Labour's Pain

Last night I attended Progress's meeting on what to do for a Labour fourth term. Whilst it was well organised and there were good speeches, it felt as torn and divided as the Party itself with regard to Gordon Brown's future.
Given the way the PLP meeting went it looks like Brown will stay, but when people like Tom Harris start calling on the PM to quit you know things are bad. If Brown is going to stay he will have to start to work at mending fences with those who oppose him within the Labour Party. He will have to be more divisive at key moments and he will have to show a strong degree of flexibility. Likewise some of those who are loyal to him to the point of behaving like overzealous prefects will have to ask themselves whether they are doing themselves, their boss, and above all the Labour Party any favours!
I was not surprised at all by Byers's call for Brown to go! It was utterly predictable, but what still feels raw is the pain that was articulated in questions from the floor of the meeting. The still smouldering anger over MP's expenses, the anger and pain over the Euro results, the hurt at what this leadership debate is doing to us as a Party, but above all, the incredulity that no one seems to understand what the other is saying, or rather that it is not absorbed by the listener!
Did I learn anything new from the meeting. Well apart from the chance to say hi to several aquaintances, as well as feeling the depth of anguish first hand outside the constituency from where I live, not really! Except that we need to get out of the rabbit in the headlights situation and make a bold and decisive mood which means taking a dispassionate step back and looking coldly at the facts.
Horrible isn't it!


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