Forever blowing bubbles…
Let’s be quite honest. In terms of developing a consistent narrative flow this week has been a bit of a disaster but has also highlighted some key problems. Wednesday saw Nick Clegg mounting his own personal campaign to convert a number of key policies into aspirations ahead of the launch for A Fresh Start for Britain. By Thursday it was blatantly obvious that this was not in fact party policy but Clegg’s ‘aspiration’ and Sunday’s papers see Vince Cable warning against panic cuts.
I am beginningto wonder if our leadership has any serious direction above and beyond it’s own opportunism. How many policy initiatives have come and gone; anybody remember the Green Road which is now but a distant memory? Make it Happen? Another catchy-slogan that was launched upon a tide of optimism until it slowly sunk without trace. We criticise the Conservatives for not having policy but I think on balance their approach is best for an opposition; after all I think its preferable to slowly build-up momentum behind a cogent body of policies rather than being seen doing the policy hokey-kokey.
Yes there is a recession on and the books are in awful shape but more than ever this means we need to speak a language of priorities and not sound like the manager of your friendly neighbourhood bank. We should be saying priorities need to be set but above everything else they are determined by our core values as a party. This dimension is woefully missing from just about everything we say and if I was neutral I would look at this and say well this is hardly bringing an original voice to what is a dour debate between the big two on public spending.
Let’s be radical and say interventionism hasn’tworked and not be afraid to say so. Of course, we support our troops but the best support they can have is to be withdrawn from Afghanistan where they support a corrupt and sorry excuse for a democratic government. Let’s also be radical and say a nuclear deterrenthas had its day and, slipping on our bank manager hat, remind people how much the above costs and that neither will be our priorities because we don’t believe in them.
Above all lets have a debate in this party about these things that starts now and ends up at some point in a cohesive narrative and stop blowing bubbles.