Why Labour Lost this Election

May 8, 2015 at 5:47 pm

As the Exit Polls were announced at 10pm last night, the Labour spin-machine went into overdrive: ‘It can’t be right’ They said. ‘Exit Polls aren’t representative’ They said. ‘it’s not what we’re hearing on the ground’ They said.

But the Exit Polls turned out to be as good as it got for Labour, a teasing hope that Cameron might not get the overall majority he so craved. That hope wasn’t snatched away cruelly, it was smashed to pieces with a sledgehammer. And rightly so.

I despise the Tories and everything they stand for, I despise what they’ve done to the people of this country for the past five years, and I fear that without the Lib Dems attempting to rein them in, things will only get worse. The Libs also deserved the annihilation they received last night, but after 5 more years of Austerity under a majority Tory government maybe the public will realise the Lib Dems weren’t quite so bad after all.

But as I was saying, Labour didn’t deserve to win this election, and it has nothing to do with Ed Miliband’s personality or any of the embarrassing photos the media have taken of him during his leadership. No. It’s because Labour campaigned as a ‘Poor Man’s Tory Party’, they allowed UKIP and the Tories to dictate the terms of this election, to select the battlegrounds and to have first pick of the ammunition.

Rarely did Ed take on the false wave of public opinion generated by the likes of Farage, Cameron, The Sun, The BBC or the Mail. He attempted to take them on at their own game, to attract their voters with similar, but less hard-line policies on Austerity and Immigration.

The SNP were every bit as frightening as the right wing media promised they would be throughout their campaign: frighteningly open, frighteningly ambitious, frighteningly good natured, frighteningly organised and most frightening of all they actually listened to their electorate. They let their electorate dictate the terms of the Scottish vote. Many people will say that the SNP cost Labour the election, but I don’t think that’s the case at all.

Labour lost the election by listening to the press, by listening to Cameron, by listening to Farage and going along with it, they somehow missed the massive surge in political awareness and activism in Scotland during the referendum campaign. They missed the chance to take on the myths that the right wing establishment peddles as truths and challenge public perception. They missed the chance to offer the public real hope for a brighter future on a different path.

instead they offered us the same as the Tories, but slower. Maybe. And let’s be clear, Cameron’s majority is tiny. He was there for the taking. His own campaign was dull, uninspiring, negative, bitchy and filled with actual lies. Instead of presenting us with something completely different, Labour tried to take the Tories on at their own game and lost to experience.

As much as I warmed to Ed Miliband as a person, his politics just simply weren’t as opposing enough to the Tories to inspire the voters, so instead they voted for solid, unspectacular continuity. So in the end, Cameron was right. Ed was weak, too weak to take that stand and be radical.

Then again, the day after he was chosen as Labour leader he was labelled ‘Red Ed’. It’s no surprise he didn’t move the party back to its roots then, given that if he so much as looked left before crossing the road he’d be labelled a Communist.

Five more years of pain then? Probably not for me, and this the problem our society faces at this moment in time. There are too many people in a similar position to me, not particularly poor nor well off enough for any policy to have a massive impact on my life. People in my position want job security and a prosperous economy, but it seems many have ignored or just haven’t seen the cost of maintaining that.

I’m not poor, I don’t need food banks, I don’t claim benefits, I have health insurance through my employment, I have a private pension scheme too and I get a decent salary each month. But too few people in my position realise the cost to others. Voting Tory is the easy option, keep things the same as they are, let the economic improvements keep coming. Too few stopped to realise that we have our own sort of micro-capitalism feeding that. Just as richer nations need poorer nations to exploit and supply cheap labour and resources, so too average and wealthy Britons are living off the backs of the poorest in our country. They are the ones bearing the biggest burden on this Tory recovery, and millions of people in my shoes heartlessly and selfishly voted for that to continue another five years. We are not all in this together. We are divided, and the Tories rule.

Oh, and they want to change the boundaries to make them more conducive to a Tory majority. Five more years? Make it 10. Unless Labour go back to basics.