Thursday, 22 January 2009

Rising above party politics?

The temptation to criticise the 'do-nothing' approach of the Tories is always strong, especially when their economic policy is led by a lightweight like George Osborne. But Matthew Taylor makes a very good point when he cautions against this as the best approach for the Prime Minister in these troubled economic times.

The lesson from Barack Obama is surely that we need a less overtly partisan approach in these times. Indeed, Gordon Brown has made a point of bringing people from outside Labour politics into his government. But if the Prime Minister were to distance himself from mere party advantage, it could resonate more than the current pre-election battle. Matthew suggests:
Instead, Labour needs a radically different communication strategy. This might for example involve an explicit refusal to engage in party politics while the economic storm is raging. Brown’s message might be: ‘I am reconciled to the likelihood of losing the next election. Neither I nor my ministers are going to waste any energy on that skirmish when the big battle is to get through this crisis’.
Of course, such a strategy has its risks. And the government shouldn't refrain from correcting lies and mistruths. But accompanied by a challenge of responsibility to the Opposition in helping to find agreed solutions to the banking crisis, it could be a more effective approach than re-running the golden oldie attack lines that worked well in previous general election campaigns, but which seem pretty pointless in a time of crisis.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

face the facts - Brown caused this mess and the electorate are going to make you pay. If 18 years seemed a long time - its going to be even longer next time - that is if Labour can survive the growth of the BNP.

What is unbelievable is that 30% of the electorate( according to the latest polls ) will still vote for Labour - despite your incompetence.