Peter Hoskin

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Ben Brogan charts the growing debate about the future of the Labour party in his Telegraph column today.  I'd suggest you read the whole thing, but it's this passage which stood out to me:

"Plans are afoot for a gathering in the coming weeks that will bring together Cabinet ministers, Labour grandees, policy thinkers, and – crucially – Liberal Democrats to flesh out a common ground on how to decentralise the state. The idea is nothing short of presenting Mr Brown with a liberal manifesto for the next election. Funding has been secured and a suitable venue is being sought before the invitations go out.

To outsiders this must all seem a preposterous game of deckchair arranging on the Titanic. If Mr Brown is to be ejected, who cares who does it, let alone what they argue about in the pub afterwards? Well, the Tories for a start, who will see here the first signs of a new-look Labour Party ready to fight them on the new centre ground of politics." Brown is hardly one for reinventing himself, so I don't think Labour have much hope of unleashing Gordo the Great Liberal on the nation.  But, as Brogan suggests, the point is more about how the political plates are shifting in preparation for a Tory government. 

Notice, in particular, the Lib Dems' involvement in this.  After their Gurkha victory, and rumours that there have been "conversations" with certain Labour folk who might consider jumping ship, Clegg and Co. seem to be cultivating an influence which belies their poll position.  There's a general air of unpredictablity around Westminster right now, and the role being played by the Lib Dems is certainly adding to it.