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Posts Tagged ‘Summer of Love’

Many left-wing columnists, and pretty much any Labour Party activist, keep saying how Labour’s electoral situation is absolutely terrible but how Brown can come back ‘if he does a, b and c’. Then they move on to say how there are still two years to go to the next general election and so on.

That is old-style political Valium, everyone has done it across the political spectrum at some point in their lives, it is an automatic physical response. Having said that, political duck and cover is as silly as it would be in the event of a nuclear strike. The PM needs to rethink his entire approach to his leadership, he has to recover the spirit of the past summer, his very own Summer of Love.

When I look at Brown I see a PM that is an intellectual giant rooted in strong convictions. I don’t know who is advising the PM on how to comeback on the Tories, but whoever it is he’s missing the point big time. Brown isn’t your modern telegenic PM, he’s more of the brainy type and there, is where he can take Cameron and Osborne out for a ride. But everytime I see Brown trying to put out fires on TV, or simply avoiding them, when he fails to be decisive and speak out with solemnity I run to Sainsbury’s and start buying tinned food.

Yes, Brown can still come back, but he’s definitely not on the right path now. And the problem isn’t his image or performances in PMQs or in public, it is his lack of vision and leadership. These are times of uncertainty, international terrorism, the financial crisis, climate change, you name it, people need to know that in the driving seat there is a PM who has broad clear ideas on how to get the country through the troubled waters. But his advisers at this moment are more concerned with out-Blairing Cameron. Cameron is a Sarkozy, he talks and looks good, he could win the next election because he’s a populist. However saying so isn’t going to win you an election, as Labour’s Crewe and Nantwich campaign is going to show us today.

It is time Brown goes back to fundamentals (bit of a Major flare here I’ll admit). The fundamentals of New Labour and social-democratic ideology, equality of opportunity, good public services and a dynamic private sector driving the economy. Stop all these nonsense on state surveillance, tougher immigration and the creation of once again a new classification for schools. Clear policy lines and direction are needed so people undestand where we are and where we are going, it is time for reassurance not short-term panicky legislation.

PMs like Gordon Brown shouldn’t follow the debate, they should set the debate, they should lead with new ideas and strong leadership. That way he will outdo David Cameron any day he pleases. Crewe and Nantwich is going to be lost today and with it goes a bit more of Brown’s political capital, soon enough he will be a lame duck PM and nothing he’ll do would change that, whatever Labourites say.

Crewe and Nantwich is the last warning, Labour’s current strategy is flawed. It is time to bring back ideology to the forefront of the political debate, what style did for Blair won’t do it for Brown.

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