Monday, 24 March 2014

Permission to Panic, Captain Mainwaring

One of the (I suppose relatively few) good things about at least two or three of the 'big' Labour 'blogs such as Left Foot Forward and Labour Uncut is that they can be both serious and honest enough to admit – in effect publicly – to failings, problems and potential crises within the Labour party.

This at Labour Uncut, by its editor Atul Hatwal, is a particularly frank and open post about Labour's current near-crisis state, and the three signs that will indicate when the crisis is coming or, indeed, has arrived. It's a little long, but well worth going through in its entirety in order to gain the full flavour of what is bubbling up – and has been, in some cases, on previous occasions, including relatively recently.

It is certainly refreshing to see that Ed Balls is seen as a major liability – although I'd also include Andy Burnham in the same category as his incessant dishonesty and revelations of his manipulations when he was a minister are now too well known to be brushed off as insignificant. He sours the public's taste for Labour too much now; but I doubt they'll act and will end up taking the electoral hit next year.

We have already seen, in public, examples of the warning signs; and the post points to others that are not (or were not until now!) in public view. This is thus a timely piece, no doubt intended first and foremost to alert all those who might start or continue down one or more of the paths outlined, in the hope that they will think carefully before acting. It is not a Dan Hodges type of post, despite some seeming similarities in places.

Whether it will achieve much will just have to be seen – but unless the party leadership can really start to get a proper two-handed grip on the party tiller, my reckoning remains that it will not be sufficient for a Labour outright victory – or (probably) even a coalition situation of their own – in May 2015.

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