Ukip

Lessons learnt on the doorstep for Labour

First published on the Times Redbox

This Sunday I ventured to the Stoke-on-Trent Central constituency with a car full of people. I was keen to do my bit to help Gareth Snell, a friend from my Labour Students days, and Labour’s campaign more generally.

In these heartbreaking times it is important to remember there is no factionalism in doorknocking and despite the feeling that Labour is dying in front of our eyes, most Labour activists like each other and love this party. (more…)

An unrest being fuelled not quelled

First published on ProgressOnline

It all feels very personal. It is not that I cannot believe it or that I hate my fellow country-folk. But I do worry about what our country is becoming. Leaving the European Union is a body blow to Britain, as we are seeing in the markets. I respect the decision but think it was a very wrong one for everyone.

On the tube this morning a group of friends were talking about Brexit, Boris and Trump in the same worrying breath. A mixed race guy told his friend that he ‘felt like an illegal immigrant in his own country’. The first cross word I have ever had with my grandma was over this divisive referendum and Facebook seems full of families arguing about who took what side. There is an unrest in the air that this decision is fuelling not quelling. (more…)

The 80 per cent strategy

Progress editorial | First published on Progressonline

The political establishment is running scared. The United Kingdom Independence party is a phenomenon that it barely understands and cannot quite work out how to outmanoeuvre, let alone outsmart.

While Ukip has given those who do not vote, or reluctantly vote for a mainstream party, somewhere to go, the party has real and present limits to its support base. It might not have reached it yet, but it sits around the 20 per cent mark.

Herein lies the opportunity to win a majority at the next election. Twenty per cent of the electorate may be leaning Ukip, but the rest are not, and there is no party that provokes greater antipathy than Nigel Farage’s. The leader best able to represent and lead the ‘anyone-but-Ukip’ vote has a prize waiting at the end. (more…)

Beating the Brexit cyber-bullies

First published on Progressonline

Demos, in their recent work in association with Creative Commons looking at voter engagement across Europe, has some important recommendations for anyone worried about the health of our democracy. The report, debated under the hashtag #LikeShareVote, took a particular interest in social media and how it shapes and influences the debate.

The report found that ‘anti-EU populists dominated conversations on Twitter’, which only confirms what most will already know or assume. In addition it was found that ‘policies are discussed, but primarily through the lens of individual personalities.’ These two phenomena are worrying and sound remarkably like the situation in Scotland back in the run up to September.

If Britain gets itself into a referendum on EU membership, the Brexit cyberbullies might be to the next parliament, what the cybernats have been to this. (more…)

Politics is a team sport

First published on Progressonlne

This Saturday the three seat challenge team has ditched its plans and is heading down to Medway to help Naushabah Khan fight Mark Reckless, who ditched the Tories for the United Kingdom Independence party. We have always kept Lab3seats – think the three peaks, but a Labour doorstep version for three candidates – to the 106 target seats, but we thought it was important to go and help get Labour into the race.

(more…)