"Don't punish us for the mistakes of the Prime Minister" say activists - Then deal with him!
It looks like the chaos that is the Labour Party local election campaign is unravelling already. The Blair effect is being felt on the ground.
In some areas the party has also resorted to 'stealth' leaflets that do not appear to come from the party - including a letter to voters in north London purporting to come from a man living near by, urging them to vote for his 'old friend', the Labour candidate, despite reservations over the war on Iraq. Electoral register searches reveal nobody of that name listed at his supposed address...
Much of the election material, particularly in London, Labour's toughest battleground, does not even mention the party. 'It's every man for himself,' said one veteran activist in the capital. 'Some leaflets are basically saying "don't punish us for the mistakes of the Prime Minister".'
And therein lies the problem with Labour.
"Don't punish us for the mistakes of the Prime Minister"
When are the Labour Party going to get it? This far down the line is is not possible to seperate the leadership from the government and the party. If you stand under the Labour banner, then you are part of it. You are responsible for it. You pay subs to support it, you knock doors to argue for it.
We the great unwashed can only chose the party of government, it is the Labour Party who choose their leader, the PM. The Labour Government couldn't govern in the way that it does without the support of the parliamentary or constituency party.
The Labour Party need to know that untill they clean up their own mess, as Party members they are responsible for it on a local as well as a national level.
It is often said that local elections should be about local issues [comments], and that people shouldn't advocate using them to 'punish' HMG for international or national issues.
But that cuts both ways - if councillors are prepared to stand on their own merits, as independents, they can still work to a local agenda, voting with their local party on local matters.
If they are not prepared to stand on their merits - and party members and activists at whatever level are not prepared to deal with the mess that is the so called Labour Government, then there will be an increasing amount of us saying "Don't Vote Labour!"
Don't Vote Labour Posters and Badges now available:)
[And here's the Flash clip if you missed it last time]