So today brings news that former Labour Party official Luke Bozier is defecting to the Conservatives. Many people will be asking “Who the hell is Luke Bozier?”. Those who know of him may ask “Why did he defect?”. Meanwhile, those who’ve read his remarks about joining the Tories will be asking “On what planet does Mr Bozier reside?”.
In explaining his decision to swap sides, Luke tells us where labour has gone wrong:
I became a member five years ago, in the final days of Tony Blair’s leadership. Back then, New Labour was still the intellectual heart of the party. A pro-business attitude and a commitment to revolutionising our creaking public services made sense to me…
…Gordon Brown, unsurprisingly, turned out to be a terrible driver of the New Labour wagon. Most of his three years as leader and Prime Minister were spent defending his own position. As a result, we wasted the opportunity to continue Tony’s reforms and we were punished for it at the ballot box.
I mean, wtf? Clearly there is a debate to be had about why labour lost the last election. I may not agree with those people who believe it was all about the deficit but they do at least have a position which makes some sense. The deficit, after all, was a major issue in the last election. Personally I think the collapse of the economic system over which New Labour had presided, with the consequence that 2.5 million people were left without work, might have been a rather large factor at the last poll.
But to suggest that labour’s great electoral liability was its failure to push ahead with public sector reforms? I mean, really? And this from a supposed strategic genius! I can honestly say that I have not met anyone who stopped voting labour because they want, say, more schools with academy status. If anyone else has I would really, truly love to hear from them. I would, to say the least, be very surprised to encounter any activists who found that bringing choice and competition into the public sector was a big issue on the door steps.
On all sides of the party, there is a tendency for people to believe that the policies they support are also the policies that are necessary in order to win elections. Luke however takes this to a bizarre extreme. If this is the extent of his strategic prowess, then I am more than happy to see him teaming up with the Tories.
Shut the door on the way out Luke. And don’t forget to take out the garbage.
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