How and Why Labour Lost

edresigns

Ed Miliband falls on his sword after a humiliating night

The outcome of the 2015 election may be among the most surprising in living memory.
The pre-election polls* saw Labour and Conservative support draw level and many predicted that we would be in for another Coalition government of some form, the SNP would make great gains and the Lib Dems would suffer the brunt of the electorate’s anger at the Coalition.

Well, they were half right.

As the exit poll came in, a lot of pundits and several Labour bigwigs dismissed the initial findings that pointed to the Conservatives making progress while they would lose ground.

So what happened? How could it all have gone so wrong?

We make no claims to be experts, but we present to you our pet theories.

1. Increased Competition
With information more easily accessible thanks to the Internet and the inclusion of more political parties in the TV debates, awareness of messages external to the Big 3 parties is at an all time high – and one only has to look at the increased vote share enjoyed by UKIP, The Green Party and of course the SNP. In some areas these options will have diluted Labour’s share of the vote and certainly contributed to them losing several marginal seats.

2. Media Coverage
We paid close attention to the front pages of the papers in the days leading up to the election and saw that only The Mirror was pledging its support to Labour. Every other daily was promoting either Conservatives or UKIP – with The Sun even giviing readers advice on ‘tactical voting to keep out Red Ed‘ Even in the information age, propoganda is a powerful tool and there are still many who rely on a single source for their news – and they will have been influenced by this factor.

3. Complacency
Labour’s attitude throughout this campaign (and indeed overall during this Parliament) seems to have been ‘The Coalition is so unpopular, all we have to do is point out their wrongdoing and coast back into No. 10 on momentum rather than demonstrate how we would be any different or better‘ The palpable sense of disbelief and panic seen on the faces of several key figures on the release of the exit poll (Ed Balls among them, quite fittingly) demonstrated that they had bought into the polling data that indiciated this would be a close run battle hook line and sinker – and the outcome shows they paid the price.

4. The non-voters
Apporximately a third of the electorate decided to stay home on the day – as in 2010, yet again the apathetic outnumber the votes for any single party. Now, we don’t judge those who don’t vote – we can understand frustration at the old guard parties (they are after all why we exist!) but that is a lot of lost votes.

5. Ed Miliband
We’ve given Ed a fair share of grief over the last 2 years (and stand by every word of it) However, we want to make it clear we consider him to be a decent man who on balance did act on behalf of ordinary people. However, we do not believe he was ever the right man to lead the Opposition as demonstrated by his fairly lacklustre leadership style which saw him being reactionary and missing easy opporunities to show himself as a man of principle and action – and his mannerisms were too easy a target for ridicule (not that we agree on judging a person on their looks but it does happen and people can be more easily swayed by a charismatic personality – something Ed clearly lacked.)

Of course, it is easy to be wise after the event – what is important is that Labour learn from these mistakes and present a better case for their future!

* We would argue polling data is inherently unreliable when you consider the sample size and where the surveys are conducted – plus the fact that people can and do lie about voting habits

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LIB DEMS VOTE TO SAVE THEIR JOBS!

flipflopsOur suggestion for a new logo that the Lib Dems can use – yellow flip flops!

The following list details the Lib Dem MPs who voted in favour of the Iain Duncan Smith’s welfare ‘reforms’ at their final reading in Parliament – those who thought the Bill in it’s current form was worth supporting.

They then went on to block the Labour motion last November to immediately suspend the ‘bedroom tax’ – yet today supported a Bill by one of their own to amend how the charge is administered.

Alan Beith*, Tom Brake, Menzies Campbell*, Alistair Carmichael, Edward Davey, Don Foster, Duncan Hames*, Nick Harvey*, David Heath*, John Hemming, Martin Horwood, Simon Hughes, Mark Hunter, Norman Lamb, Tessa Munt*, John Pugh*, Dan Rogerson, Robert Smith*, Andrew Stunell*, Jo Swinson, John Thurso*, Steve Webb*, Stephen Williams

(Names in BOLD are the ones who despite previously supporting the caps decided to put their housing costs on expenses – as we have reported previously!)

Do Lib Dems not know the meaning of loyalty? Not content with betraying the electorate, now they act against their own partners in government – of course, it would be silly to imply that this is simply them voting to save their own jobs come May…

Puppets in Parliament

ImageThe classic comedy series “Spitting Image” depicted Parliamentarians (among others) as grotesque puppets. In today’s political sphere, the truth is anything but funny!

Recent events got us thinking about the type of person who blindly follows orders, rarely(if ever) going against the party line and generally just being a waste of space.

We did some research, looking for MPs who met the following criteria:

Voted FOR all of the following:

The tuition fee hike, “bedroom tax” and the retroactive legislation that denied thousands of people who had wrongly been forced into Workfare any compensation.

Voted AGAINST all of the following:

Labour Opposition day motions for energy bills freezes, abolition of ‘bedroom tax’ and an investigation into food banks and alternative means of support.

Put the following on expenses:

Energy bills, Housing costs (excluding LALP, which is at least capped)

In short, we wanted to see who cares nothing for the suffering of the ordinary people, but who made the taxpayer pick up the tab for their creature comforts!

We think the names below represent the worst that the Coalition has to offer – and speaks to the idea of the banality of evil – note how there aren’t really any “big names” on the list (some of these people are rather dull, others have reinforced how out of touch and awful they are in other ways, but that is a story for another day)

Conservative MPs

Nigel Adams
Richard Bacon
Peter Bone
Graham Brady
Steve Brine
Greg Clark
Therese Coffey
Oliver Colvile
Stephen Crabb
Glyn Davies
Michael Ellis
Graham Evans
Mark Garnier
Robert Goodwill
Mark Harper
Simon Hart
Kris Hopkins
John Howell
Andrew Jones
Greg Knight
Mark Lancaster
Brandon Lewis
Ian Liddell-Grainger
Paul Maynard
Mark Menzies
David Morris
David Nuttall
Guy Opperman
Neil Parish
Christopher Pincher
John Redwood
Amber Rudd
David Ruffley
David Rutley
Chris Skidmore
Nicholas Soames
Andrew Stephenson
Julian Sturdy
Justin Tomlinson
Elizabeth Truss
Andrew Turner
Martin Vickers
Ben Wallace
James Wharton
Heather Wheeler
John Whittingdale
Gavin Williamson
Jeremy Wright
George Young

Liberal Democrat MPs:

Alan Beith
Duncan Hames
Andrew Stunell
Jo Swinson
Steve Webb

We’re working on an “awards” scheme – a sort of political equivalent of the Razzies. One category will be “Biggest Crony” – and the above names give us plenty to go off when it comes to devising a shortlist!

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Rejecting this Petition was just Wrong(a)

ImageIf you were to isolate any single element as the summation of Cameron’s Britain, the rise of the payday lender may well be your choice.

We’ll put our cards on the table – we see these companies as a necessary evil, but thing they need to be put on a very tight leash. We want to see strict limitations put on their operation such as:

A limit on maximum APR: In the USA, payday lenders charges are capped at 390% APR – less than 10% of what Wonga charges!

Controls on Advertising: A report published by Ofcom has revealed that there were nearly 400,000 TV adverts for payday lenders last year – an increase of over 3000% from just 4 years ago! We want to stop these companies advertising before 8pm and restrict which channels can broadcast them.

We went looking for some campaigns against these companies. One of out first ports of call was the government e-petitions site. We think it is rather useless as a tool in itself – the few petitions that manage to acquire 100,000 signatures often go ignored – but it is a good way of raising awareness of an issue. Our search turned up a rejected appeal with the heading “Ban Lending and Loan Related Adverts from Kids Channels

We were curious as to why this petition had not been accepted. We thought perhaps it had not spelt out it’s intention correctly. We were surprised to read this response:

“E-petitions cannot be used to request action on issues that are outside the responsibility of the government”

So, they claim the government does not have the power to impose limits on certain businesses advertising themselves.

That’s strange, because here is a precedent for the UK government doing exactly that!

Nothing is stopping them bringing in new legislation to control these companies!

Not content with simply ignoring the voice of the electorate, now they are shutting down legitimate avenues of complaint with lies!

Of course, given how much of the Conservatives money is donated to them by people with fingers in the payday lending pie, we can’t say we are surprised!

Hypocrites in the House

On Tuesday, November 12th, Labour used it’s Opposition Day to put forward a motion to, with immediate effect, end the “Bedroom Tax” As with last week’s motion on energy bills, it was defeated with the government winning the day with a majority of a mere 26.
Now, let us be clear – we believe Labour fully expected to get defeated ere and see these motions as petty political point scoring – an effortless way of making them look good and the Coalition look bad.
But it has at least given us a clear focus of the greatest enemies of the people.
Several media outlets and bloggers have named and shamed the full list of just over 250 Coalition MPs who have stood by the charge and we saw quite a lot of names on the list who also appeared on last week’s list- but we wanted to go deeper and make a list of the biggest hypocrites in the House.

So, we present to you the MPs who in 2012-2013:
1) claimed accommodation allowances
2) As part of that allowance, also put their energy bills on expenses
3) Voted against BOTH of Labour’s opposition day motions

These are the people who expect the taxpayer to pick up the tab for their housing and heating (not to mention other expenses such as staffing and travel costs – but, in order to keep our focus tight we are not going to include those figures in this report) but have actively blocked Labour’s efforts to cap the bills of those they were elected to represent and ensured many more people will now be made to suffer because of the unfair bedroom tax policy.

Conservative MPs

Nigel Adams £24773.26
Richard Bacon £25094.58
Henry Bellingham £6918.13
Andrew Bingham £21199.30
Brian Binley £17793.28
Peter Bone £17607.38
Graham Brady £6635.77
Andrew Bridgen £12557.66
Steve Brine £19836.64
Daniel Byles £22493.29
Douglas Carswell £13223.02
Christopher Chope £2099.09
Greg Clark £19300.35
Kenneth Clarke £2703.06
Therese Coffey £18769.15
Oliver Colvile £2400.11
Geoffrey Cox £8293.7
Stephen Crabb £14627.16
Glyn Davies £20807.49
Michael Ellis £19921.1
Graham Evans £17859.7
Mark Garnier £22637.82
Cheryl Gillan £5078.96
Robert Goodwill £19953.7
Matthew Hancock £15680.19
Mark Harper £5866.97
Simon Hart £15901.74
John Hayes £23757.76
Kris Hopkins £19507.71
Gerald Howarth £5913.67
John Howell £19122.54
Andrew Jones £1737.42
Marcus Jones £18957.12
Greg Knight £18745.50
Mark Lancaster £20564.68
Jessica Lee £19950.49
Brandon Lewis £6876.48
Ian Liddell-Grainger £21776.99
Jack Lopresti £14275.60
Paul Maynard £10256.95
Mark Menzies £20155.30
Maria Miller £14659.52
Penny Mordaunt £21923.02
David Morris £23702.80
Andrew Murrison £987.74
Caroline Nokes £17347.84
David Nuttall £16708.2
Stephen O’Brien £11340.6
Guy Opperman £8250.78
James Paice £16919.16
Neil Parish £19651.65
Christopher Pincher £21005.46
Daniel Poulter £23479.16
John Redwood £6256.44
Amber Rudd £8938.21
David Ruffley £8062.99
David Rutley £20405.35
Alec Shelbrooke £19969.86
Richard Shepherd £1257.90
Chris Skidmore £18720.14
Nicholas Soames £3578.22
Andrew Stephenson £6123.08
Gary Streeter £18194.45
Mel Stride £8827.38
Graham Stuart £19191.56
Julian Sturdy £22935.94
Justin Tomlinson £9894.60
Elizabeth Truss £7028.71
Andrew Turner £20194
Edward Vaizey £6016.16
Martin Vickers £15909.22
Ben Wallace £17990.03
James Wharton £19998.62
Heather Wheeler £20459.23
Chris White £19474.26
John Whittingdale £15763.18
Gavin Williamson £18291.89
Sarah Wollaston £20289.65
Jeremy Wright £16978.46
Tim Yeo £13974.86
George Young £5900.31

Liberal Democrat MPs:

Norman Baker £18312.53
Alan Beith £11471.87
Malcolm Bruce £23057.08
Menzies Campbell £10582.15
Don Foster £19845.12
Stephen Gilbert £16061.33
Duncan Hames £10705.89
Nick Harvey £17256.98
David Heath £19043.91
Tessa Munt £13329.60
John Pugh £16023.68
Robert Smith £14474.19
Andrew Stunell £1902.84
Jo Swinson £9849.39
John Thurso £18982.1
Steve Webb £18645.38
Stephen Williams £20717.68

If there are deaths this winter as a result of the cold weather – and from what we understand, such things
are a tragic inevitability – then these are the people who we are going to be holding responsible.
We will not forget these names. Nor shall we forgive.

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Coalition MPs: Taking All They Can, Giving Nothing Back

In an Opposition Day debate yesterday, Labour put forward a motion to freeze household energy bills for 20 months – which would take us up to the next election. The motion was defeated with the Government having a comfortable but not massive majority of 58.
We’re not surprised that Coalition MPs blocked the motion. However, we are very angry.
The full list of those who blocked the motion is here However, we’d like to draw attention to a specific number of MPs – the hypocritical Coalition ‘representatives’ who last week the Mirror revealed had put THEIR energy bills on expenses – yet who decided to vote against the freeze. These people have helped themselves to YOUR money to pay THEIR bills despite a £65,000 annual salary. Yet they are content to do nothing to stop private companies profiting from your misery.

Special mention must go to Nadhim Zawahi, King of the Two Faced. Surely he Tory MP who claimed a staggering £5822.27 for heating his 30 acre estate wouldn’t demonstrate such rank hypocrisy by voting against this motion…nope, he did!

Remember these names and take note of how much money they took for themselves – it is always important to know who your enemy is.

Mel Stride, Devon Central (£3,223.64)
Hugo Swire, Devon East (£3,198.61)
Elizabeth Truss, Norfolk South West (£2,579.67)
Graham Brady, Altrincham & Sale West (£2,158.65)
Maria Miller, Basingstoke (£2,011.00)
Christopher Chope, Christchurch (£1,531.31)
Henry Bellingham, Norfolk North West (£1,518.34)
Steve Brine, Winchester (£1,404.62)
Michael Fabricant, Lichfield (£1,210.68)
Paul Maynard, Blackpool North & Cleveleys (£1,204.61)
Douglas Carswell, Clacton (£1,185.26)
Cheryl Gillan, Chesham & Amersham (£1,134.80)
Laurence Robertson, Tewkesbury (£1,095.91)
Daniel Kawczynski, Shrewsbury & Atcham (£1,067.76)
Sir Richard Shepherd, Aldridge-Brownhills (£980.00)
Tim Yeo, Suffolk South, (£979.68)
Sir Gerald Howarth, Aldershot, (£971.78)
Nicholas Soames, Sussex Mid, (£932.72)
Andrew Mitchell, Sutton Coldfield (£854.22)
Nigel Adams, Selby & Ainsty (£853.30)
James Morris, Halesowen & Rowley Regis (£851.50)
Graham Evans, Weaver Vale (£824.43)
John Hayes, South Holland & The Deepings (£818.07)
Mark Harper, Forest of Dean (£787.91)
Sir Nick Harvey, Devon North (£741.00)
Mark Garnier, Wyre Forest (£723.20)
Mark Lancaster, Milton Keynes North (£705.61)
Marcus Jones, Nuneaton (£689.45)
Nick Boles, Grantham & Stamford (£673.05)
John Leech, Manchester Withington (£670.57)
Chris White, Warwick & Leamington (£652.56)
Richard Bacon, Norfolk South (£643.77)
Oliver Colville, Plymouth Sutton & Devonport (£639.62)
Amber Rudd, Hastings & Rye (£635.81)
Don Foster, Bath (£628.00)
John Thurso, Caithness, Sutherland & Easter Ross (£607.75)
Andrew George, St Ives (£593.05)
Simon Hart, Carmarthen West & Pembrokeshire South (£589.54)
Brian Binley, Northampton South (£586.19)
Stephen O’Brien, Eddisbury (£583.60)
David Nuttall, Bury North (£560.88)
Sir George Young, Hampshire North West (£541.30)
Jim Paice, Cambridgeshire South East (£529.03)
Tessa Munt, Wells (£523.20)
Daniel Poulter, Suffolk Central & Ipswich North (£508.61)
Jenny Willott, Cardiff Central (£490.84)
John Howell, Henley (£477.78)
Malcolm Bruce, Gordon (£474.00)
Roger Williams, Brecon & Radnorshire (£473.44)
Dr Sarah Wollaston, Totnes (£468.00)
Dan Byles, Warwickshire North (£450.89)
Guy Opperman, Hexham (£450.78)
Kenneth Clarke, Rushcliffe (£444.00)
Patrick McLoughlin, Derbyshire Dales (£443.54)
Chloe Smith, Norwich North (£438.16)
Andrew Jones, Harrogate & Knaresborough (£435.92)
Mark Menzies, Fylde (£434.72)
Harriett Baldwin, Worcestershire West (£428.23)
Nicola Blackwood, Oxford West & Abingdon (£421.24)
John Redwood, Wokingham (£414.44)
Owen Paterson, Shropshire North (£408.33)
Julian Lewis, New Forest East (£408.00)
Therese Coffey, Suffolk Coastal (£406.18)
James Wharton, Stockton South (£403.90)
Gary Streeter, Devon South West (£400.01)
Greg Knight, Yorkshire East (£394.83)
Ian Liddell-Grainger, Bridgwater & Somerset West (£394.45)
Heather Wheeler, Derbyshire South (£392.00)
Geoffrey Cox, Devon West & Torridge (£387.12)
Kris Hopkins, Keighley (£371.33)
Jack Lopresti, Filton & Bradley Stoke (£366.68)
Caroline Nokes, Romsey & Southampton North (£363.30)
Chris Pincher, Tamworth (£350.60)
John Whittingdale, Maldon (£341.23)
Justin Tomlinson, Swindon North (£336.62)
Mark Reckless, Rochester & Strood (£334.71)
Alec Shelbrooke, Elmet & Rothwell (£326.30)
Robert Goodwill, Scarborough & Whitby (£320.73)
Glyn Davies, Montgomeryshire (£297.08)
Stephen Crabb, Preseli Pembrokeshire (£286.24)
Duncan Hames, Chippenham (£284.87)
Jo Swinson, Dunbartonshire East (£284.85)
Dr Andrew Murrison, Wiltshire South West (£284.48)
Anne-Marie Morris, Newton Abbot (£274.86)
David Rutley, Macclesfield (£267.64)
Martin Vickers, Cleethorpes (£265.08)
Peter Bone, Wellingborough (£263.84)
Peter Lilley, Hitchin & Harpenden (£262.33)
Chris Skidmore, Kingswood (£260.14)
Graham Stuart, Beverley & Holderness (£246.71)
Simon Kirby, Brighton Kemptown (£244.84)
Stephen Gilbert, St Austell & Newquay (£242.79)
Nadine Dorries, Bedfordshire Mid (£235.68)
Robert Buckland, Swindon South (£234.92)
Gavin Williamson, Staffordshire South (£228.89)
Alun Cairns, Vale of Glamorgan (£225.39)
Tim Loughton, Shoreham & Worthing East (£221.18)
David Ruffley, Bury St Edmunds (£217.17)
David Morris, Morecambe & Lunesdale (£213.23)
Mike Weatherley, Hove (£212.85)
Julian Brazier, Canterbury (£210.00)
Norman Baker, Lewes (£208.31)
Jessica Lee, Erewash (£198.44)
Sir Alan Beith, Berwick-upon-Tweed (£195.46)
David Heath, Somerton & Frome (£192.96)
Julian Sturdy, York Outer (£183.34)
Simon Wright, Norwich South (£183.29)
Penny Mordaunt, Portsmouth North (£180.54)
Steve Webb, Thornbury & Yate (£172.59)
David Amess, Southend West (£155.53)
Jeremy Wright, Kenilworth & Southam (£153.75)
Neil Parish, Tiverton & Honiton (£151.65)
Gordon Birtwistle, Burnley (£149.23)
Ed Vaizey, Wantage (£144.00)
Andrew Bingham, High Peak (£142.12)
Ben Wallace, Wyre & Preston North (£139.24)
Adrian Sanders, Torbay (£130.38)
Greg Clark, Tunbridge Wells (£129.60)
Sir Menzies Campbell, Fife North East (£127.06)
Aidan Burley, Cannock Chase (£124.31)
John Pugh, Southport (£121.08)
Julian Huppert, Cambridge (£120.59)
Charlotte Leslie, Bristol North West (£120.06)
Brandon Lewis, Great Yarmouth (£102.23)
Andrew Stephenson, Pendle (£100.74)
Sir Alan Haselhurst, Saffron Walden (£90.20)
Mark Pawsey, Rugby (£81.00)
Michael Crockart, Edinburgh West (£71.27)
Michael Ellis, Northampton North (£70.27)
Mark Hoban, Fareham (£69.00)
Sir Robert Smith, Aberdeenshire West & Kincardine (£66.62)
Neil Carmichael, Stroud (£63.00)
Matthew Hancock, Suffolk West (£48.84)
Andrew Stunell, Hazel Grove (£41.85)
Stuart Andrew, Pudsey (£41.13)
Andrew Bridgen, Leicestershire North West (£36.53)
Annette Brooke, Dorset Mid & Poole North (£35.67)
Andrew Turner, Isle of Wight (£30.01)
Stephen Williams, Bristol West (£29.88)
Ian Swales, Redcar (£21.32)

If you are unfortunate enough to have any of these people as your representatives, you might consider writing them a letter asking them to explain how they intend to help those struggling to pay their bills and make mention of both their claim and their vote in this matter!

No Holes Barred Benefit Scrounging (By Millionaires)

Ever since the energy bills row kicked off last month, we’ve been waiting for a big story to break about MPs using their expenses claims to pay these bills. It just seemed so obvious, of course these out of touch self serving sycophants would claim back the cash they had to spend on such trivialities!

Well, today the Mirror lead their Sunday edition with an analysis of IPSA documents revealing that 340 MPs used the expenses system to cover their heating bills last year. (We’re pleasantly surprised that 309 MPs DIDN’T put a claim in!)

A full list has been published (complete with map) showing which elected representatives did make a claim and which ones didn’t HERE

Top of the expenses pops is Nadhim Zahawi, a millionaire Tory MP (are you surprised?) who claimed a staggering £5822.27 for his 30+ acre estate.

Well, we can imagine it’s probably quite chilly, being such a big house.

We’re more angry at the DOZENS of MPs who put in claims for bills that added up at less than 0.5% of their annual basic salary – a list of shame that includes Conservative David Davies, Lib Dem leader Nick Clegg and Shadow Health Secretary Andy Burnham.

However, the cheapskate crown is taken by Nic Dakin, the Labour MP for Scunthorpe. He put in a claim for £19.54, a whopping 0.02942948370383758% of his annual pay.

Perhaps these people should see if switching supplier can help cut their bills – well, our bills since we pay their wages!