Well, what a busy weekend for politics – and a slightly odd one, frankly.
First of all, Polly Toynbee produces a column in the Saturday Guardian in which she, once again, calls for Gordon Brown to be replaced as leader of the Labour Party. It’s disconcerting that she thinks that this is the best thing for the party at this point in time. A leadership battle which would ultimately divide the membership and get miles of column inches in a non-too-friendly press, would only detract from fighting the insidious Cameron Cons. It’s also more than a little ironic that a journalist who fairly infamously left Labour for the SDP because she believed the unions had too much power, is now calling for those same unions to wield the knife that will rid her of this turbulent Prime Minister. That’s not to say there aren’t policy decisions taken in the last 12 years that should be criticised. We should not be afraid to debate real issues within the party, but is now the time to do that? Really?? We expect it of Charles Clarke, who is rapidly becoming the bitter loser of this generation of politicians. And that’s a sad thing to see. But Polly Toynbee should know better.
And then there was David Cameron holding a press conference to announce that he was launching his General Election campaign on a Saturday morning in Woodstock. Not only that, but his big policy announcement was that, should he win, he’d be happy to invite the opposition parties to attend War Cabinets. Well, that’s sure to get all those middle England swing-voters excited about a Tory government! Now, I’m not sure why Cameron’s chosen to launch now. Maybe losing his PMQ battles and (relatively) poor polls has made him want to try and seize the initiative. Maybe he thinks he’ll force Gordon Brown to actually call the election sooner. Or maybe he was just bored after a long Christmas break. What he’s stuck with now is him making policy announcements which Labour MPs will simply rebut with actual facts. So for the next four months the voting public get to see Conservative policy dissected, just as Alistair Darling has done in today’s press by highlighting the £60 billion gap in Tory funding plans. (If you’re wondering, £34 billion in funding gap and £26 billion extra to meet their promise to end the recession a year earlier than Labour)
So that was the weekend. Can’t wait to see what the working week brings!!
(PS – I don’t know if anyone is actually reading this blog, so please do leave a comment if you are!)