Only a fool would deny that last nights European Election results were extremely damaging to the Labour Government and its authority.
We have messed up in a number of ways. Firstly by displaying a dithering indecisiveness regarding the economy by wasting an historic opportunity to make the Banks fully accountable to the people they serve by taking overall control in the Boardroom in order to oversee how the vast amounts of our cash was going to be deployed, and secondly through a mendacious smoke and mirrors Budget with its grandstanding 50% tax hike at the top end which won’t work, plus a raft of nebulous, catch all "promises" which no one seems able to fathom actually mean in terms of delivering real help.
And most importantly a whole host of Labour MPs including Jacqui Smith, Hoon, Blears, Beckett, McNulty, Purnell and Diana Johnson have displayed a withering contempt for those that they represent via their blatent theft (that’s what it is, the "system" didn’t sit them down, put the pen in their hand and dictate those claims) of our money. Blears epitomised their over inflated view of themselves. Hefty dollops of hubris borne of being told how bloody marvellous they are for sacrificing careers to represent the Many and Not the Few, lead these people to think they are entitled to trouser a few extra quid on the side due to their sheer wonderfullness and altruism. Pass the sick bag.
The voters delivered their verdict and it is this.
They are totally pissed of with the Labour Government and think we are out of touch and don’t care about what happens to them. They see the PLP and the Cabinet writing and speaking to each other and the Westminster Village, and doing little of practical good to get things moving in the economy.
What major Government legislation is going through Parliament at the moment? Lots of talk but no action. What’s going on with the Small Business Loan Guarantee Scheme? What measures have been taken to lean on the Banks regarding the flow of credit? What is Darling going to do about all the toxic debt that still remains especially at HBOS and the RBS? Can he guarantee we can sell debt to the markets, and is there a Plan B? What about the Public Sector Pension black hole? Etc, etc….
But Mr and Mrs. Joe(sephine) Public don’t fancy the Tories much either.
With the Govenment not so much on its knees as face down in the gutter all they can muster is a pathetic 27% share of the vote, barely more than they achieved last time out.
At the same stage of the Major Administration Labour polled 44%, so Druggie Dave must be demoralised that, despite the situation they are no nearer making a breakthrough that could put him in Downing Street. There is no feel good surge to the Tories. It simply does not exist in the way it did for Tony Blair all those years ago.
And as for the Lib Dems…. Clegg may as well pack up and go home now. Beaten by one of the (currently) un popular Governments in history proves they have nothing to offer as far as the British public are concerned.
I am wholly devastated that Yorkshire returned a BNP member for our great County, but this horrible canker of a Partys vote did NOT significantly increase. There is NO evidence of a rush of votes in the direction of extremism here. The result came from the inability of the main stream Parties to get their voters out. For obvious reasons. It that loss of trust that has put the BNP into the European Parliament and we must address why so many people are so angry with established politics that they voted this way. Don’t blame them, or demonise them as being racists, the lazy option. Get it sorted.
This Election provides an opportunity for Gordon Brown to reassert his authority at tonights PLP meeting.
He should tell them that their decadence at having a job for life (450 constituencies will never change hands) , holding the Public in contempt via expenses, back stabbing, plotting and general inertia to the needs of real people has put us in this mess. We do it my way or not at all. Fall in line, remember why you are here and get on with working for your constituents. Together we stand, divided we fall.
The next Election result is in our hands. We can, and must win. If Brown can survive this, he can survive anything. He can take heart from this crisis and move the Labour Party, and the country on by actually carrying through his plans rather than just talking about it.