Magazine article New Statesman (1996)

Tactical Briefing

Magazine article New Statesman (1996)

Tactical Briefing

Article excerpt

From: The Unit

To:GB

Subject: Going for broke

* So, pretty good week. A few reports out there that we've hit our lowest poll rating since records began, but not sure this really hurts us. I think most people already assumed that we were at our lowest poll rating since records began--so the news that we have only just hit it feels, in a weird way, maybe, like a small inverse bump?

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* Think we are now at an absolutely critical juncture, and the big danger for the party is that you heed the advice from the broadsheet commentators and in some way suddenly "go for broke".

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* Of course we can all see it would be incredibly exciting to suddenly do what we really want to do. But in our view, trusting our so-called "instincts" would be a disaster. Every fibre in our bodies over here at The Unit says, "No, don't trust our instincts-that way lies disaster. And also, very likely, what we think we want to do isn't actually what we want to do and probably wouldn't work anyway."

* Tactically speaking, coming out now and suddenly "doing what we think is right" also presents massive presentational problems, because it strongly suggests that we haven't believed in what we've been doing over the past 11 years. Which, while not necessarily totally untrue, is politically very hard to manage. It's like Harriet on Today the other week-interjecting after one question that her answer wasn't just another thing she was saying, but that she actually believed it. …

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