It’s time to step-up a gear……
Andy Burnham knows how to get stuck-in. He has welcomed Jeremy Hunt to the Health hotseat with this letter. Swashbuckling and determined it is exactly what is needed, all that is lacking is a coherent set of alternative policy proposals. Over the summer we have let things slide and alot of the momentum seems to have been lost. Today, Labour was busy pushing a vote on capping rail fares. However, you would struggle to know this was happening from the mainstream media which has been, unsurprisingly, dominated by reshuffle ramifications. I Googled news on the outcome of this vote and the top result was from the highly esteemed Milton Keynes Citizen. I really don’t think I need to say anymore.
Labour’s poll leads are comfortable. In my eyes, they are too comfortable. Complacency and drift are now amoung Labour’s key enemies. What happens now could well determine the outcome of the General Election, the government is weak and vulnerable but it won’t remain forever so. It will inevitably get stronger again. It is not hard to see how this can happen. People still don’t have confidence in Labour to run the economy and provide a real alternative to the current, obviously failing, policies. On issues like welfare and immigration the Party is similarly losing the debate by dint of a similar political timidity. Nobody wants to acknowledge within Labour circles how popular hard-right arguments are becoming and actually are because emotionally its something that is difficult to digest. Along with the precarious nature of Labour’s position within the country, an emotional, not a political judgment is being made.
While the government is in this state, potentially terminal damage can be inflicted on it. However, in my view, the window of opportunity is very small (relatively speaking). I do not think any forward planning is happening in the upper echelons of our leadership, planning for a Conservative resurgence, plotting for a time when the polls are less smelling of roses and more squeaky bum territory. If we are serious about returning to government then the time to step-up a gear is now. This has been a summer of drift. It stops now if we want to win the next General Election.