Martin Bright

What Next?

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The real question for Labour now is how the party will rebuild itself. This has important democratic implications: we have witnessed how an over-mighty government can operate without the scrutiny of a strong oppoistion over the past decade and it is often not a pretty sight.

But there is a serious problem for the Labour Party here. If the collapse continues for much longer there will be no one of any seniority or experience left standing. Some will think this is no bad thing and that the Labour Party needs a completely fresh start. But I have always felt there is considerable talent in the younger generation of Labour politicians and it would be a tragedy if the baby was thrown out with the bathwater.

There has to be an argument for that generation to take control now. That doesn't necessarily mean a putsch against the Prime Minister. But it probably does mean a delegation to Number 10. The difficulty, as we know, is that Gordon Brown would take this very, very badly indeed. But unless it happens there is the distinct possibility that the Labour Party will go into terminal decline as a credible political force.