Today’s Herald editorial:
The Labour Party could bounce back quickly from its heavy election defeat if it heeds the testimony of one of its candidates in a contributed column we published on Friday. Josie Pagani wrote: “We didn’t sound aspirational, we sounded miserable. We were turning up on people’s doorsteps telling them their lives were gloomy …
“The hardest week to door- knock,” she said, “was when we were telling people who had just come home from a day’s work earning the minimum wage, that it was a great idea to extend their Working for Families tax credit to beneficiaries.” She could see them thinking, ‘so what’s the point of working my guts out all week while someone sitting at home on the dole gets the same tax credit as me?’
In a long line of bad policies (and a few good ones), this one was arguably the worst.
Labour’s new leadership will be listening to the likes of Ms Pagani. It has some highly aspirational young candidates who could have expected to come into Parliament if the party had not polled so low in November.
And if their list ranking had not protected incumbents.
If Labour can go to the next election with well-developed ideas for helping people who aspire to work hard, make sound choices, raise happy and healthy children, maybe start a business and invest their savings, it will strike a strong chord. If it can tell people only that they are poor, deprived, under-valued, and obese, it will not give the Government a run for our money.
Wouldn’t it be amazing to have Labour go into an election not vowing to punish the well off and raise taxes on them?