Posted by: John | October 8, 2009

How can we defeat the Tories? Brains and balls that’s what!

It’s pretty clear that Labour are finished. Peoples perception of them is that they are old-hat and washed-up. Sure there are places where you can dress up a donkey in a red coat for it to be elected – sure there are some doughty local campaigners and personalities that can bring out the vote. On the whole though it’s all looking very dodgy for them.

The real fight now is between us and the Tories (That’s not to say we don’t go after Labour – we have to – we go after every vote.) They would have you believe that what people want is a change of management to go along the `road of austerity` to reach the `summit at the top of the mountain`.

What we need to do is show that we can follow that road differently helping those that can least help themselves particularly those on lower and middle incomes. I don’t like to sound like a broken record but we MUST keep on publicising the £700 tax – it is a defining emblem of what’s different between us and the Tories. They would give tax relief to the richest – we would take tax away from the hard working people at the bottom.

Another theme – although they try and hide it there is still a lingering smell of `entitlement` to the Tories. It comes through most of all at the casualness of governing. The GLA could be a Cameron administration writ small. Boris is a bit of a `hobbyist` – bumbling along not really achieving anything that he set out to do. This casualness comes across through some of their local councils (see Barnet) and when a Conservative talks about `freedom` you can be sure it won’t be for the least advantaged in society.

Instead, we need to talk about freedom with the democratic framework enabling local government and others to shape their own communities by Whitehall giving power AWAY.

Tories hate questions. They like dishing it out but hate being caught out because they don’t really think many things through. The only democracy they believe in is `self-serving` that bolsters the Conservatives. Labour have blown it – now they think it’s their turn. We live in a different political culture now – people like to ask questions and are interested in policy like never before. They know how important it is to ask them BEFORE a government is elected on 40% of the vote.

There are some words of caution though. Labour are so moribund and useless that the Conservative message of newness might attract those that can least afford it. We have to ask the tough questions too of ourselves – not least about benefits and the deficit. How is OUR plan different to the Tories? Low-paid workers who struggle to make ends meet might find the Tory view on benefits beguiling – we need a rebuttal and we need one fast.

Lastly, we need to go strong on how our vision of democracy is an ESSENTIAL input into setting people free and thus a new revitalised economy.

We have the brains, we have the balls (apologies to Lynne Featherstone) – let’s get on with it!

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