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I find it so refreshing that my local socialist bigwigs are working their socks off to host these meetings, and earn a nice salary from them at the same time!

Who said grime never pays!

Editor: Where & when is Alan giving the speech?

Only half of Labour members think the results last week were bad!? Hilarious!

Well Alan Duncan isn't telling us anything we don't already know. The question is whether is message is wildly disseminated, whether the political pundits fairly assess it, and whether it will make any difference to those with deeply entrenched left wing view points. NuLab's and indeed OldLab's faithful are probably indifferent to Alan's message, so he is in fact preaching to an element of the floating voter.
As regards the elections, the fact that Labour don't regard the results as bad, is a reflection of the damage limitation exercise that they put in place some tme ago, lowering expectations of victory and raising the spectre of a wipe-out.
Even in defeat and retreat NuLab enjoy a quantifiable superiority in the spin and propaganda department.

If he's going to talk to Sovereign Strategy he might like to throw in a reference to why regional assemblies are such a stupid idea and only an idiot would support them. In 2004 Alan Donnelly (Executive Chairman of SS, ex-Labour MEP) was one of the big noises behind the Yes 4 The North East Campaign (lost by 22% to 78%). Not very sovereign; not much strategy.

"...half of them believe the elections results last week were bad..."


I agree with all the points highlighted by Alan Duncan but he forgets the one most damning example of why Brown will be a bad PM. He simple lacks the statesman like quality that all PM's what ever your personal politics should possess. He may have written a book about courage but he has failed to display the trait himself at any time during the last 10 years. He has failed to appear in public in times of national need and to defend his own governments policies especially when they are being held up to scrutiny.
He prefers to stay in his bunker and consult advisers and focus groups before he is forced to or can confidently issue a statement. If he can't take responsibility for his role in Blair's government I don't see being able to do it in his own.

Depends what you mean by 'bad'. They are clearly not 'good' but if Labour were going to lose in 2009, you'd expect the mirror image of the 1994 results, where the governing party were trounced out of sight.

That simply hasn't happened here.

"if Labour were going to lose in 2009, you'd expect the mirror image of the 1994 results, where the governing party were trounced out of sight. "

Well, no you wouldn't. You'd only expect that if you were expecting a win by the same margin as Labour won in 1997.

comstock - this isn't the 1990's.
In 1992 John Major got the highest number of votes ever cast for a party in a GE and 42% of the votes abour 0.3% down on previous election. The catastrophic losses of the 90's were from a high base.

In 2005 Blair won with 35% of the vote a fall of 5.5%. The gains of the 90's in local seats were already being reversed. So in 2006 and 2007 Tories made gains with Labour vote shares already low - there was never going to be a catastrophic loss because many seats had already been lost since 2000.

The danger for the Tories now is that Labours votes in locals have reached their lowest - next year any wins will be much harder as they will be against low Labour and healthier Tory shares.

Brown also reduced Britain's growth rate since 2001, by forcing Britain's top companies to abandon investment and top up their pension pots - the ones he had raided, causing a collapse in share values, and muti-billion pension laibility deficits.

Looks like neo-endogenous growth was not enough to make up for Gordon's greasy paw in your savings. Brown didn't just destroy your pension, and double your council tax. He lowered your wage - as well as taxing it more with higher National Ins.

It sickens me that Brown is credited with helping Britain's growth rate when he's the barmy idiot who knocked it down to European levels. Without Brown we would have been up there with Australia, Canada and the USA growing at 4% with interest rates and inflation contained by increasing productivity.

It's amazing that people listen at all to Brown's rhetoric. It doesn't match the reality. Brown put Britain inh the slow lane

I'm no expert on economics, Tapestry, but I think the idea has been slow but sustainable growth rather than 'boom and bust'.

The trouble with a rapidly growing economy is it can start to contract just as rapidly.............

Keith and I are going to the Alan Duncan speech tonight, are any other Conservative Home people going? At least we will be going if I can get away from work in time!

Tapestry, well said.

In the FT today it said that take-home pay is rising at 3.6% and RPI is running at 4.8%. So a lot of people are getting worse off.

And this nonsense about employment being higher than ever, unemployment now is much the same as in the worst years under Thatcher/Major, when there were real economic difficulties world-wide, unlike today where on the whole things are going pretty well world-wide.

True unemployment is just masked by nearly one million more public sector pseudo-jobs since 1997 and foul trickery like shuffling two million people off onto "Incapacity benefit".

...if Labour were going to lose in 2009, you'd expect the mirror image of the 1994 results...

Local and national elections have a very different character, and so does the support for each party. Odd though it sounds, I don’t think you can draw direct comparisons between parties or election types.

Comparing a party with its historical performance is probably more informative. Labour’s performance in local elections has been in continuous decline since 1996. It’s not clear whether Labour’s support has yet hit rock-bottom but, with only 4,600 councillors, their current low is almost 2,000 worse than the previous low, which was 6,500 in 1978.

Conservatives, by contrast, have every reason to be optimistic. We’ve had twelve years of steady growth in the number of councillors, with no reason to suppose we’re at the end of that growth. Currently we are at the same high level of local support that we had in 1985.

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