Articles by Peter Watt
Peter Watt is a former general secretary of the Labour party

Power Trip

Peter Watt  |  21 November 2013

Most reviews of political memoirs tend not to review the book at all. They tend just to review the writer and their motives. So, bucking a trend, the first thing to say about Power Trip is that it is an excellent read. It is well written, drawing you in so that you do not want …

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No room in the middle

Peter Watt  |  4 April 2013

Labour does not really care about the plight of the middle class In early 1996 I tried to become Labour’s parliamentary candidate for north Dorset. I was unsuccessful and I have never tried for a seat since; I have absolutely no intention of standing for one again. However, I do remember my speech at the …

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Anything can happen

Peter Watt  |  29 November 2012

A midterm review suggests the government is doing its best to lose the next election, but is Labour doing enough to win it? On 6 May 2010 the people of the United Kingdom went to the polls. 10.7 million people voted Conservative, 8.7 million voted Labour and 6.8 million voted Liberal Democrat. Crucially, despite their …

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Working it out

Peter Watt  |  1 November 2012

To save Labour’s link with the unions we need an honest examination of the relationship, writes Peter Watt Marriage is a wonderful institution – I should know, I have had two. And the thing about any successful marriage or long-term relationship is that you have to work at it. Of course, it starts full of …

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Beyond voter ID

Peter Watt  |  10 September 2012

Traditional campaigning techniques have run their course.  We need to try something new, argues Peter Watt As a model, voter identification has served Labour well over the years. At its most basic, we aim to find our supporters, and theirs. We can then target resources at those voters who we would like to be ours. …

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None of the above

Peter Watt  |  16 May 2012

The local elections showed voters tiring of party politics but not personalities There were two big winners on 3 May. Not Ed Miliband and Boris Johnson but ‘disenchantment with party politics’ and ‘politics with a personality’. The results were clearly great for Labour, far surpassing expectations. There is no doubt that it is now conceivable …

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Support and safety

Peter Watt  |  18 April 2012

So there’s not much money to spend and further cuts still to make if the deficit is to be dealt with. And anyway the electorate aren’t all that keen on the government spending as much as they do. You can add to that the nagging fear of many that Labour will spend too much and …

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Parents and patients first

Peter Watt  |  2 March 2012

Labour should remember who public services are for and champion their cause Labour folk are an understanding lot. Imagine, for instance, if I told a meeting of fellow party members a dark secret about myself. Let’s say that I admitted that I had robbed a post office but had since served my time. No doubt …

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The truth about elder care

Peter Watt  |  9 January 2012

For decades successive governments have let down older people. And yes, that does include Labour governments. Because there is this myth that when you got older the state will look after you. After all, the NHS protects us with free care from the cradle to the grave, doesn’t it?  Except it isn’t really true. Well, …

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Schools of thought

Peter Watt  |  22 September 2011

Simply portraying the Tories as rabid rightwingers will not work. Labour needs a strategy to counter the Conservatives, but it has to emerge from a real understanding of voters’ concerns, argues Peter Watt I am thinking of opening a free school. No, really. I am going to set it up to teach real people how to …

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