I just read Peter Milner's blog entry and realise the importance of keeping the Centre ground. A swing to the Right would isolate and upset our traditional and loyal members and supporters whilst a swing back to the Left would destroy the converted middle-class vote for New Labour. Occupying the Centre was crucial to our success in 1997, it retained our traditional working-class vote or "core" as the media likes to refer to it as and it won over the votes of millions of middle-class voters disillusioned with the tired, wasted Conservative Party.
I have logged on to this website membersnet after a very long while of having had no interest whatsoever in this site or in the Labour Party. During my time as a member of this party (I joined in 2007 not long after Gordon Brown became party leader and Prime Minister) I have been completely inactive as far as campaiging and even popping into the local "Labour and Trades Club" here is involved, but this was due to mixed feelings and emotions.
There have been times I regretted coming into this party, which my family have always supported and voted for going way back. My nan remembers when Attlee and the post-war Labour government came to power in 1945 she said what a happy time that was, she has voted Labour at every single G.E. ever since. My father (a former steelworker) has also been a loyal Labour voter since he was first able to vote in the 1960s (but became disillusioned in the early 2000s as did my nan). I think so many people in this party myself included (I am not saying most, but many) have had really low times when we have felt why do we bother.
Let me say this. Despite the many things New Labour have done that I have disagreed with as have so many others...some of the policies and decisions I would say are actually terrible and have damaged the party...despite all of them, the positive achievments which the Labour government has achieved over the past 12 years far outweigh those bad things. Now with the threat of a Conservative government coming to power I realise the importance of voting for this party.
I really hope Gordon Brown or a senior figure within the PLP is reading this (I should be so lucky). I just want the leadership of the party to know that despite public anger and even anger within the party at constituency level, I for one am still going to give you my vote if it will prevent a Conservative government coming in to office. I just hope at the next G.E. that you will campaign hard and effortlessly reminding people of the proud acheivments we have made as a party in government (minimum wage as just one example) please let the electorate who may be tempted to vote Conservative aware that the Tories will possibly do away with the minimum wage. I know it sounds bad but make people feel scared and afraid of a Conservative government (because I actually am). And it is so important to reach out to all voters regardless of class, not prioritising one over the other.
If you remind people of your government's achievements (which the Tories would never have made) and show the people you are still that party which cares (many people I am sorry to say think you in the PLP don't give a damn) then we as a party, can win that deserved 4th term in office and keep the evil, unchanged, right-wing Conservative Party out.