‘He (Brown) felt that the main purpose of this pre-election Pre-Budget Report was to recycle his old political dividing lines.This weakness can only come from fear of discussion of our past failures and fear that it is too dangerous to set out our future plans.The real danger for Labour is that this weakness will pave the way to political defeat in 2010.’
The Labour leadership crisis has retreated from the limelight recently, but the spectre of internecine war after a whipping at the polls has not. As Clarke notes, the government is incapable of admitting that it has made a mistake and therefore cannot provide a coherent narrative besides that which has gone before. Brown and his henchmen have gambled everything on politicising economic recovery – hostages to the chance that the public might take the bait. Ending the dictatorship of cheap politics over the national interest is a powerful slogan for Labour’s resurgent right wing. An alternative narrative is emerging: Clarke, the Labour’s Future group and Paul Richards are all making this point.