Wednesday, May 14, 2008

1978, 30 years on for Labour and Gordon

At first it was background noise, then it became a slight irritant and now its really winding me up - Gordon's ad nausea references to "hard working families". There's hardly a sentence goes by without this reference and as well as winding me up it was also perplexing. Why does he bang on about hard working families so much when they are such a relatively small part of the voter base? Surely what he should be worrying about just as equally are the baby boomers who are just about to retire?

Listening to a vox pop on BBC news today the penny dropped. Despite Gordon's efforts to undo the damage of the 10p cock up (and all the other failed policies) and promises to listen and learn those interviewed were implacably against Labour in general and Gordon in particular. I know it was a small sample and self selecting but there was real venom in the comments from young mothers and fathers and many others who I guess Gordon knows are supposed to be his core vote.

I remember the talk in the pubs when I was back on leave in 78 and 79 being one of contempt for Labour, and these were "working man's pubs"*. I got the impression then that no matter what Jim Callaghan did Labour was doomed. Gordon was around at that time and must also remember them well and I am sure they haunt him even now. Furthermore, I am willing to bet that Labour's internal polls are telling a similar story and Gordon knows he has to get the core vote going again.

Now, as I said above "hard working families" probably aren't enough on their own but the baby boomers are seeing their children and grand children suffering and though probably not natural Labours supporters they will be even more incensed and less likely to vote Labour. Furthermore, those baby boomers are likely to have voten Labour in 1997 and will be feeling a sense of betrayal that their off spring have been let down and could even be influencing their children's voting intentions.

I see it all now - Gordon knows he's stuffed and the only thing he can think of is to con hard working families in to believing he is the only one to look after them, despite raping them for the past 10 years. But I suspect that like Jim Callaghan in 1979 he knows that there is a sea change and his time is up.

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