much though. Umunna can only say that "a lot" of the Mail's story is "garbage", despite at least half of it already being demanded by MPs in Westminster if you even only skim debates held there recently. Meanwhile their spin doctors are claiming that this is "not official policy" despite the Mail publishing the Labour document in its entirety, and the proposals looking very much like a milder finished article after the even more insane suggestions had been rejected.
So this is what Labour MPs - as Jacqui Smith suggests they should do - will be taking to doorsteps up and down the country prior to May 2015, is it? This is how their politicians are going to woo an electorate which despises them and is deserting the main parties in droves? By saying that a vote for Labour is a vote to be infantilised and have your life dictated to by members of the country's most untrustworthy and despised profession?
Leg Iron describes it perfectly (in the middle of last night, as is his wont) when he points out that if Labour believe this is going to be popular, they've been listening to the wrong people.
All the politicians hear these days are the whining of the lobbyists. “There is massive public support” for smoking bans, plain packs, booze control, diet control, and all the rest and it is all entirely fabricated. As the swing to UKIP – despite the constant portrayal of that party in the press as being composed of people almost as insane as those in Wastemonster now – should demonstrate to a politician with a brain. Even if it’s in a jar on his desk with ‘For emergency use only’ stencilled on it.
That’s all they hear since they stopped listening to real people. “There is massive public support for this new measure we haven’t yet told anyone about. Look how many signatures we have written, um, collected.” Now the effects are filtering through. Moribund must genuinely believe that turning the country into a less appealing version of North Korea is what the public want. Either that, or he really does not want to win the next election.We're a long way from that May 2010 post-election optimism in the back garden of Number 10, aren't we? You know, when Clegg was talking about "rolling back our liberties" and Cameron was hinting at a new era of liberalism now the demons of Labour had been vanquished.
If anything, things have got a lot worse and each of the three main parties are engaged in a game of one-upmanship with the winner being he who can boss us around the most; where the ingenious plan to stem the flood of voters to UKIP by insulting them has failed; and where the remedy is now to turn up on our doorstep and tell us that they're sorry they haven't butt-fucked us enough but they promise to try harder if we can just give them another chance.
Perhaps Labour's proposed manifesto should be welcomed, though, especially if all parties follow Jacqui Smith's sage advice to promote their message to us personally. Because most of us will be seeing candidates of all parties knocking on our doors in the run up to May 22nd and, since they're just not getting it, we should be asking them - not just Labour, but Tories, Lib Dems, Greens and yes, UKIP too - a simple question.
Will you leave us alone?
Personally, I shall also have props behind the door as exhibits. A pack of Winston Blue, a bottle of cheap plonk, an e-cig, a packet of crisps, a can of Red Bull and, of course, a fucking chocolate orange. And I shall ask them why they think they have any right whatsoever to interfere in our choice to purchase and consume any of them.
If the answer is "blah blah, obesity crisis, blah blah, binge-drinking epidemic, blah blah, pocket money prices, blah blah, for the children, blah blah", tell them you won't even consider voting for them and expand at great length. We are in a very rare period in the electoral cycle where they come begging us for something, so make sure you use it. It's the only possible way - and I know that even that is a long shot - that these people will learn to listen to us instead of the cocktrumpets they pay out of our taxes to lobby them.