Yesterday Kerron, Rupa, and myself among others, were slated by the Uber-Blogfather himself for not adding to his shadenfreuder, sorry I mean concern, over the lack of Labour bloggers response to Gordon's leadership.
To be fair to Iain though he has a point and I am glad he has brought it up. Because, aside from having had a busy domestic Bank Holiday weekend and a life outside blogging, I have avoided mentioning this issue out of a mixture of loyalty, frustration, and having missed some of the crucial interviews in question.
Lets put it this way, when Gordon became Prime Minister, many of us were hoping for a slight change in direction in Social Democratic politics. The hope was that there would be less spin, more policy, and a slight realignment of the political agenda that would satisfy the left, the general public, and bring forward the direct centrist/economic-right battle that would have taken place in the eighties had the Social Democratic element took firm control of the Labour Party and the SDP not existed. Not only that, but given the way the Tories have been in opposition, we would win and that would cause the Tories to radically rethink their political philosophy, let alone their agenda (because let's face it, they have not had the painful transition in opposition that Labour have had to face).
This has clearly not gone to plan, not least because of a failure to take initiative, to publicly and cynically wrong-foot the Tories in ways that have clearly rebounded, and by having ill-thought out but well meaning policies such as the 10p tax.
But all is not lost. David Cameron himself has stated that the Conservatives should not take victory as a given and we do have two years to try and turn things around, so long as, to take from Rudyard Kipling's poem If, we keep our heads while others lose theirs. That means sticking by our leader, but also encouraging him to take the initiative and have a rethink on several economic policies and to try and reconnect with the voters. We have two years in which to do that and we cannot just rely on Cameron's PR mask to slip, although that will happen provided we keep our nerve and show a degree of enterprise and freshness that we have been lacking of late. As for leadership challenges, well we know the damage that can cause, we have seen it already from the Tories' and Lib Dems. Initiative, openness, radical renewal whilst staying the course, and hopefully we shall pull through.