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Sunday, February 20, 2011

Keeping it positive

The Independent on Sunday reports on a new book, How to Be in Opposition: Life in the Political Shadows, which warns that Labour must be more upbeat and positive if it is to get back into Government.

It suggests that many leaders of the opposition start out promising a "new way of doing things" but slip quickly into an easy comfort zone of opportunistic attacks and that this can lose votes.

Oppositions face a constant balancing act between criticising the Government while also not unveiling a detailed policy programme years before an election. Mr Miliband is to stress that his leadership mission statement can be summed up in six words: "equal chances, strong communities, new politics".

The Labour Party would do well to send a copy of the book to its Shadow Secretary of State for Wales and each of its AMs in the Welsh Assembly. They have adopted a ground-zero approach to the Coalition Government in which everything before last May was perfect, everything since a disaster.

They have refused to take responsibility for their own mess, failed to acknowledge the root causes of Britain's economic mess and are even denying that they planned substantial cuts following the General Election. Their constant whining and whinging, even about policies they themselves initiated lacks credibility and cohesion.

If you want to hear how negativity can damage the chances of the opposition of coming back into power then sit in on a First Minister's question time in the Welsh Assembly.
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