Congratulations to Sadiq Khan; what a pity his first act was to try and kick away the ladder he climbed up to become Mayor. There would have been no election success without the doorknocking and leafleting of Corbyn activists.
There is nothing new in Khan saying that “Labour must appeal to everyone, and not just its own activists, to have any chance of gaining power”. This has always been so.
When New Labour was in office, they never actually held power. Blair and Brown had their ‘charm offensive’ on the City and jumped at Murdoch’s command. When the Major government’s credibility became unsustainable, this presented no problem to the narrow clique that really runs our country. The big corporations had already been assured that they had nothing to fear from a Labour government. So Labour was given an easy ride in achieving office, allowing corporations to retain power.
This destroyed any claim that Labour was a people’s party, a situation that has already cost us two elections.
Yes, it is going to be difficult for Labour to win in 2020 with a radical programme and a manifesto that confronts wealth, power and a prominently right wing press – but it is not worth the effort of fighting an election if it doesn’t.
This problem is already in hand. Parliamentary researcher and joint editor of Red Pepper, Michael Calderbank, has taken up the challenge. He has gathered a team of experts in subjects as diverse as economics, social policy, defense and social media.
There findings will be published in a book due out in time for the Labour Party 2016 Annual Conference. The book is called Winning From The Left – Developing a new election strategy – although an alternative subtitle might be, Winning elections without surrendering principles.