Enough frivolity (for now ;), suffice to say I was going to do a similar posting to Jo's yesterday. But she put the argument so well I will simply give you a link to it here, and I totally agree with her).
Brought The Guardian late this morning and saw the headline "Brown aide: we will lose next election"
Aside from the fact that this is taken out of context, the fact remains that Labour are in a difficult position (that's obvious!). But that is amazing when you consider our current economic climate, our commitment to the enviroment and International Development, and our majority in Parliament from last years' general election.
But that election last year was a warning shot across the bows. Yes we have a majority of over sixty. Yes the Conservatives have less Parliamentary seats than Labour did in the aftermath of the 1983 general election, and yes the Liberal Democrats (whilst they gained a good no of seats) failed to make much headway in terms of reaching their targets.
Then there is the popularity (admittedly lacking in policy substance, but there nonetheless) of David Cameron, and the deep sense of anger with Labour over Blair's leadership. Iraq, perceived sleaze, lack of moral judgement from the odd individual or two within the Party! There is also the plain and simple fact that Labour is now in it's ninth consecutive year of govt after winning three general elections (something that has never happened to the Party before).
On Saturday, at Jon's Party, some of us were not just being frivolous and singing songs by Queen and The Rolling Stones, one or two of us were earnestly discussing in the corner of Jon's kitchen, what happens next! Not just in terms of winning elections, but the current political culture and climate and how much needs to be changed!
My own view, is that, being in unchartered waters (not just for Labour, but also for everyone else), it is easy to get fed up, irritated, rebellious, and to lose one's nerve.
We must not and cannot do that. Cameron is not indestructible, he just happens to be slick at PR and is aware of a simple facet of truth, that political parties need to reform every so often in order to survive.
Labour need to reform too! We are no longer in the 1990's, times have moved on, and we hold the agenda, shown by the simple fact that David Cameron seems to be aping some of our ideas and style.
We must be bold, be confident, not cling to the masthead of the past, but at the same time, not panic and return to the tendency to lurch towards the hard left. Within four years, there will be a new Prime Minister, and that will likely be Gordon Brown. He has an exemplary record as Chancellor, and if recent comments he has made are anything to go by, realises that the Labour Party needs to have a Vatican II moment, in that, we do not deviate from the core truths that have propelled us, but that we need to be more accesible and open to ideas as a Party.
We are, of course, already rich in ideas and substance, and consistently consult with others outside the Party: The public services, the general public, registered charities, businesses and the like. But recently we have become sidetracked by squabbles, petty backstabbing, lack of foresight and common sense from a few individuals, shortsightedness and downright selfishness, panic, and headlines, not always from pundits who have our Party's welfare at heart. Plus in the background, there are a few ragged survivors of Labour's wilderness years; the pirates of the hard left, anxious for their day to return with a vengance.
For those who are Labour, for those who want to vote Labour again, hang on! The Party WILL reform (it is in our nature), we will embolden and move forward, not jettosing our fantastic achivements that have made Britain great over the past few years, and yet at the same time, reconnecting with the British people in the way we did at the start of our premiership, otherwise we will have the nightmare of Cameron in Downing Street, smashing our tax credit system and slashing public services.
Labour's internal reforms need paitence, perseverance, imagination, and due care. We are ready and waiting and take heart, it is coming soon! Provided that people do not lose their nerve.