I know you must still be smarting from last week – trust me when I say that as a Tory I know what it feels like to suffer an electoral defeat which rocks your confidence and makes you question everything. Any one on any side of politics who has been there knows how miserable it can be.
You may not want to hear from your opponents at the moment, but I’ve a few requests to make as to how I’d love you to behave in response to what’s happened. Several of them are soundly rooted in our own experiments in opposition.
First, please keep insulting the voters. We’ve all seen the range of commentary from people on the left over the last few days about the electorate’s “mistake”, or their lack of morality, or both. To listen to some, the people either don’t care about themselves and others, or were simply stupid. If you could continue broadcasting this message for as long as possible it would be greatly appreciated.
Please conclude that Ed Miliband just wasn’t left wing enough. Do pay close attention to Diane Abbott in The Guardian when she explains that actually Ed was centre right at heart, and that nationalism played no part in people’s decision to vote SNP. Do you remember that moment on the Leaders’ Question Time programme when Ed told that man that Labour hadn’t overspent when it was last in power? Some more of that would be just marvellous.
Please sack Jim Murphy. Sure, he took a risk with his career to try to save your Scottish colleagues from disaster, but he had a good few months to reverse a trend of decades and he failed. Off with his head, ASAP – banish him, never to be seen again if at all possible.
Please give the unions as long as possible to sign up their members to vote in your leadership election. Len McCluskey, also writing in The Guardian, points out that it was unwise to fight him over Unite’s behaviour in Falkirk (unwittingly equating himself to Rupert Murdoch in the process, but never mind). Surely he’s right – he’s put all this cash in to keep you guys going and pad extremely close attention to the selection of your parliamentary candidates, purely out of the goodness of his heart, so why not give him another go at choosing who runs your party in return?
Please select a new leader who is just as far to the left (and just as closely associated with the past) as Miliband – or maybe even more so. If you could perhaps see fit to get, say, Andy Burnham in the top job with Tom Watson as his deputy, I’ll post you a thank you card. Think of the electoral power summoned up by a heady mix of endless discussion of your record in Mid Staffs and the merits of restricting press freedom.
And finally, please – please – commission another of those stone manifesto things at the next election. Sure, people thought it was a bit quirky but quirky can be fun, right? Eventually you could have loads of them, all lined up like a graveyard. A quirky, fun graveyard.
Anyway, I know you’ve lots to be getting on with, so I’ll leave it at that.