Monday, July 28, 2008

Should be stay or should he go

I had some interesting conversations with Labour members yesterday. So let me start by saying I sympathise with those who are staff members or volunteers doing the hard slog on the ground. Trying to continue when their party has become a car crash is demanding and challenging, and frankly demoralising as well. I should know, I lived through the 80s when the Owenites did everything they could to wreck the merger of the SDP and Liberals. There are times when the party of which you are a member goes through some stormy waters, and even gets hit by an occasional tsunami. It's not a happy time living through it.

It was however interesting to listen to the two views on offer yesterday from the grassroots. There was the group that believed wipeout could be avoided with Labour plumping instead for simple disaster at the general election which could be achieved by dumping Brown.

And there was the group that felt replacing Brown was a non starter as it would achieve nothing. They fear a change of leader again, without an election, would be treating the voters with contempt and would make matters worse for there would be no election for two years.

Jack Straw, last week's favourite to take over was regarded as an admission Labour "had nothing to say" were he to become PM. And the Lady Harriet simply sent people screeming and runing for the door.

I suspect all the speculation will calm down until September. As the conference season approaches, many of those who were shouting for Brown last year will be shouting the opposite. Labour, in a state of panic, could do anything desperate. It waits to be seen however whether a sufficiently large head of steam builds up behind the Brown-must-go camp by the time of the Labour conference.

Sent via BlackBerry

No comments: