Saturday, 2 May 2009

Bleary Eyed Labour

In what has undoubtedly been a bad week for Labour, that small, but seemingly ever-smiling blot on the Salford landscape, Hazel Blears, has been the latest to weigh in with a view that Labour has displayed a 'lamentable failure' to communicate. She says "We need to have a relationship with the voters based on shared instincts and emotions. "We need to start showing we understand the instincts, fears, hopes and emotions of the broad mass of British people." Fat chance - understand? shared? relationship? That'll be a tough one.
She also criticises the government's handling of the issue of the Gurkhas, saying it put itself "on the wrong side of the British sense of fair play, and no party can stay there for long without dire consequences". For a change, she's more or less right, if calling for the fundamentally impossible - but what are the motives of a government minister making such a critique? Is she looking to get herself fired to up her profile come the inevitable labour revolution? She can't possibly have her sights on the leadership herself .... can she? Certainly, another Maggie Thatcher, she's not - in terms of political stature, that is. She says she's really saying to all other ministers that they have to re-connect with people on the streets - get out and meet people - but John Prescott said that much better in his usual uncompromising way. Yet for all that, the picture is one of dis-unity, of petty squabbles and opening up of wounds. The clock is surely ticking on the last days of this government. But what of the alternative? Here in Scotland, we have a credible alternative - one that's already in Government, and doing very well thank you, despite the best efforts of London Labour at sabotage. In England, though, the current most likely alternative is the Tories. The effect in Scotland would be to put in Westminster a party that would try to do far more than Labour ever dared to crush the Scots latent desire to be a Nation again. A party whose mantra might well re-introduce that cursed missing verse of the 'National' Anthem - "Lord grant that Marshal Wade May by thy mighty aid Victory bring. May he sedition hush, And like a torrent rush, Rebellious Scots to crush. God save the Queen." Such a party may well accelerate our drive for independence, and might have the same effect in Wales, too. But would the Tories under David Cameron's Will O' the Wisp set of pseudo policies, really be good for England? It will not be too long now, before we will all have the opportunity to ask that question - and the opportunity to consider that if the - now dominant -new force in Scotland are the Scottish National Party, in England, too, it will be vitally important to ensure that at the very least, a credible third force holds sufficient balance of power to prevent the worst excesses of either Labour or Conservative administrations.

1 comment:

  1. Hazel Blears has a bloody cheek! With one hand firmly in the air she votes along party lines in the Gurkha debacle and then with another she writes that Labour have failed to communicate with voters (on the very same issue).

    I, for one, am looking forward to wiping the smile off her face on the 21st May (Irwell Riverside, Salford by-election) where no doubt she will don her favourite suit in search of a good photo-op. Not this time, Hazel.

    I fear that the Tories are likely to sweep to power at the next general election and if Labour continue along without a thought for Britain's future, they'll find themselves in third place.

    A recent MORI poll (16-04-09) put the Tories on 43%, Labour on 26% and Lib Dems on 21%.

    That is bloody close for second place!