Posts Tagged ‘Rebuliding Labour’

In Prime Ministers Question, Ed Miliband called for the resignation of Ken Clarke. Was it the right choice of action?

In some ways, it was. If Clarke resigns (which now appears unlikely) then it will be seen as a good parliamentary win for EM. If Clarke resigns, it is likely that the person who would replace him would take a harder approach to law and order. Whether it was Nick Herbert Damian Green, or indeed another candidate, it would be somebody who would take a harder line position.

This would be bad for Labour. Polling has shown that crime is the area that the Coalition is seeing being seen as weak in. In the poll 43% of people thought that crime was a priority of the Conservative Party, against 79% of people who thought that it was a priority to them. This represents a gap of some 46%, by far the largest gap in the poll conducted by Lord Ashcroft. This is an area that Labour could capitalize on, bringing valuable votes in the key “commuter belt” marginal constituencies that Labour needs to win back.

As the economy remains stagnant, crime is only going to increase. The public will demand a tougher response. If Labour is able to offer a firm, but fair line on law and order, with a balance between punishment and rehabilitation, which is presented in the right way, then this could be an area where Labour can re-build its trust. Indeed, this would be received well amongst all social classes, but particularly the “middle” and “working” classes, who feel let down by the Conservative Party when they see a reduction in the number of police on the streets.

Labour should be the party that  voices those concerns, with a message similar to that of 1997.

“Tough on crime, tough on the causes of crime.”

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