Labour’s failure – and dilemma – in a sentence

This quote from Jon Cruddas beautifully sums up much of what went wrong with the Labour government – and the dilemma Labour faces working out what to do next:

I’ve known for David Miliband for twenty years, I’ve known Ed Balls for twenty years, but I don’t know what they stand for.

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14 Comments

  • How about a nice, honest article explaining the relationships our new Chief Secretary to the Treasury has had with very large banking and accountancy firms?

    Was he given that job instead of Vince just to appease the bankers with a friendly, sympathetic face?

    What assurances do we have that he will serve the interests of the voter rather than old colleagues? It is a really important question given the past few years where regulation has been awful and what regulations existed, didn’t seem to be as tightly followed as it would be if such regulations had been aimed at members of the public dropping litter in some NE English cities!

    You’ll find life in government isn’t as easy as simply throwing stones at your opponents!

  • toryboysnevergrowup 18th May '10 - 10:11pm

    Some of us have known LibDems for even longer than 20 years and we still don’t know what they stand for – and everyday the picture is becoming less and less clear.

  • David Chapman 18th May '10 - 10:15pm

    A shame Cruddas is not standing for leader. There is a sense he has a certain approach that might raise the level of debate . Labour used to be the intellectuals party, now they have scarcely an idea to rub together. Clause 4 represented an ideal and a marker to measure political progress. Blair thought it a neat move to remove it and since then they have fallen foul of the worse kind of mangeralism without any guiding principles.

  • Anthony Aloysius St 19th May '10 - 12:46am

    The trouble is, I’ve thought exactly the same about most prominent politicians during recent years. Nick Clegg is certainly included! Oddly enough, not Gordon Brown, though.

  • Odd to find the Lib Dems’ favourite subject since hitching themselves to the Tories is the Labour Party.Roll on next year’s local elections 🙂

  • George Kendall 19th May '10 - 9:40pm

    I fear it’s a feature of modern politics, that politicians who aim at high office say as little as possible that might get in the way of their ambition.

    Nick Clegg is an exception, probably because he never expected to become deputy Prime Minister. He’s said a number of things in the past that he probably wishes he hadn’t. Remember the “Nazi” slur in the Daily Mail, a misquote of when he criticised our country’s obsession with the war?

    But he’s also shown some consistency. Radio 4 recently ran a repeat of a music show where he complained about the futility of prison as a way to reduce crime – something he repeated in the Prime Ministerial debates. Though I’m not sure how free he is to repeat those views now he’s in coalition.

    Until they are elected, there’s no way to be sure how the various contenders will behave. Will Ed Balls be just as tribal as Gordon Brown? I don’t know. As for David Miliband, he’s very intelligent, he appears moderate. But once in office, I guess he’ll just surround himself with Mandelson and Campbell, and the smears and tribalism will continue. We’ll see.

    But I do hope they elect someone good. Someone less tribal, with intellectual depth, and able to make an honest appraisal of where the country should be going. Labour may be our opponents, but a good opposition helps to keep a government on its toes, and so is good for the country.

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