Magazine article New Statesman (1996)

Tactical Briefing

Magazine article New Statesman (1996)

Tactical Briefing

Article excerpt

From: The Unit

To: GB

Subject: Defeat

* So, pretty good week. I mean technically our worst week since 1963. But considering how terrible things feel, think it's been a pretty good week. After all, you're still in office. You kept it together on Marr and nobody could tell you'd been crying so shortly before going on air, or see the marks on your leg from the incident. And let's not forget, even after the election, we are the third-most-supported political party in the whole of the UK! That's quite a boast.

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* So, as regards political tactical matters--obviously we are going to lose the next general election. Think one thing that would be good would be for us to accept that there's nothing we can do about this fact, and that everything we have tried or might try will inevitably make things worse.

* We know that regarding this, some have accused us of defeatism. But that feels unfair. Defeatism is failing to engage in a battle because you fear you might lose. We are Victorists. We are conserving our energy for after the inevitable victory of our opponents.

* After all, if we start our plans for the fightback now, we will be ahead of the game. Who knows, perhaps the forthcoming Tory landslide might be kept below 1997 levels? That's something to aim for, isn't it? Plus, if we start looking at strategies for coming back into government now, we might be able to limit the Tories' period in power to just two, or maybe even (and we really think this might be possible however much the cabinet and senior colleagues may disagree) only one term of office? …

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