Like all other political and blog nerds, I've been following with interest the email fiasco which has embarrassed Gordon Brown this weekend. Yet again, it shows how behind the times Labour are in their campaigning strategy. The public are disillusioned with politics and politicians and a nasty smear campaign would be counter productive in my opinion. Labour should be looking, not at destroying other parties with bitchy, snide and cruel lies, but at inspiring, exciting and engaging people about their own ideals. Dirty politics is childish and petty, and most of all, off putting. If you truly believe in your politics, then surely the way to win over voters is by talking about your politics and vision rather than just focusing on smearing others? Yes, you should challenge and even tease the opposition but there's no need to lie or get overly personal.
Then again, maybe what this latest fiasco shows is that Labour don't really have anything positive to offer these days. They're burnt out and tired, and have decided that going down the bitchy route is far easier than focusing on strengthening and repairing the party. What they need to do is take stock of what has gone wrong and think to the future. What they achieved in 1997 was incredible but they must remember that their campaign was based on hope and positive messages - "things can only get better.."
During this recession, people want to be heard and political parties should be focusing on listening, motivating and re energizing people. Negative campaigning is not helping anyone. Gordon Brown needs to take responsibily, apologize and make clear to staff that this kind of campaigning will not be tolerated. Only then can the party hope to recover.