Jonathan Freedland says that Labour needs to get its socks pulled up and start yelling at how ‘two-faced’ the current government is. I disagree, 100% disagree.
What Labour needs to do is, with a miracle, elect a leader that will move the party from the current right-wing twattery back to the left. Who knows, a left-winger could be acting as advisor to one or more of the current crop of leadership contenders. It could be the reason that some of them are voicing the odd left-wingish verbiage. They could be testing the water to see the reaction they get, maybe. Though what they have to remember is that people do have long memories – something the current government had better get a grasp on soon, too. The election campaign run on making it all hard for everyone because we are all in this together – and then slapping out pure blood Tory policy once in office will not be forgotten. This is only strengthened when the cuts hit, jobs – thousands of jobs, are lost in both public and private sector, with the added strawberry on top of a further recession. All this after the last election winners said they would keep the country out of that double-dip.
But perhaps Janus, the Roman god that stared into both the past and the future, might offer a clue.
This is something that I do agree with. But certainly not the recent past as Jonathan speaks of. That would be the New Labour era and that era was rejected by so many of those who voted and by those of the left and the core vote who didn’t. Where so many moved away from New Labour that is the indicator of where in the past Labour should look. Look back to John Smith’s Labour party. I would look forward to any of the current crop of leadership runners to embrace many of the things John Smith did. It would be interesting and a turn away from the Blairism of New Labour.
Now is not the time to be in government. Certainly not for a Labour Party that has to renew by looking back and embracing where the road turned right and went so wrong. Even if it was true that Brown was going to cut, even if it were true that VAT was to be raised – all that this would have done would show, even more, if needed, that New Labour were the Tories so many saw them for, and still do. You can yell and scream as much as you like – the time is not now. As this government earns more its nickname of ConDem with valid reasoning let them do so. Let them have their rope, it was, after all going to happen under a New Labour government. The time couldn’t have come better for Labour to lose. It could be the inspiration for a renewal, it should be. I cannot see, no matter how chummy Cameron and Clegg are – even the best of relationships have hiccups, and arguments, and the siblings do see such things. If, as I can see coming down the line, Clegg will have to bow to the leader to stay in power his siblings (The LibDem Party members) may see at that point the bowing is one step too far – will there be a change of leadership of the LibDems? Something we need to look out for, as I just cannot see Clegg staying in the Dep. PM position if he is to lose that job. That would be an interesting drama for the ConDems to spin.
If The Labour Party can get things right, and now that Mandelson is out of that picture it is a possibility, if they can get together and look back as well as forward and be ready to hold the safety net rigid for a falling country – then I feel they can then begin to show they are ready for government, albeit a left government ready to hold those who were responsible for the crash that brought us here.
That is one of the questions the Labour Party has to answer. In answering that they have to overturn what they have become. So now is not the best time to be in government.