Thursday, May 21, 2009


Will Labour Decide to Follow the Road of Reform?

Yesterday I used Alan Duncan's term 'Quiet Revolution' to describe the juncture at which British political history finds itself. Maybe it's a bit too quiet in the Labour Party. It's unclear Gordon Brown has really absorbed the extent of public anger over the expenses scandal. He criticised Hazel Blears' behaviour as 'totally unacceptable' and then was happy to express full confidence in her as a Cabinet colleague. And today he has done something similar regarding offences by Geoff Hoon and James Purnell which sound not unlike to those committed by Blears herself. By contrast Cameron has been decisive and has sacked those deemed guilty. Poor old Gordon.

I doubt very much he'll take rare advantage of the crossroads at which we are located: amazingly voters are ready and willing to accept something recedived political wisdom says they care not a fig about: radical constitutional change. The gulf opened up by loss of trust, dislike of spin and disgust at incompetence was ratcheted up by horror at the economic recession and then into hyper mode by the expenses scandal. There is a chance to heal these wounds if the right steps are taken. Tony Wright MP, talented chairman of the Select Committee on Administration, was on Newsnight last night and thought it could go either way: progressive remedial measures or a total meltdown of remaining faith in our political system.

The Guardian today published a supplement which is fascinating but I just wonder if any of its sensible measures will get on the statute book. PR is something which would transform our politics for the better, for example, but Labour diehards will almost certainly veto it as the status quo favours it so heavily. Never mind the country's future, or voter opinion, party advantage will prove the winner.

If we are not careful Labour could well be taking over third place the Lib Dem's might become the party which is in opposition.

I have to say the only way out for this is an election and labour to lose heavy. I see nothing which would make me vote Labour anymore and I've been in the party for well over 40 years.

Labour has nothing at all to offer
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