Jordan Carter has a thoughtful post on what Labour must do to win the next election. Some extracts:
We lost in 2008 for reasons I have canvassed before – people thought we were focused on issues that weren’t important to them; we’d been in office for a long time; there was a recession; people had fallen out of love with our political style; some of our policies were not working out or were unpopular; and failures of political management added on top of this combustible pushed us over the edge.
That’s what we did wrong. The Nats also did things right: they really did move to the centre, and they selected a leader who people like. Actually, they *really* like him – for the time being anyway.
Jordan seems to be one of the few in Labour not in denial about Key.
That’s policy, in some areas, but it is also in the politics or statecraft of the party. For better or worse, the fifth Labour government was a baby boomer government. The political methods of the 70s and 80s were those which ran it: it was tightly managed and focused.
I get the sense though that people are looking now for something a little different. Some in Labour look at Key’s hands off approach and see a weakness. I see a strength. The rise of ICT, the end of “deference” towards authority, and growing generations of people who are as comfortable online as offline mean that a political party that is centralised and top down cannot really capture the public imagination.
These are wise words for National, as well as Labour.
What Labour must do is turn itself inside out. As we say “this is what we are hearing, what do you think?”, we also have to invite people in to join with us and help shape what we are doing next. We have to use the best technology there is to do it, as well as the traditional means of face to face and direct mail politics. We need to be the party that people see as grassroots based, and where they know that if they want to raise an issue or a concern, it will filter through to what our policy is and what our politicians are saying and thinking.
We have to do this if we are to be relevant, and if we want to win there is nothing more important than being relevant.
National in 2002 was not relevant. Labour in 2010 are not relevant. The challenge for Labour is can they become relevant by the end of 2011?Tags: Jordan Carter, Labour