Things are just going from bad to worse for the government, it would be an immense misreading of the situation for New Labour ministers to dismiss this result as simply mid-term blues. The Prime Minister's relaunch after the disaster of the local elections has proved to be totally ineffective. This result demonstrates the overwhelming anger and contempt in which New Labour is now held by our traditional supporters - John McDonnell MP.
Labour needs to scrap this pro-market neo-liberal Tory nonsense, and start going in the right (and by right, I mean left) direction. The 2008 May Manifesto would be a good start:
- Nailing the 10p tax mistake by the introduction of a fair tax system removing the low paid from taxation and ensuring the wealthiest and corporations pay their fair share
- An increase in the basic state pension, immediately restoring the link with earnings, lifting people off means tested benefits and providing free care for the elderly
- An immediate start on a large scale council house building programme and assistance for those facing repossession
- Immediate end to programme of local Post Office closures and liberalisation of postal services
- An end to the privatisation of our public services
- A new pay deal for public sector workers to protect their living standards and tackle low pay
- Abolishing tuition fees and restoring maintenance grants for all students
- Scrapping ID cards and abandoning 42 days detention
- Introduction of a trade union freedom bill and measures to protect temporary and agency workers
- Rejecting the proposals to renew Trident
And may I suggest a few things to go on that list. Minimum wage of at least £7.50, funding councils from central government, and no more imperialist wars, we should be using our armed forces to defend the people of Venezuela and other countries and not guaranteeing lucrative contracts for US corporations.