And Labour will win the world cup again in ....

Anthony Barnett
Anthony Barnett
29 June 2010

There is a wonderfully clever, cunning piece on Labour Uncut by Anthony Painter applying ten lessons from English football to Labour's contest for a new manager/team captain. The latter is depressing in its narrowness and predictability. Anthony Painter's post is uplifting while sobering, because its a real overview and takes the Conservatives and their strategy seriously. Here is a taster:

I’m not saying passion doesn’t matter. It does. But it needs to be controlled and directed passion built on sound foundations... Labour’s message was wrong at the last election... It wasn’t that Labour was not loud enough because of lack of cash to amplify the message. It was the wrong message. Shouting louder will not change the outcome. Passion is important but in no way is it sufficient.

... Don’t fear your opponents, but be honest about them. It is the only chance you have of adapting and in politics, unlike football, if they are in government, they control the agenda.

... German football was facing crisis by the latter part of the 1990s. They had a strategy for recovery. The German side now looks very different to the German side of a decade ago.... Labour introduced all women shortlists and stopped there. Instead, it should actively widen the pool of talent in all respects: gender, ethnicity, class, and professional background. Not only did it fail to do that... If the Labour party doesn’t open up, loosen up, be prepared to experiment, and build a different type of party, then it will end up with a narrowing and ageing party, whatever eye-catching ‘movement’ initiatives it launches. Like the FA, the Labour party is a relic from another, more elitist time....

It's well worth a read.

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