"There never was a toff strategy. There was an early caricature designed to help us emphasise the difference between the leading protagonists." The plan might have succeeded but for "some useful Tory spin and cowardly criticism from within Labour's own ranks", he added. He denied the tactic was a dress rehearsal for a general election campaign. "The Prime Minister was not involved in devising or sanctioning any aspect of the campaign and those who gossiped never once spoke to me.
Is he for real? The toff line was used in every campaign leaflet, and I learned today that one of the two guys who followed David Cameron around wearing top hats works ... wait for it ... in the Number Ten Downing Street political office!
Labour is now in a place where, when one of them opens its fish gob, a lie swims out.
There is a certain logical sequence at work here.
The two little prats who who were dressed up as "toffs" had obviously been down to their local branch of Moss Bros and hired morning suits and top hats.
When do most men wear a morning suit and top hat?
Yes - a wedding.
What is one of the most popular gifts to give the happy couple?
FFS - this isn't "Family Fortunes"...
Well - here's a clue: it's the same present that the voters of Crewe and Nantwich gave to Gordon
This gang are beyond belief.
Spin, spin, spin...
Dunwoody did the same as McCabe at the count - claimed it was all just a bit of fun that livened up the campaign but she fought on the real issues really.
No she didn't.
Every leaflet I saw had that on, to the exclusion of almost everything else. When it wasn't calling Crewe's new MP (ah how good that reads!) Tory boy toff, it was calling him Thatcher boy con man.
It was vindictive, spiteful, childish, and patronising to the voters. And it lost big time - good.
I wonder if Steve McCabe can go for a piss without urinating all over himself. He seems to be quite the moron. Hopefully he'll run the GE campaign for Labour.
Are you paying Iain for being allowed to advertise your blog on this site?
Actually, Steve McCabe would be a credible new leader for Labour, when the time comes.
His communication skills are notable, as are his ability to reach out beyond the core vote to the centre ground, and the soundness of his judgement.
And as he points out, the toff tactic very nearly worked. So be nice to him, he could be in charge quite soon.
Steve McCabe is a first rate idiot.
He says the toff thing was "an early caricature designed to help us emphasise the difference between the leading protagonists."
What differences? I didn't get it and clearly neither did the voters. I'd like to see him answer how 'doctoring' a candidate's image with a Top Hat illuminates anything relevant to the people of C&N?
Crewe and Nantwich was easily the worse campaign of modern times... McCabe must be mightly pleased he's bagged himself a place in the record books with Gordon?
Instead of attempting rewrite history he should consider hanging his head in shame.
I am pleased to read him admitting they were worried about coming third - something I suggested was the case early in the campaign. But I don't believe his endless refrain that he alone was entirely responsible for the campaign... somehow I don't think Big G would have signed off on that plan, do you?
No he is not [serious], here he is taking "credit" for the 2008 budget.
How Stephen McCabe voted on key issues since 2001:
Look at his voting record on theyworkforyou. He clearly doesn't have a mind of his own and is a simple puppet of a stupid master...
* Voted very strongly against a transparent Parliament. votes, speeches
* Voted moderately for introducing a smoking ban. votes, speeches
* Voted strongly for introducing ID cards. votes, speeches
* Voted very strongly for introducing foundation hospitals. votes, speeches
* Voted strongly for introducing student top-up fees. votes, speeches
* Voted very strongly for Labour's anti-terrorism laws. votes, speeches
* Voted very strongly for the Iraq war. votes, speeches
* Voted very strongly against an investigation into the Iraq war. votes, speeches
* Voted very strongly for replacing Trident. votes, speeches
* Voted very strongly for the hunting ban. votes, speeches
Steve McCabe, who I have met occasionally, has always agreed with the old saying "Bullshit baffles brains".
In his case it may be true.
Losing C&N was bad enough for Labour, but don't ever ask them to admit that it was their fault.
Like every loss, it was to be expected, lessons have been learned, we are listening, it was mid term, nasty tory lies, we were only joking, and we didn't want to win anyway.
I was a beneficiary of a grammar school education when the Labour politicians (of the Gwynneth Dunwoody type) sought to raise me up. Twenty years later I was to find that the Labour politicians (Crosland/Williams eg) set out to reduce my children to a low common denominator in education. Do the politicos get it? People like me are resentful of this social manipulation.
No 'toff' or aspirant would have dirty shoes and a sloppy tie so that backfired leaving them in the gutter.
Oh please oh please oh please.Let them try the same tactic during the General Election ! They'll be absolutely "hammered" out of sight. That is if the Labour Party hasn't been "wound up" as insolvent and the whole lot of them haven't been made bankrupt before then starting with Brown !
...and either way Brown looks like a total muppet...
If he was involved and approved the campaign then he is a cynical, prejudiced, nasty little turd with no positive message to give.
If he was not - well then it makes you query the brain power of the man. This was their biggest and most important byelection ever. Can he really have have just disappeared for the duration?
I really don't know where to agree here. The Tory Toff campaign strategy, in any election never mind Crewe, should be a winning strategy in Labour strongholds. failing that, it should at least have enough punch to shore up the vote.
I saw almost entirely nothing but Labour posters and boards over the district I was working in. I saw nothing at all Conservative.
The strategy failed because of the timing of Gwyneth's death and Conservatives can dance all day long but that seat will come home.
My honest opinion is that the Labour campaign lacked spark. I saw a dead man attempt at winning the election. I know people personally who were directing resources and manpower around the Constituency and they will castigate me forever if I call them headless chickens. It's easy to run around with leaflets and posters but if there is no spark or imagination and willingness to fight, then the campaign dies.
I saw no personality in that fight. can I add once again that all over this Country, Labour were kicked very hard, everywhere and at every opportunity. Votes were in freefall.
Mine went up by 11%. Why?
Labour has failed everywhere according to Conservatives, Pensioners, families, you name it. 10p Tax, Petrol and food.
It's what you say and how you say it and that's why Crewe was lost.
I would have used the Toff strategy (if ever there was one) and I would have invented it if neccessary.I would have enjoyed myself and everyone would see that I was. It's called heart and belief and critics can go to hell.
Nulab are now incapable of even recognising the truth. Good.
"New Labour - New Lie"
"Lies, damn lies and Labour"
And so that's how you won your seat was it, Gary?
Gary Elsby:"The strategy failed because of the timing of Gwyneth's death..."
Translation: 'The rotten cow! How DARE she die at that moment that all hell was breaking loose and lose us an election...!'
That's going to win votes next time around...? I don't think so!
"an early caricature designed to help us emphasise the difference between the leading protagonists."
What was that difference he was talking about Gary? That one of them didn't wear a top hat and neither did the other one?
That rich people are Toffs Gary?
Are all rich people Toffs? like say Gary Neville, Cherie Blair, Lord Neil Kinnock?
Or are they the landed gentry like maybe Labour's bankroller David Sainsbury, Baron Sainsbury of Turville.
Is it beginning to sink in now Gary?
Labour people don't have to be poor,unless they continue to vote labour of course.
It was a shallow and vacuous campaign that betrayed a complete lack of ideas or ideals.
Gary Elsby, 10.15. Your post is a classic. Talk about prejudice! Try replacing 'toff' with 'nigger' - both words are equally offensive, after all - neither tells you anything about the individual. Your post only shows how you are prepared to judge an individual not on his/her merits but only on their background. For the rest of us, class and race are dead issues. We need to vote in the best people for the job - and knee-jerk prejudice rules someone out in my book.
Gary Elsby - your vote went up by 11%?
How many postal votes were involved? You do know that that is illegal? Not that that matters much to Labour...
Anyway, you still lost!
Now f*** off and go back to LabourHome or whatever other rock you crawled out from under.
Don't worry Iain. Only readers of The Guardian and watchers of the BBC will believe such twaddle. They're engaged in a conversation with themselves, mostly about how to rectify everyone else's false consciousness. They'll still be at it in 2020 (the year Gordon's "vision" was supposed to bear fruit) and may just get another Blair thereafter. This time though, we must MUST MUST stop the enemy within the state broadcaster, the universtities and social services et al. We didn't do that before and it was ready to come and impose its vile totalitarianism on us the moment Labour got back in. We must get rid of the deliberate wreckers who live in the state sector for they only care about bringing about revolution.
PS - Come on Tigers! Off down the pub for a bracer now.
Ben said, "The toff tactic very nearly worked".
Do you mean that if the toff tactic had not been used, Labour would have done much worse at Crewe?
How do you know it "very nearly" worked?
Remind me, are you the same man who was beaten by the BNP? Strange you forgot to mention that one, when your campaign was so successful.
Little Black Sambo: I was attempting to be satirical.
Steve McCabe is reported as saying that 'the plan might have succeeded'.
I hope someone in the Conservative campaign office did what I always do with opposition literature here (and not only at elections) which is to keep a copy on file, along with its date of going out and coverage area where known.
That so often provides useful "ammo" when those parties try to claim something that patently was not the case. I have done this myself on numerous occasions (easy here, as the two opposition parties are very rarely honest about anything!) and they have never been able to counter my efforts.
Works for me -- should work just as well for others.
Ben: so sorry, I am being dense.
On the other hand, it would be fair to mention that the few remaining members of the Labour Party are mainly riffraff determined to push everyone else even lower than themselves.
Fortunately, the good people of Stoke are electing bnp members to ensure the nulab scum can never succeed.
Yes,I do think that the timing of Gwyneth's death came at a bad time for Labour. It's not unusual for political incumbents to fail the mid term test and her death came very mid term, to say the least.
Granted, to change the word Toff for nigger could show up duplicity and crassness but I guarantee you that if you ever follow me around with a flat cap, whippet and meat pie, I will dress similar and enjoy the theatrics.
Yes, I was beaten by the BNP and to those very same people who were full paged in yesterday's SUN newspaper.
One an open Holocaust denier (6M Jewish people didn't die in WW2, it was only 3000 with coughs and colds). The other is their leader who is shrewd enough to push for growth. I will possibly be facing him if I choose to stand.
I will defeat him in 2010.
99.99% of Tories will not face a Nazi, locally, but I know you have no answers if you do.Ignoring them or calling them 'racists'(oooh, that hurt)will mean you lose.
Crewe was lost due to lack of spark and not the desire to work. I saw lifelesness and I should have witnessed energy and personality.Crewe was dodgy ground and Labour (it is alleged) ran scared of third place.Enter the sibling.
Huh? Forgive me but what happened to wanting to win!?
To the simpleton who writes talking up the BNP to Nulab scum, I would suggest he reads the Governance Commission's report into how local authorities should counter the rise of Nazi's.
Remember that Nazi's wear better suits than Tories and could ever be afforded by we in the gutter.
They want to build hospitals, care homes and schools and will promote White british jobs for White British workers.They hate law breakers and will deliver justice.
The commission wnats Cameron, Clegg and Brown to take over local elections and hold all ourt elections every four years. The plan is to make local councils more like mini Parliaments.
Labour is on the front line fighting Fascism in inner cities like mine, and then only some of us. Especially me!
Nazi's will grow by 100% every election and Dave stands by.
Gary Elsby enemy of Stoke said...
"calling them 'racists'(oooh, that hurt)"
Is this an admission that you are a violent thug?
"Labour is on the front line fighting Fascism in inner cities like mine, and then only some of us. Especially me!"
Face it Elsby, you and your type are the bad guys. English people have seen through your self-serving snouts-in-trough twaddle, and they've had enough of it. Your day has gone. Build a raft and float away to Cuba.
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