Sunday, 3 May 2009

Hazel Blears: The next leader of the Labour Party ?

by johnofgwent.

Ah, Sunday Morning again, and a May Bank Holiday too. A pity the planned BNP stall in the street a little way up the road had to be called off, but resources were needed elsewhere. But it's on the matter of the stalls and leaflets that I want to speak. They must be working because they are clearly giving our opposition a run for their money as can be seen from the outpourings of the delightful Hazel Blears.

To look at the unflattering images and news coverage Hazel gets these days one might be forgiven for considering her a woman seemingly intent on styling herself from the same mould Julie Walters used when working out how to play her role as Molly Weasley.

Hazel is taking some right stick this morning, and all because she has opened her eyes and seen the obvious success we are having in getting the message across. Yesterday on the BBC news web site she was quoted as saying YouTube if you want to. But it's no substitute for knocking on doors or setting up a stall in the town centre.

The Beeb seems to have rolled over and taken it up the proverbial from Labour HQ over that quote because the page they were trumpeting yesterday seems to have been pulled and is replaced with one suggesting she's not attacking the Prime Minister. So those who want a little sunday reading will have to make do with the lady's column in today's Gruniad Online

When Gordon Brown leads Labour into the next general election, our campaign must rest on three pillars: we need to fight on a platform of practical policy, not personalities; once we have a solid offer, we need to sell it in plain words, directly to the voters; and our campaigns, communications and policies need to show we are still in tune and in touch with people.

First, we must fight the election on policy. No government after 12 years in office can compete on slick presentation and clever soundbites.
The second pillar is effective campaigning and communications. Labour ministers have a collective responsibility for the government's lamentable failure to get our message across. All too often we announce new strategies or five-year plans, or launch new documents – often with colossal price tags attached – that are received by the public with incredulity .... and hostility.
People want to look their politicians in the eyes and get their anger off their chests. We need a ministerial "masochism strategy", where ministers engage directly and hear the anger first-hand. I'm not against new media. YouTube if you want to. But it's no substitute for knocking on doors or setting up a stall in the town centre.
Third, we need to have a relationship with the voters based on shared instincts and emotions. We need to start showing we understand the instincts, fears, hopes and emotions of the broad mass of British people.
Only last week Hazel impressed me greatly with her call for the House of Commons to be filled with people who know what it means to fear the knock on the door from the Debt Collector, or to go home from work each day afraid that the next will bring a notice of redundancy. And she is right, our MP's have never faced such things in their expense-fiddled lives. I'm hoping to do something about that, Hazel, but can you do me a favour and try to keep Gordon Brown in office for a little while longer, it will do wonders for the votes for all opposition parties and you never know, you might lose the Newport East constituency your party reckoned was as solid as the Banking System.

But I have a prediction to make. When Gordon's house of cards built upon sand comes crashing down about his head the day after the next election,there will be an almighty chorus of "off with his head" and shortly afterwards the rump of New Labour will be looking round for a new leader.

And who better than the person who has, for a long time now, been crying out to the men at the top what they are doing wrong and what others are doing right.

Hazel Blears for Leader of Her Majesty's Loyal Opposition in 2009/10 ?

You heard it here on the Green Arrow Blog first.

Now go off and enjoy your bank holiday. The sun is shining. Go Mow Your Lawn