Monday, June 05, 2006

Labour needs a clean sweep

I've so far been pretty silent on this blog on the whole John Prescott saga, but that's because I was saving it up for my newspaper columns and accompanying Podcast over the weekend.

Basically my argument is that Prescott's useful career in frontline politics is at an end and that he should go - but so, by exactly the same token, is the Prime Minister's.

"Mr Prescott’s sole case for continuance in office rests on the argument that it would be better for the Labour Party to resolve the leadership and deputy leadership issues at the same time.

"True - but that is not an argument for Mr Prescott to cling on till Mr Blair goes. It is, rather, an argument that they should both go now."

The obvious truth of this is borne out by today's dreadful poll result showing David Cameron's Tories are now a clear ten points ahead of Labour.

This Government is finished politically, and there is now nothing more that Tony Blair can do or say which could convince the public to elect Labour again. Except by resigning of course.

Instead, Downing Street wastes its time on pointless and divisive scheming, telling friendly newspapers that Gordon Brown risks losing his frontrunner status to Alan Johnson unless he presents an "absolutely Blairite, New Labour face."

"There can be no sense of an ancien regime being succeeded by a new, Brownite order," a Blair ally tells the Observer. Wrong. A new order - whether Brownite or otherwise - is exactly what Labour now needs.


Ellee Seymour said...

Yes, a perfect 10 is great for us and will no doubt have shaken Labour to its core. It will be interesting to see how the strategy they employ to revitalise their flagging supporters. I personally think David Miliband has great potential for many reasons and could be a potential leader by the time of the next general election. Gordon Brown will be a dead duck by then.

Martyn said...

I think the people who underestimate Brown are perhaps slightly too drunk on their own modest recent success. Brown is a massive figure in a parliament of minnows. Intellectually he is head and shoulders above most other members of parliament, but is currently restrained by his position. This allows the opposition to attempt to define him whilst he can barely respond. Let's not forget that only 14 months ago, all the opinion polls showed that had Brown been leading the Labour party not Blair at the last election they would have easily secured a majority in triple figures. The 'English' issue is overplayed. Brown as a central belt Social Democratic Scot is much more in tune with the instincts of Northern England, than an Old Etonian Metropolitan Tory as the local elections results showed. The choice at the next election will be for a Blair-lite former PR man offering feel-good policies that run counter the political instincts of his party, over a serious minded heavyweight offering a practical, pragmatic approach to the job of government. What I am certain is, that a Cameron administration with a small majority, hamstrung by the neanderthal tendencies of his party would soon become incredibly unpopular.