Whoever the next Labour leader is, they need to be sure of one thing, real change. For a chance at winning the next election, the Labour Party need to be clear on five things.
The first, hope. For too long the Labour Party has wallowed in despair. While austerity rips this country apart, voters do not want to hear how awful their lives are, they want to hear about how great they can be. Shocking figures like the one fifth of working people in the UK that lives in poverty, might damn the Tories, but they also show that 4 in 5 working people are not in poverty. Labour cannot just win the votes of the desperate, they’ve got to win across the economic spectrum and that is going to need a clear message of hope and opportunity.
Second, pride in our past. Connected with hope, we need to show that Labour can govern and has governed well. We will get nowhere if we continue to bombard the one Prime Minister we’ve had in recent history with criticism. Let’s stop the infighting and factionalism and remind people of what a Labour government can achieve as the credible Party of equality and opportunity, and not just a Party of protest.
Third, trust. Corbyn and his policies were not trusted by the electorate. The electorate will not be fooled, so, however ambitious and radical our domestic and foreign policies are, we must provide the electorate with a leader that they can trust to do the things that their manifesto sets out to do.
Fourth, national appeal and patriotism. Gone are the days when the shadow cabinet can hail from neighbouring London constituencies. If we want national appeal, the top of the party needs to reflect that. Accusations of London elitism need to be crushed with a healthy does of national pride and devolution policies. Although the Labour Party will struggle to beat the Tories on patriotism, we cannot be anti-patriotic. Voters will not respect a Party that does not respect the country and so our patriotism must be unfaltering.
Finally, strength. Ultimately, we need to show people that we can lead the country. Whatever the next leader’s political ideologies are, they must be a stellar messenger for the whole country. We need clarity and conviction in everything we say and do, from combating antisemitism once and for all, to destroying the Tories across the dispatch box as the credible opposition Party and finally, in our united, patriotic and practical position on Scotland staying in the United Kingdom.
Image: Sophie Brown via Wikimedia Commons