Labour has won the policy war but is still the underdog
The 1997 Labour pledge card helped simplify the party’s policies for voters, and was a clever tool for Tony Blair, who asked voters to keep the card so that they could hold him to his word. Since then, all parties have used pledge cards to both promote their ideas and to attack the opposition. For this year’s election, Labour have announced their “ten pledges” accompanied by a YouTube video, and have sent elderly voters a “Pensioner’s Pledge card". I thought I would have a go at both a general Labour pledge card, and an attack card that they might want to stick on the back. Here goes:
Labour pledge card:
- Abolish tuition fees
- Nationalise the railways
- A national investment bank to address regional disparities
- A million new homes to be built in five years
- Raise taxes on the wealthiest to pay for improvements to public services, including for more police officers
Conservative pledge card:
- A demential tax
- An end to free school lunches
- Repeal the fox hunting ban
- Hard Brexit
- Raise National Insurance on the self employed
Of course, if it were just down to these fancy gimmicks, the result would be a foregone conclusion. Labour's policies are liked by far more of the electorate. Yet we are still looking at a difficult time for Labour on election day. The following points form the basis of my very own "Reality Check Card", which prevents me from getting over enthusiastic about a Labour win:
1. The Tory media
2. Diane Abbott
3. Corbyn going "full Abbott" on Woman's Hour this morning.
4. "Strong and Stable Leadership" will ultimately cut though to where it needs to get to, regardless of how bored we all are of hearing Theresa May blabbering on about it.
5. Voting isn't compulsory and young people need to vote in record numbers for any Labour breakthrough. History is not on the party's side on this point.
Update post election:
I need to write a new reality check card; the Tories need a new manifesto.