You could say Labour's performance last night on welfare deform leaves something to be desired..The party split ,lost the initiative to the SNP and even the Libs and ended up looking both divided and wrong.
Poor Harriet thought we'd lost the election because we didn't look competent and by competence she means tough enough on the plangeant poor. She's wrong of course. We lost because we didn't offer hope and because the Tories created a scare about Scotland. The question of competence can only arise if you're offering something.
We bovine Brits will put up with anything but by highlighting the disastrous effect of these mean malevolent changes on working mums, young people,poverty and those who have to move house because of the housing benefit cuts and all working on low wages who lose money there will be an altruistic reaction. Things shouldn't be this way in a civilised country and no society treats is youngsters this badly. The English don't particularly like each other but they don't like to see suffering and there's going to be a lot of that among those least able to cope. That's going to build up and change the mood of the country
It's not too difficult to look at a bill and say does it do more damage then good.. This bill did implement a few ideas from our manifesto (some of which shouldn't have been there) but to abrogates more principles such as support for third and later children its living wage is a phoney rebranding of the minimum and it does so much vicious and unnecessary damage that it should have been opposed at birth and all the excuses for abstaining look like the pathetic and phoney double talk of creeps. Which they are. The new MPs shouldn't have been conditioned to this.
To add to that the government's vaunted recovery (which is the Bank of England's in fact) is already petering out,exports are suffering,interest rates will rise making everything worse and the vicious and unnecessary cuts across the departments are going to produce a real deterioration in the quality of life as well as the abandonment of more of the promises for imrpovement held out in the electioon
Have faith. This government is going to fail.But if Labour betrays its role as the protector of the people the reaction against that failure won't necessarily come our way. Things can only get better. But they'd better do so PDQ