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Sunday, May 18, 2014

Milibands' 'Mantra of Misery'

The various controveries over UKIP have had the effect of pushing Labour's own troubles off the front pages in recent weeks, but that does not stop today's Observer highlighting the latest spat in the party's internal war.

The paper reports that senior Labour figures have warned that their party risks losing the general election because of Ed Miliband's ''suicidal'' campaign tactics of "continually reciting a mantra of misery":

One prominent backbencher Simon Mr Danczuk, the MP for Rochdale, said they had to stop relying on the unpopularity of the Government and come forward with a positive vision of their own.

In a scathing article for The Mail on Sunday, he said it was ''daft'' to dismiss voters who were to turning to Ukip as ''disaffected loons'' and that winning back support was more than a matter of ''setting off a few fireworks or coming up with some catchy slogans''.

''We've become too comfortable with talking to ourselves, with policy announced through set-piece speeches as though in a university lecture. Some in the party view politics as an intellectual pursuit; it's not, it's a monumental struggle to win hearts and minds,'' he said.

''We won't win a general election by campaigning excessively on food banks and the bedroom tax. Labour has to offer a route out of poverty and unfulfilled potential. Continually reciting a mantra of misery is not the answer. We have to start speaking the language of aspiration.

''Britain needs a Government with a convincing mandate to introduce the big changes that are required. But Labour can't achieve that with the core vote and a few disgruntled Liberals. That's a suicidal strategy.''

His concerns were echoed by Tristan Osborne, a the parliamentary candidate for Chatham and Aylesford, one of the party's key target seats, who was recorded making critical remarks at a Labour fundraising event.

In comments reported by The Mail on Sunday and The Sunday Times, he was quoted as complaining of a ''dodgy campaign'' with ''no coherent messaging'', adding ''The machine is not functioning in any capacity''.

He was said to have warned that Mr Miliband would ''never form a credible government'' unless he did more to win over ''the aspirational southern voter''.

It seems that Miliband is still struggling to convince his own party that he is can be Prime Minister, not just voters.
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