Monday, 12 May 2008

'Rats in a bag' scrabble to leave sinking ship

. Hand's up who remembers John Major famously calling his colleagues 'bastards'?? One can't help but wonder if Gordon Brown shares his sentiments; Ed Balls certainly seems to have a low opinion of Frank Field. His remark that Field's comment's regarding Gordon Brown's future were 'dishonourable' were followed by remarks branding Field as a 'loner' which were dubiously lacking in honour themselves. It may well be that he is a loner but his observation that Brown's personality is a "mega problem" are not wide of the mark.

No surer sign exists of the disintegration of a government than it's collapse into a battlefield between contending ego's. Sometimes they are cohered around specific ideological platforms (in the case of Major that was defiantly the case with the central divide being over Europe) but in this case they represent just how big an intellectual and ideological black hole Labour has become.

Allot of the rhetoric is familiar; 'social justice', 'listening to people' 'open society' etc, etc but in terms of what to actually do there is no clue at all. If you want to see a good example of this then wander over to the pages of the New Statesman and take a look at the article by James Purnell. Purnell is allegedly one of the 'bright young things' of the Labour Party and he makes allot of nice noises in the article; including correct criticism's of the Conservatives lack of solid policy but in terms of supporting evidence for his claim that Labour 'has the vision for the countries future' there is nothing.

Ed Ball's attacking Frank Field will only make the government look worse as it is very much a case of shooting the messenger. It jar's with the message that the government is listening to it's critics which now include a sizeable body of the electorate and the fabled 'core vote' because Field is positioning himself as a mouthpiece of those concerns. Naturally people will also conclude that Labour is more concerned about saving it's electoral skin than actually addressing the issues at hand.

Balls also effectively conceded defeat in Crewe and Nantwich in remarks reported on Channel 4 News. He is alleged to have said that the result of the by-election would not be 'indicative' of a probable General Election result. In that he is probably right because Labour's vote will be shored up by those loyal to the Dunwoody family name. It seems that this is the reason that the Conservative's are doing their level best to associate Tamsin Dunwoody with Gordon Brown and the Labour Party.

The long and lingering death of the Labour government is going to make British politics a fluid place for the next two years. It present's us with a excellent opportunity to establish the Liberal Democrat's as a party of progressive opposition which can link the big ideas to concrete policies for change.

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