15 September 2006

Short Gets It Right

Clare Short who has represented Labour in the inner-city seat of Birmingham Ladywood since 1983 has announced that she will not stand for Labour again. Other comments she has made mean that certain colleagues within her party will seek for her to be expelled from the party. I think she will walk before she his pushed. I was particularly taken by the following recent quote from Clare -
"In addition to the arrogance and lack of principle of New Labour, there is an incredible incompetence. Policy is announced from No 10 to grab media attention and nothing is properly thought through".

I whole-heartedly agree. The defining features of this government are spin and incompetence. I hope that they leave power with that reputation firmly gilded into the minds of the British Public. They have lurched from crisis to crisis (from fuel protests to foreign prisoners to the MSR bug to pensions to spiralling knife crime). They have regulated and legislated like never before (without enforcing) and jerk their knees to the tune of the tabloids with rhetoric, inquiries and commissions and never ever deliver properly considered policy. In purely managerial terms, their approach is prehistoric.

I may disagree with much of what Clare has to say, but I am one person who hasn't questioned her sincerity. As I posted on PoliticalHack (well before the MSM picked up on the story at all), Birmingham Labour activists must have seen this coming. Clare's views represent a significant group of left-leaning urban voters who are disenchanted with New Labour - but who feel they have nowhere to go. I say to them, come and have a look at what the Tories have to offer. It's the future.

Hat-tip Political Hack and Peter Smallbone who moved the Tories into second in the May Council elections in Ladywood and have commented on this story before me.


Manfarang said...

What exactly have the Tories to offer?
Britain had 18 years of Tory rule.I don't think many voters have forgotten the many policy failures.The Tories are the party of the past.

Ellee said...

Tony Benn, surprise, surprise, has attacked Tony Blair's Government for abandoning the NHS in favour of the Iraq war. And what with Geoff Hoon speaking out today too, all his MPs wanting him to stop down, he soon won't have a Government left.

Trevor Ivory said...

I struggle to believe that Short is sincere. She is now a vocal opponent of the military intervention in Iraq but, unlike Robin Cook, she did not resign her cabinet post in order to oppose the action until it became clear that Blair was going to sack her anyway. Is she sincere or just bitter?

Peter Smallbone said...

Unlike what New Labour has to offer, PT's comments are lucid and well thought through. Clare and I have significant differences over many things, but I welcome her attack on the New Labour project. There has been no attempt at serious 'reform' and the primary solution is to chuck money at problems in the hope that some will stick.

As for Clare's own position, it was seriously undermined by her decision to stay in the Cabinet as long as she did. It was obvious that her issuing of a public ultimatum spelt the end. Going at the same time as the late Robin Cook would have had a much greater impact on the government and public opinion.

Elephunt said...

Hang on a mo.I count myself on the 'left' of the Labour Party but Short has gone way byond the call of duty here.Although I'm delighted Blair will be gone sooner rather than later there is no way on earth I'd be hoping Labour lose seats at the next general election.That's not Labour-left,right or centre,that's just crackers. I'm genuinely sad that Clare has decided to bow out this way.

Praguetory said...

On reflection, it is reasonable to judge that she should walk rather than provoke expulsion. To wait for the push would simply be self-serving PR (with the admittedly benevolent side-effect of damaging Labour).

politicalcorrespondent said...

Hey, PoliticalHackUK only got the story off us! ;-)