PH wrote:pwa wrote: One traditional dilemma for Labour is whether to go for a leader who can win, or to settle for one who maintains the purity but frightens off the voters.
You asked me what was meant by traditional Labour values and I answered in good faith, but it seems you already had the dismissal ready, why not have just gone with that straight away and saved me the trouble?If you want to win you are looking for Blair without the foreign adventures.
If you want a government that believes in the free market, but wants to spend more on social projects, you're a liberal. That's at their very core, that's what they are, that's what they do, why do you want to turn the Labour Party into the Liberals?If you want to take command of the economy you will scare the voters, and lose. The only Labour leader to win since Wilson was Blair. Blair is as near to your values as you can get without scaring off the middle ground voters you need to win. Purity or pragmatism is the choice.
Yet poll after poll after poll shows that these policies are popular, would you like me to dig them out for you? Even the Yougov one taken days after the election, in the areas where Labour had just been hammered, showed majority support for the policies. The issue, leaving Brexit aside, is credibility and presentation, getting the message across when those controlling the media oppose it is a problem. Blair has said he was forced to court powerful press barons such as Rupert Murdoch, are you going to settle for that? There's a difference between being pragmatic and getting shafted.
The kind of leader and party you want is not the kind of Labour Party I used to vote for. You think it is, but it isn't. The Labour Party used to be hot on immigration control, fully behind NATO and suspicious about the EU. After Thatcher it accepted the plain fact that nationalised industries, which had been a great source of strife, were gone, and we had moved on to a non-nationalised economy. Nationalisation had failed. But we still have a need for a party that seeks fairer distribution of wealth, and that is where Labour comes in. If they can just focus on that.
During the election campaign Labour put forward attractive policies, but they put forward too many. It was farcical. It was as if we were being sold a fantasy world by people on drugs. And those of us who don't like being in the EU knew that the membership are strongly Remain and would manipulate things to steer us back that way. Two problems there.
You are probably right in that Labour are no longer relevant to me, but without broadening their attraction Labour are doomed to being in opposition for a very long time. It is a choice for the members, whether to make the party that best reflects their views or instead make a party that seeks out a middle ground that enough people will vote for. If you do the former, and I think you will, you will be helping Boris.
I'm not sure I care anymore. In my heart I have written Labour off.