This column isn’t going to win me any friends on the left but it’s about time Labour got serious about how bad the election result were. We lost. We seriously didn’t win and we need to face facts and admit that to ourselves. I’m so sick of my deluded left wing Labour friends playing down our loss saying “Was it that bad?” or “hey, a loss is just a win up side down” or “It doesn’t matter Martin Freeman still likes us”. Come one guys? Really?
Also, why is no one is willing to admit just how bad the defeat was? Well I will; it was really bad. I know you think you know how bad it is but believe me, you don’t. I do. Imagine, a really depressed teenager’s bedroom, now picture what you’d find under their bed. Now imagine they haven’t even been home for a week. Now imagine the teenager actually died twenty years ago and its a ghost teenager’s bedroom. That is Labour’s current chances at the next election. Last night my mother said to me “Grainne, I just worry about you. You just seem to be drifting and you don’t seem to have any real anchor in your life” and I said “Yeah well at least it’s not as bad as the current state of the Labour party”. And you know why my mother started crying? Because she knew I was right.
I know I’m just saying this now but I actually knew all along that Labour was doomed. It’s no exaggeration to say that our election campaign under Ed Miliband was a bigger disaster for the party than the war in Iraq. You may not like to admit it but until the party learns to accept it we will never be a credible party of power. Ed Miliband was such a terrible leader that Scotland voted for the SNP just to get further away from his face. People voted for UKIP not because they were worried about the increasing power of a federal Europe, but because Ed Milibands parents were immigrants and they knew it would hurt his feelings. We need as a party to face up to this.
The Labour party ignored Middle England We had nothing to say to people who didn’t need food banks. Millions of people were thinking, hang on a sec; none of those things affect me personally so why should I give a shit? We need to say, it’s OK to only care about things that affect you. We have to be the party of that too.
We have to be the party of aspiration. We need to be able to reach out to people and say, we get it, we speak your language. Fingers crossed you’ll win X Factor. We need to be the party that tells the electorate some day they’ll be too special to ever use a public service ever again. Prince Harry is still single, so that’s at least 50% of the public that could one day be an actual princess. Why wasn’t that in our manifesto?
We need to apologize and admit to our mistakes. Gordon Brown’s over spending caused the collapse of the American Sub Prime market. We all saw Wolf of Wall Street and that famous scene where Leonardo DiCaprio coked out of his head, built all those NHS hospitals. Its important for Labour to admit the banking crisis happened on our watch. As did the breakdown of Madonna and Guy Ritchie’s marriage and Twilight became a thing. The next leader of the Labour party will not be respected until the party takes full responsibility for all those things.
We need to start a debate within the party. We need to start saying things we don’t feel comfortable with, like privatization isn’t all bad, maybe free schools work, does everyone “need” an inside toilet?
Tony Blair won elections. Why? Because it was the 90s and everyone was happier then. Should we canvas in adidas tracksuit bottoms while Oasis plays in the background? Maybe. Will it get us votes? That’s what we need to ask ourselves. If we only represent Labour values what the hell is the Labour party about? We need to attract people who hate unions, who don’t like poor people, who don’t believe in democratic socialism, we need to be the party for them too. There needs to be no “no go” areas. We need Tory voters. How about we change our name to the Conservative Party but just spell it slightly differently so voters get confused on the ballot box? Will it get us votes? Then this needs to be something we as a party consider.
We aren’t going to win people over with facts and figures, facts and figures are for libraries and no one elects libraries. We need to stop worrying about being right all the time. You know who was right all the time? Helen Daniels from Neighbours and she died in her sleep on a couch, she didn’t win elections.
So what should we do? The only way we’ll regain credibility is if we have a leader willing to make tough choices. We need to elect someone willing to move the party from it’s comfort zone by being tough on welfare, having the strength to back cuts, maybe push an elderly miner down a well on Good Morning Britain. We will not be trusted on the economy unless we elect someone willing to punch an immigrant toddler dressed as Aneurin Bevan live on Newsnight. Sure, invite Union members to conference in September but only if the shadow cabinet agrees to collectively moon them on stage.
We need to deal with difficult truths and have a serious discussion. Labour Party needs to listen to the UNCOMFORTABLE facts that it NEEDS to hear. Lets face facts, unless we make these changes, Tony Blair will not bless our harvests, our milk will curdle and animals shall eat their young. That’s just the truth, sorry for just saying it like it is.