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New Labour's underfunded incompetence

Ellie Levinson, Guardian Unlimited, 27 9 06

I wasn't there, but I'm told that the reason the Millennium Dome was so roundly criticised in the press is that a bureaucratic cock-up left journalists stranded at Stratford, East London, with nothing but a plastic cup of warm white wine on new year's eve 1999. Irate at having their once-in-a-lifetime opportunity for a rip-roaring millennium eve ruined while the Queen and Cherie linked arms in the dome for Auld Lang Syne, they vented their frustration in their articles and broadcasts, to the extent that even a mention of the project six years later usually contains the words "beleaguered" or "ill-fated".

The Labour party should have learned a lesson from this. In fact, for a party that has made a point in recent years of claiming to understand the press and how it works, it's doing a pretty bad job. This year's Labour party conference has seen numerous members of the media, as well as many delegates and exhibitors, without a security pass to get them into the conference on which they are supposed to be reporting. It is estimated that the organisers lost the details of a third of pass applicants.

But this year the story is already about party disunity and party mismanagement (many party staff are currently facing redundancy due to an inability to pay the wage bill).
If this fiasco has pissed off enough grassroots activists, enough journalists and enough potential party donors, this could be enough to tip the balance at the polls. Elections have been lost for less.

More at; Losing the plot

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