I saw this post over at S&M a few days ago, but for some reason, I didn't post anything here about it.
I should have done, because it's something that everybody in the Labour Party should read and understand.
If - as seems a slight possibility - Labour don't win an outright majority at the next election, there may be some post-mortems.
This is item one on that agenda (with a failure to politicise the civil service as item two):
"It is not just the case that electorates choose governments. Governments also choose electorates, by building or facilitating the growth of client groups - people who believe that their self-interest lies in voting for the government, or failing that, people who are grateful for what government has given them.
This - rather than any bull about creating a free market economy - was Thatcher’s success: in selling council houses, she created a new clientele supportive of a Conservative government and its policies that fuelled house price inflation.
And it’s New Labour’s failure. Where are its client groups? Not in the public sector, whose workers, whilst better paid, are alienated by managerialism and job insecurity. Nor among benefit claimants, who are incessantly harassed and stigmatized.
Herein lies a point under-rated by all the talk about the future of the left. A key part of the task for the post-New Labour party must be to reshape the electorate, creating client groups loyal to it."
Why John Cruddas thinks it's all a matter of communiations and tone is beyond me.