James Forsyth

A conference that changed nothing

A conference that changed nothing
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The red flag has been sung and the delegates are heading home. But no one I’ve spoken to believes that this conference has really changed anything. Labour is still heading for defeat at the next election.  

Perhaps, the biggest thing to come out of this conference is that Labour’s relations with the media are rapidly heading back to where they were in the days of Neil Kinnock. The party is in a rage at both the BBC and Sky News and seems intent on picking a fight with News International. If Labour does carry on running against the media, the only winner will be the Tories.

Labour is also falling into that other delusion that parties that are heading for defeat do: believing that no one would vote for the other lot if they knew what they were really like. The fact is that the public, while not as enthusiastic as they were about Blair in the ‘90s, like Cameron. Labour won’t turn that round by pretending that Dan Hannan is the real face of David Cameron. Labour also needs its own positive message to sell. Trying to scare people about the Tories won’t be enough after, what will be by the time of the election, 13 years of Labour government.