There were 2 big stories last week that TPN wanted to cover but couldn’t muster the writers to do so. Boris Johnson’s comments on Burkas and Friday’s business news including the UK’s 0.4% growth and the announcement manufacturing had gone into recession.
Boris’ comments were offensive but clever. The lack of knowledge on Islam in this country breeds mistrust and fear, and Boris has fed on these to make comments that according to a sky poll 60 percent of the public think aren’t racist. The really scary stat in that data is that 59% believe the Burka should be banned. And this is data that the Labour media team should know about. Yes his comments are offensive but they will not top the polls of voters political priorities. Economic management is currently 2nd, just behind the NHS. Yet the Conservatives were able to hide their fallings behind racist remarks.
The news that growth was only 0.4% and that our manufacturing sector had slid into recession should have been the news Labour were pushing. The widening trade deficit and struggling manufacturing sector show one thing clearly. Theresa May’s Brexit plan is completely inadequate. Labour must convince voters on economics, and that starts with showing voters that Austerity and Tory fiscal policy is killing economic growth, especially wage growth. Workers have just lived through the most desolate decade on record for GDP growth.
The statistics on GDP growth for austerity are dire reading, whilst the stats for wage growth are just as poor.
But Labour always seem resistant to talk about economic management, it’s baffling when Corbynite economic plans have worked in nations like Portugal. Labour needs to go after the self-interest vote far more than they currently do, and that works by convincing the vast majority of people that their policies will bring an end to the misery of low economic growth.
Economic policies will always win over more voters than social ideology. Labour remain untrusted with the economy, they need to be out there talking up their economic vision instead of fighting uphill PR battles against bigots. This matters, especially to the 16 million workers who have less than £100 in the bank. These aren’t just numbers, this is missed rent and evictions from housing. This is parents skipping meals to feed their children. Labour must engage in the economic debate and know that improving lives by economics can help destroy the culture of scapegoating that leads to horrible discrimination towards migrants and Muslims in this country.