Saturday, July 26, 2008

What would you do in the shoes of a Labour member?

I suppose that depends of whose shoes. The dire predicament will leave Labour members wondering just what can be done to restore their party's fortunes. That is assuming they have not become resigned to defeat and relearning the arts of opposition.

It seems some are preparing for just that eventuality, and preparing to do it big style by adopting the left wing drivel that kept Labour out of power for nearly a generation. The union demands appear to be extracts from the Longest Suicide Note in History, especially abridged for the soundbite age. Back to Socialism (and permanent opposition) seems to be the rallying call of some. That's about as appealing as a bucket of cold sick. Only the cranks and the trade union barons could possibly want to go down that route.

Then there are those who believe that Labour will be saved if Brown engages more with the people. He should be seen smiling a bit more. This presupposes Brown is the problem and that making him smile (through his greeted teeth) would not be seen as artificial by the electorate. It also presupposes that Labour are unpopular because they don't engage enough and therefore people don't know what the real Labour party is like and have to offer. The problem with that argument is that Labour have been in government for 11 years, easily enough time for people to get to know what they are like.

And then there are the Labour members who think Labour's problems will be solved by dumping Brown. That presupposes Brown rather than Labour is the problem. Would getting rid of him (not easy to do with a sitting PM as I have often said) really lead to a significant improvement? I think the answer to that is no! But it does allow for a little idle speculation.

Suppose the grey men and union paymasters engineer a sudden Prime Inisterial critical illness that requires his retirement? Who then will be up for the job? How about Lady Harriet, public school educated and the niece of an earl. Just the person to reclaim votes from Conservatives in the south. But there again, she really does scare the horses and would as a candidate for PM be seen as a joke.

Still, she wouldn't be quite as hilarious a joke at Hazel Blears whose response to every calamity is to keep on smiling and giggling.

Then there is James Purnell, the recent passing fad. Baby face James could be photoshopped into the role but probably won't be liked by many in Labour's ranks after coming out with a policy of benefit bashing of the poor.

Then there is Jack Straw, otherwise known as Mr Slippery and sometimes as Mr Evasion. He would compete with Lady Harriet to scare the horses.

Alistair Darling could be a contender. His success in life has been to use his speeches to miraculously cure people of insomnia. Desperate times (for Labour) require desperate solutuons. Perhaps Darlings ability to send everyone to sleep could be the answer for Labour with everyone sleepwalking to the polling stations in 2010. After all, it worked for the Tories in 1992!

And then there is Alan Johnson. A competent minister and arguably an unspotted talent. Pack off Brown to the asylum and Johnson could be just the person for the job.

Having the men in white coats take Brown away to spend more time with his non-existant health problems would not improve Labour's position. As I said previously, the problem is Labour itself. They benefitted from a liberalised economy at home which was really an inheritance of the Thatcher reforms. And in addition they have benefitted from an international boom that provided cheap goods, credit, fuel and services. Brown and Labour claimed the credit for something that was not their achievement. Having claimed stewardship of the good times, it is hardly surprising Labour's vote slumps when the bad times arrive. After all, they are failing to deliver what they claimed to control. The ghosts of their spin are coming back to haunt them.

As for the question in the title, it seems many Labour members have put on their shoes and gone off to do other things. Moral is at record lows, as is their membership figure. It's hard Labour for some time to come.

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Jock Coats said...

I didn't think their morals could fall any further...:)

Andrea Cave said...

Political comparisons are always being made between the state the Tories were in from 92 to 97 compared to the Labour government of today. Can I tell you of one MAJOR difference between then and now ? ?

I have yet to see a Labour MP defecting ! ! To ANY party.

That could be the big difference between Labour being thrown out by the scruff of the neck, or a change of government.