Gavin Maclure's Musings

My take on politics locally, nationally and internationally

Old Labour takes charge of Ipswich


Contrary to some other blogs, the Liberal Democrat collapse was not the only reason Ipswich fell to the Socialists at the Local Elections on Thursday.  Labour also managed to find supporters who do not always come out at every election, indicating they had a good Get Out The Vote (GOTV) campaign.  And when I say good, I mean they concocted a series of “cuts” lies, cleverly confused County and Borough and generally did well at scaring people to vote Labour.

The Tory vote held up, which is encouraging for Conservative Party members like me, but it does seem a tactical error was made for Ipswich Conservatives to just concentrate on winning Rushmere and Whitehouse.  Our message also has to be questioned: if your opponents are playing dirty, you can’t just take the moral high ground, you have to take the battle to them and that means going negative.  This is not 2005, when going negative would only have served to increase Conservative losses under Michael Howard’s leadership, but 2011. We are now in a different political ballpark. Something which should have been remembered by the Tory high command during the General Election campaign – but that is for another day.

The Local Elections in Ipswich were always going to be very difficult for the Conservatives.  A perfect storm was in place for Labour to win power, with the Liberal collapse, Andrea Hill factor and the “cuts” narrative.  There is not much you can do in this situation other than defend what you have got already.

As we head into a new working week, Labour will be gearing up to enter Grafton House to try and start implementing their Socialist Utopia.  This will inevitably lead to greater borrowing and debt (which Cllr John Carnall skillfully reduced during his tenure as Finance Portfolio Holder) and higher council tax. Not something any right-minded person will be looking forward to as we head back to work to pay for Labour’s excess (past and future).


Author: gavinmaclure

IT professional; political blogger, former Conservative councillor

3 thoughts on “Old Labour takes charge of Ipswich

  1. Gavin,You are probably right that you should have worked in more than two wards but I feel 'you did play dirty' the last leaflet put out in Rushmere Ward was nasty – and most residents saw it for what it was – negative.Even in the wards you did work, their seened a reluctance to talk to all residents. County issues were important and Liz Harsant and the Borough Conservatives can't say 'don't blame us' when Clly Terry is a cabinet member on the County and a further number of her Cllrs also serve on the County Council (and voted for the NSD budget)

  2. Interesting. It certainly seems that you are right in that it wasn't just a collapsing Lib Dem vote that caused the big swing to Labour.However it seems really unlikely that the Government will allow Council tax to rise. They (essentially) didn't this year so why would they next year?And on the District issue the Tories can't have it every which way! As Alasdair says there are several District Cllrs who are also on the County Council. Jane Storey, Acting SCC Leader just won a seat on Mid Suffolk and told the EADT:“We always want to work with the districts and the boroughs because that is the best way to make savings.“As part of the unitary bid we identified that we could make savings if we all worked together and I think that is possibly something we haven’t concentrated on which we should have concentrated on.”The County has also been trying to get Districts to take on services such as waste tips and even lollipop controls.I am not opposed to County and District working closely together but you can hardly then blame voters or other parties for linking the issues together.

  3. Mr Ross says the last leaflet the tories put out in Rushmere was nasty?? This coming from the party who posted a leaflet attacking Ben Gummer on expenses that his father had claimed during the election last year because they couldnt find anything dirt to direct at Ben himself. Labour box clever but they also box dirty, very dirty.

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