UEA Paper

A short article for new UEA paper, the studentviewspaper.

What Labour needs to do to win the next General Election

If Labour is successfully to challenge for power at the next General Election it now has to find answers to three questions:

  • Why did Labour lose the 2010 General Election?

  • How should Labour best oppose this Conservative-led Coalition government?

  • How should it position itself to win the next General Election?

My answers to these questions are clear and related:


Labour lost the 2010 General Election because we did not set out a clear vision for the future with a credible explanation of how we would get there. We did not confront the reality of the economic and political situation we were in and deliberately evaded some of the hard choices which should have been made. The electorate understood that and were not prepared to give us their confidence, despite a lack of belief in the Conservative alternative, as shown by the Conservative inability to secure an overall Parliamentary majority.


Labour can best oppose this current Conservative-led government by presenting its own vision of the future. It is not enough simply to oppose the bad things which the Government is doing, such as their public spending cuts which are too early, too deep and too indiscriminate, or their half-baked plans to reform health, universities, immigration, education and the police which will all fail.


Labour is simply not heard in its criticisms of these government mistakes unless we have positive believable proposals of our own, which currently we completely lack.


And finally Labour has to position itself to win the next General Election as the political party which does not hark back to the achievements of the past but which can address the challenges of the future. I would particularly identify the challenges of environmental sustainability, of a healthier and ageing population, of accelerating globalisation and increased global movement of finance, capital and people, and of increased scientific and technological change.


Charles Clarke


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