After the defeat of a Labour Government in 2010 many saw a coalition formed between Conservatives and LibDems which left Labour in the cold. Many are wondering has Labour regained its mojo to win in 2015 General Elections given the negative press against them.
Whilst some people are revisiting the 1992 elections quoting that Labour was defeated and this may happen in 2015 again. My view is everybody is entitled to a view from all the political persuasions as I continue to maintain that opinion polls will go up and down.
It’s a known fact that any political party(s) in government will be unpopular but what will make a big difference is policies given the circumstances after all the post conferences all three parties have given a good talk but what many wants to know can they do the walk.
Let’s begin with LibDem they make claims that they are better in Government as a coalition. Hmm I have mix views on this given their track record they broke their tuition fees and they will not be in government in their own right so they will sleep with any party provided their leader remain as deputy prime minister. So in a nutshell more of the same which Nick Cleggs is aware of which saw his membership down as some of them crossed over to Labour.
Conservatives are in direr straights they saw some of their members and donors cross over to UKIP as they were not right-wing enough over immigration and Europe. There is a strong sense in the Conservative campaign if David Cameron does not perform then there will be a strong leadership challenge from three heavy weights after the 2015 if they don’t win outright. But before we go down this road let’s not forget there is a number of issues that are stacked up against the Tories with their Welfare Reform such as universal credits, Independent Living Allowance, Bedroom Tax, Go Home vans, Free Schools, Referendum, Big Society, Economy, and the Land of Opportunity most of which have failed under their flagship.
Since the end of Labour Party conference we have witnessed that Ed Miliband has champion the political agenda by leading on the cost of living, raise of energy price from the energy companies which has dominated in all the press and social network, and media which continuing to be a sticking point for David Cameron which saw his face gone from red, lobster red to bright red in which the Speaker of the House had to intervene by asking David Cameron to withdraw the comment of conman an attack towards Ed Miliband.
If people think everything is fine just because of a tiny amount of growth then they need to wake up. The suffering since 2010 was not caused by Labour, it was caused by George Osborne’s incompetent economic failure and it’s still hurting now and will continue to for years to come.
When Osborne took over from Labour there was already growth in the economy Labour created, yet in just three months he sent us into a recession, one that is still going on in most of the country. It’s crazy for people to buy into the lie that Labour caused the financial crash, they did not. The banks in the US did and then UK banks followed.
Yet Labour turned round the economy and the recovery was going well. the message Labour put out in the run up to 2010 was vote Tory and risk the recovery, well that is exactly what happened because the Tories destroyed millions of lives, destroyed jobs, colleges and the ability to go to UNI, left 1 million young people on the scrap heap. Created and environment for low pay that does not cover the bills and have done not one thing ever to actually help the economy.
If there is a tiny amount of growth in the economy what you can bet it has nothing to do with the Tories.
Recently I read somewherein the Labourlist that there are certain truths in politics that are held to be self-evident. The electorate doesn’t like divided parties. General elections are usually a battle between “time for a change” and “don’t let the other lot ruin it”. And, of course, “it’s the economy, stupid”. This last golden nugget first appeared in the US presidential election campaign of 1992. If it wasn’t actually unearthed by Bill Clinton’s “ragin’ Cajun”, James Carville, then its directness certainly evoked his personality perfectly. Campaign staffers were not allowed to forget what the key election issue was going to be. Never let any voter contact end without reminding them about the terrible state of the economy under Bush/Quayle, and how much better it would be under Clinton/Gore. The phrase has become a cliché among political campaigners. Only a fool would ignore the importance and centrality of the state of the economy to an election campaign.
So, it’s the economy, stupid. Friday’s third consecutive quarter of GDP growth, this time up 0.8% between July and September, should have been good news for the government and the Conservatives in particular. Friday morning’s YouGov poll gave Labour a six point lead over the Tories. But after that day’s positive economic news from the ONS, Sunday’s YouGov poll showed that Labour had a six point lead.
Two days are not long enough for good news to sink in, perhaps. The government will hope that 18 more months of growth will be recognised and felt by voters. But there is a bit of a problem here. Official aggregate data – GDP, levels of employment – may look good on paper. Ministers, their civil servants and advisers may get quite excited about them. But people do not live in a world of aggregate data. They live, as it were, as a “data point of one” – that is, as individuals and as members of a family. A quarter of 0.8% GDP growth is neither here nor there for most people. It is almost meaningless, in fact. What matters to individuals is their job prospects, their pay and their cost of living. It is a question of how they feel, not how much they believe in the abstract numbers they hear on the news.
Even the apparently positive jobs data need unpacking. Yes, record numbers of people are in work. But then, the population is bigger than ever before, too. Around a fifth of all part-time workers would rather work full-time – that’s roughly 1.5 million “under-employed” people. And unemployment figures themselves are doubtless flattered by the rise in self-employment over recent years (up by more than 10% since Jan ’09, to 4.2 million). Meanwhile, productivity remains low (another reason why unemployment is not higher, perhaps). It is not a healthy mix. As David Smith, economics editor of the Sunday Times, wrote yesterday: “A rise in employment alongside weak productivity is neither healthy nor sustainable.”
We all know what is happening to wages, and prices. Without higher productivity wages will not rise either, even with continued employment growth. Voters know about this stuff. They know that while economists may detect good news in technical terms, their lives are not improving. The link between that aggregate GDP number and their daily reality has been broken. Put it all together and you can see why one weekend’s good statistical news is not enough to shift many people’s views.
The Conservatives have a difficult balancing act to pull off. If they overclaim on the strength of economic recovery they will sound hubristic and appear out of touch with the concerns of ordinary voters. But if they sound too sheepish or tentative about economic recovery voters might wonder just how convincing or sustainable economic recovery is. I wonder if, paradoxically, continued flatlining (or worse) might not have formed a better election-time backdrop for the Conservatives. This would have allowed them to blame Labour even more aggressively for the difficulties they had inherited – “It was much worse then we thought, we’re going to need more time.” Slow and gentle recovery, on the other hand, may make changing government seem less risky.
I’m sure like many would partially agree that growth has returned, and things are starting to look a bit better. But then, when you stop hitting your head against a wall you tend to start feeling better too. Maybe one of those timeless, “iron laws” of politics is changing as well. It’s not “the economy”, stupid. It’s people’s lives. It’s not GDP, it’s the cost of living. It’s not abstract pronouncements, it’s reality. The party that is seen to understand this will win.
Intriguingly the government’s flagship welfare reform – Universal Credit – is starting the next phase of its national launch but far more slowly than intended. Yet the The National Audit Office has warned that the programme suffers from poor management and lack of planning, and David Cameron this week appeared to raise doubt about the 2017 timetable.
The National Audit Office also found that £34 million spent on computer systems and services for the project has been written off because it delivered no value for taxpayers.
Margaret Hodge, the committee chairman, savaged Robert Devereux, the DWP’s top official. “You yourself were not in sufficient day-to-day overall control in monitoring this process,” she told him. The committee identified what MPs said were extremely lax spending controls on the project. In one case, a senior civil servant gave a junior personal assistant the authority to sign off large IT contracts.
The criticism of officials follows claims made by Iain Duncan Smith, the Work and Pensions Secretary, that civil service failures are the main cause of problems with Universal Credit.
When I visit council estates and some social housing associations I have the opportunity to speak to many tenants who lives there they always say that all the politicians are there to line their pockets and they can’t see the light at the end of the tunnel and that’s why they don’t have any confidence with the three main political parties in a nutshell they break their promises when they get into office. Politicians will have to find new ways of rebuilding the trust with their constituency to regain the trust of the voters