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Daily catch-up: the lesson of defeat, ‘let’s try the same again only a bit more’

Plus a timely QTWTAIN and some updates from the Moose

John Rentoul
Wednesday 27 May 2015 09:51 BST

1. At last, I thought, now there can be no doubt about the way forward for the Labour Party. Ed Miliband was a phase the minority of the party had to go through to get lalaland economics and Swedeny daydreams out of its system.

Crushing defeat in the election makes it as clear as it can be that Labour will win only as a centrist party.

How naive of me.

The myth of the right cause, wrong leader, started to form almost immediately. You could call it the Polly Toynbee thesis. Labour’s policies were popular, she says, it was just that Miliband wasn’t good at selling them. It is unfair to single her out: there is a lot of it about. But you would have thought these people would have the decency if not to re-examine their beliefs at least to stop foisting them on the rest of us for five minutes.

Leo Barasi has a good response to Toynbee on Labour List. Sometimes, he points out, in the absence of credibility, “popular policy + popular policy = unpopular position”.

Professor Tim Bale reports that 40,000 people have joined the Labour Party since the election. In a rational world, they would be people who couldn’t bring themselves to become or remain members under the reign of the clappers – the people who applauded Miliband back to his office after every disastrous anti-business speech. But I very much fear that they are Labour supporters who thought that the message at the election was a good one and that all they need to do is to fight harder for it.

In the past, it took four defeats for the party finally to learn the lesson. I really hope it doesn’t take so long this time.

2. Meanwhile, Mary Riddell in The Daily Telegraph asks a related Question To Which The Answer Is No: “Is this the most dangerous Queen’s Speech in living memory?”

3. And finally, only time for these updates from Moose Allain:

“1 in 4 hills are very steep.”

“Do you hate improvising?” “I'm not prepared to say.”

“Cricket on the radio – I can’t see the appeal.”

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