A fascinating insight from Steve Howell, deputy to Seumas Milne, concerning how to kick back against the ‘political rulebook’ beloved of the centrists:
In his interview, Howell, who is writing a book called How the Lights Get In – Inside Corbyn’s Election machine, also described how the team around the leader faced scepticism from other parts of the Labour party at the start of the campaign.
He said the group around Corbyn were warned that there were “certainties” in election campaigns that could not be shifted, including:
- that you can’t move opinion more than 2 or 3% in a campaign
- that online voter registration campaigns don’t work
- that manifestos are irrelevant
- that the reason “non-voters” are labelled as such is because they do not vote
- and that the drop in turnout among young people was a “law of nature that was irreversible”
Howell said Corbyn’s team could not “be a mirror image of their certainty” and be sure that their ideas would work, but they did believe it could be different, “that an online voter registration campaign could work; that you can expand the electorate; [and] that a transformative manifesto would have a broad appeal and excite people”.