Peter Hoskin

Clearing up the mess

Clearing up the mess
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Martin Kettle has some very sensible advice for Gordon Brown in the Guardian today:

"Proactive leadership is badly needed, not for Labour's cause, but for the cause of politics. Brown should bring the publication of MPs' receipts forward. The Commons should take the hit now, as part of an active strategy, rather than wait for it as part of a passive one. He should pre-empt Kelly too. He should go to David Cameron and Nick Clegg next week, hammer out some new rules on expenses on an all-party basis and then drive them through parliament before the June elections if possible. He could also take the opportunity to put Sir Hayden Phillips's review of party funding into early effect on an all-party basis.

Without interventionism of this kind Brown will simply remain the victim of events..."

Being proactive, in the way Kettle describes, may not cleanse the Government's tainted reputation.  But it certainly looks better than the alternative, and is more suited to the scale of the crisis in politics.  Yet, given how long it took Brown to say "sorry" over Smeargate - and given how equivocal his use of that word was - I suspect he'll stick to the passive approach.