One other remark by Douglas Alexander this week, which we kept out of the magazine interview for reasons of space, but which shines a bit of light on how Labour will be preparing for the general election campaign over the coming months. Speaking minutes after this week’s session of the “political cabinet”, which Alexander opened with an election strategy presentation, he said:
At the PLP I was talking about how we will develop our campaign in the months ahead. January provides us with the opportunity to make clear the significant choice between a government working for the recovery, and the very real risk to the recovery posed by the Conservatives.
Because the economy is dominating the national conversation, I think it’s right that we’ve started the new year talking about the contrast between ourselves and the Conservatives on the economy. I think by next month we need to have expanded that conversation to make clear that there are also fundamental choices between a party that would cut quicker, deeper and more damagingly into our public services and a Labour Party determined to protect front-line public services while halving the deficit over four years.
And then I think we need to move on to a campaign focused on the future, because people don’t vote for you out of gratitude; they vote for you in terms of the offer that you can make.