Posts Tagged ‘Johnson’

Reading the Sunday press I cannot but feel that Labour has entered into self-destructive mode. One call for Brown’s resignation, another for the appointment of a Deputy PM, but noone is tackling the key question, why are voters disillusioned with Labour.

Let me tackle these three points in more detailed.

Firstly, I have to say I’m a big fan of Alan Johnson and David Miliband. I think both represent the sensible side of New Labour and both have the charisma in them to renew the party in the future. But I have to say now is not the time to be plotting an internal coup d’etat to place any of the two as potential heirs to the throne . This Government has already changed PMs without a general election, it won’t do a second time. So let’s with that argument discard the replacement of Brown as a no-go area.

Secondly, the appointment of a Deputy PM. This could be a viable solution but only if that Deputy was a) a popular heavyweight (Miliband and Johnson again come to mind) and b) was willing to, ‘a la Prescott’, throw his full support behind Brown. Two problems arise here. Firstly, Harriet Harman as Deputy Leader should be the natural choice, but it’s definitely not the right political choice. And secondly, a heavyweight, as the natural heir to Brown, could be prone to pull his punches to position himself for the leadership if the PM loses the next general election.

And our third point, who’s talking about the real cause of the problem? noone is. It seems like Labour thinks a new face will do. But what they don’t realise is that a new face will a) divide the party and b) be doomed by negative process stories in the media. The solution comes, and I won’t get tired of repeating this, with bold policy and leadership moves. Brown is an ideological politician, bring back ideology, stop the ideological blurring of the debate because that only benefits Cameron. The least specific Labour is about its project (which currently doesn’t exist as such) the better for the Tories. Having said that Brown can’t do this alone. He needs a strong and united team behind him. He can’t get the party back on message if he has to keep putting off fires within his own party and if the heavyweights aren’t out there defiant and ready to battle inch by inch both in Parliament and in public.

The longer Labour MPs keep fuelling the debate on Brown the worst it’s going to get independently of the outcome of the revolt. The best option the party has to rebuild its electoral fortunes is to give Brown a final real chance, with Deputh PM or without it.


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