Saturday, May 24, 2008

What Next For New Labour After Tory Triumph?

New Labour is licking its wounds. After Crewe and Nantwich, Brown and New Labour cannot survive. The Party donors are ebbing away. Power is draining away. But can New Labour dig itself out of the hole?

Brown should not survive but who replaces him? The New Labour clones are as unpopular with the people as he is. 

Even with a caretaker leader he/she will been seen as just that, a caretaker. And how long can you go on with the third leader of a government without a general election? One way is for the Labour Party to go back to its core Labour roots and values and focus on its core supporters. 

Labour can win the next general election but it would be a victory for true Labour. New Labour MPs would be the 'rebels'. The Party could elect a fighter, not a caretaker and come out fighting. Make it clear New Labour is dead (shout it from the rooftops), focus on some Big Issues, make bold decisions and come out clear and strong.

A caretaker leader cannot do too much before the general election - but they can take tough decisions. Pick them off. 

Scrap ID cards once and for all, call a referendum on the Lisbon not-a-constitution, pull all operational troops out of Iraq and Afghanistan, scrap the Olympic financial fiasco, bring core strategic public utilities and services into public ownership, wage a real war on government waste by axing now the ridiculous quangos, PFI schemes, the NHS IT computer debacle and worthless IT projects. 

Conduct a forensic account of public spending, including all the spending Brown has hidden away off the balance sheet. Throw out the SpAds and consultants. Scrap the ridiculous alcohol licensing laws, and, yes, tackle immigration as a numbers issue not people. 

And so it goes on. Take your pick, there's plenty to choose from. And for goodness sake stop the robotic Newlabourspeak. Be direct and honest and speak English. 

This would be no U-turn. These once would have been Labour policies before the Party was highjacked. Signal an end to the New Labour Project. Then call the general election and fight on these issues. They may not win but they would have put up a good fight and totally wrong-foot the Conservatives.

But they won't. They can't. 

As New Labour policies fall apart and people have woken up to the sham, the Conservative strategy has been and continues to be react and ridicule, only putting forward a hard policy when it needs to. The 10p tax fiasco was a classic example. Here we saw not reaction but a real policy - cut taxes, fight the debt culture and fund public services with a purge on government waste. 

The Conservatives will now start to produce some policies and sensible real manifesto commitments. As real alternatives to New Labour.

So New Labour will limp along. If they cannot come up with the solutions then again they deserve all they get and its time to make way for someone who can.

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