It seems to be dawning on Labour that they did not appeal to those voters with "aspiration".
In truth Labour supporters are probably as interested in doing the best for themselves and they family as anyone else. The problem is that Labour made "aspirational" and "caring" mutually exclusive. That is why Tory voters didn't talk about it in the company of socialist zealots who have taken the Labour message to its extreme. A caller on LBC yesterday told how he berated his mother for voting Conservative, it is the voters who are in the wrong, how can anyone not vote for the only party that cares. The bemusement turns to anger among those who demonstrated over the weekend, for no other reason than that their ideology had been rejected.
Labour has tried to make it shameful for ordinary voters with no strong political allegiances to vote Conservative with the message that the Conservatives only look after the rich and powerful, unlike the caring Labour party. Ask who introduced tuition fees and most will say Conservatives, ask who first increased tuition fees, again it was Labour. Poor Nick Clegg has been crucified for not being able to stop the third increase being under a coalition government. Ask students who want to scrap tuition fees who they will vote for and it's Labour. Who introduced PFI for the banks and the rich and powerful construction and services industries to make shedload of money - Labour. What Labour says against what it does, is as unreliable as any politician's promise regardless of party.
Also, in the face of Labour telling them how badly off everyone is, and the NHS is collapsing, ordinary voters have felt that they haven't done too badly, and they use public services all the time, they largely accept there will always be problems, nothing is perfect. Voters are not stupid, there have always been problems, even when Labour ruled for 13 years, just different problems.
The middle ground voters determine who wins elections, not the extremists. The middle ground does not want a message that says to them if they prosper they will be the target of Labour policies to constrain their success. That needs to change.
Labour needs to promote the idea of reducing poverty by improving the lot of ordinary workers, not thinking the poor will feel better just because the gap is narrowed. Only politicians think people worry about the wealth gap when, for most, their standard of living is actually going up. The poor want access to wealth, not more welfare and Labour needs to embrace that idea, instead of pretending that more welfare brings down the wealth gap.
Most instinctively understand that it is the middle income earners who actually bear the brunt of taxation and until there is a global solution to taxing international earnings little is going to change. Gestures towards attacking the super rich and NonDoms have resonance but little value or substance, so feed into the Labour ideology of moral high ground to secure votes of the converted. Encourage responsibility of the rich and powerful, not set them up as public enemy number one.
If voters really believed that NonDoms and the rich and powerful were responsible for every problem in the UK then Labour would have won hands down, just like the SNP won hands down because Scots believe the English parliament is responsible for every problem in Scotland.
So Labour just need to get rid of the idea that success is a dirty word and find a way of attacking the wealth gap other than by a race to the bottom. They also need to find a scapegoat whose votes they don't need. Forget worrying about ideology and moving towards Tory centre ground and abandoning core values, leave that for the old guard like Kinnock and Livingstone and the Union dinosaurs to bemoan - move on as our dear departed leader would say. We need effective opposition against every party in power and it gives no comfort to see a Labour party rudderless and hanging on to ideas that belong in the last century.