Whilst fighting this battle, we’re losing the war
– The ‘Air War’ in the media.
All the post-election post-mortems and leadership campaigns have been so caught up with the desire to push the Party to the left or right, or back ‘this’ candidate, rather than ‘that’ one, that they have completely missed the most important point:
Labour didn’t lose the election on political direction; it lost because of poor communication.
Here’s what they lacked:
A clear, straightforward message: the Conservatives won because of their simple and clear message- you can’t trust Labour with the economy. Whilst Labour may have had much more to offer the electorate, the message was garbled and unclear, so it didn’t connect.
An effective media strategy: elections are won in the media, not on the doorstep. From the very beginning of their time in government, every Conservative politician in every media appearance made sure that they repeated the same key point – Labour crashed the economy.
Labour never refuted this and it was this, more than anything else, which lost them the election. It has been shown time and time again: if you say the same thing often enough, people will start to believe it. Labour’s belief that it would win the ‘ground war’, due its greater number of activists, was always misguided, as the voters’ minds were made up long before campaigners knocked their doors.
So, what the Leadership candidates and the whole of the parliamentary party must remember; is that the media campaign for the 2020 General Election has already begun.
All Labour politicians must use their position in the public eye to broadcast a strong clear, unified message, that ‘brands’ and labels the Tories as the party of the rich, and Labour as ‘The Party of the People’.
This media campaign must begin immediately, because we are already in danger of losing the war before we have started fighting, by letting the Tories dominate the headlines with their message and their lies, while we dominate the headlines with our in-fighting.
The Tories have come out fighting and are taking advantage of our focus on the leadership contest. They have announced policies which are grossly unfair and made statements which are grossly inaccurate.
We must fight back immediately and oppose the government– that’s our job- we are the opposition. We should be doing all we can to protest and fight against the unjust and unfair policies of the Tories.
We have to get our message out and make people see that the Tories are making life much worse, for all but a tiny percentage of the population.
This is where the leadership candidates must play their part. It is time that they demonstrated that they are fit to lead the party, by leading the fight against the Tories and providing some real opposition. They are now in the spotlight, so they are ideally placed to make use of their position, so as to highlight the unjust and unfair Tory policies, and paint a clear picture of how life could be better under a Labour government.
We must drum our message home, again and again, ensuring that it is repeated in every media appearance, by every Labour politician, until it has become accepted wisdom and the common-sense of our time:
‘The Tories are the party of the rich, Labour are the Party of the People’.
So, let’s learn the most important lesson of the last election and beat the Tories at their own game
The Conservatives didn’t win because they were more popular.
They didn’t win because their policies were more appealing.
They won because of better communication.
So let’s get our message out there.
Yes, the leadership battle is important, but let’s remember what we are here for:
- To oppose the government
- To win the next election
The war has begun…