Thursday, November 29, 2007

Events, dear boy, events

As Macmillan wisely noted, nothing pushes a government off-course faster than events.

The past week has been an appalling one for Labour - there's no other way to describe it.

With the Chancellor being hauled over the coals over Northern Rock - although I think he'll be proved right in the medium term and the risk will turn out to be manageable. Then we had the incompetence of a junior HMRC officer sending highly confidential details through the internal post relying on the insecurity of a ZIP archive password. And we ended last week with a number of senior military officers who suddenly discovered their voices once they ceased to have any power to deliver for their troops.

Then this week, we have a General Secretary of the Labour Party who has never struck me as one of the most inspiring figures in the party, to be honest. Despite his background as a regional organiser, head of compliance and a couple of years in the top job, Peter Watt apparently knows less about PPERA 2000 than I do and surely can't be looking forward to his interview with the police. Bang to rights, son.

Gordon has done exactly the right thing by returning the donations and sacking accepting the resignation of Watt - but things look grim at the moment. There's no doubt that the Party are in a serious hole at the moment, but it can be recovered. Gordon needs to take control and rebuild that reputation for sound management and effective government. What he mustn't do is try to find a quick, media-friendly fix for some other high-profile problem. This can be put right - we're not going to have an election until 2009 at the very earliest and I think I'd be prepared to put money on 2010, frankly. Competence must be the watchword - there can be no room for cock-ups.

Keep your nerve - Tony had several 'worst weeks of his premiership.' Let the Tories and the Lib Dems get all smug about slinging their mud for the time being. Let's get all the dirty washing out now - clean our stables and then turn the lights onto the Tories and the Lib Dems (who still have the little matter of a couple of million quid of stolen money sitting in their accounts, pending the completion of a City of London police investigation which is still ongoing). No whitewash, no half-truths, because it will be uncovered. The original crime doesn't always end careers, but a cover-up will.

1 comment:

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