The macho, testosterone-soaked nature of politics that views volunteers and junior staff members as “fair game” exists in every party and in the industry that has sprung up around politics. It infects the whole of politics to a certain degree.
Yesterday Ed Miliband gave a very important speech. It has been described as a game changer. In terms of policy, he made an audacious raid onto the Lib Dems territory with his claiming of the mansion tax. As Ed has always said, Labour doesn’t have a monopoly on good ideas and the mansion tax is one.
There’s a phrase I like to use a lot; “let’s not make the perfect the enemy of the good”.
I’ve been thinking about that phrase this past week. About why I use it so often and about why its use is so frequently necessary.
I’m not sure I have a singular ideology.
This has been an incredible week for me. I must first of all express my gratitude to David Clark and Tom Sadler for offering me the opportunity to edit Shifting Grounds for the week, and for giving me the freedom to shape women’s week as I saw fit.
This week we’ve had a true variety of content from a true variety of women.
This is a post about political engagement. Except it really isn’t. Or at least it really shouldn’t be. The fact that we in politics actually use terms like social mobility and political engagement shows how far we have to go before we achieve any such thing. Because people at the sharp end don’t talk like that.
There are plenty of reasons for those of us on the left to dislike the Daily Mail. Their tin-eared coverage of race and immigration issues and their columnists espousing hateful attitudes – from the mania of Liz Jones to just about everything ever written by Samantha Brick or Richard Littlejohn.
This is a moment Ed needs to grasp. Cameron’s ratings are slipping and Labour’s lead in the polls is stabilising, but we need something big to really start to build positive Labour support.
Ed has so far been clear that he doesn’t want to over-promise and under-deliver, and I agree that Labour cannot and should not promise the earth.