Tuesday, October 16, 2007

If Newsnight Doesn't Understand, How Can Anyone Else?

So let me get this right; according to the combination of Newsnight and BBC Ten O'Clock News, Simon Hughes is the representative of the social democratic wing of the party, Nick Clegg is represents both the economic liberal wing and the right wing, and Steve Webb and Chris Huhne represent the left wing. If the telly was mine I'd be throwing things at it...

Whoever our new leader may be (and let me state plainly here and now, much as I associate myself more with Steve Webb, it has to be the Clegg) they really must tackle the fundamental mental block we now have as a party, namely an unwillingness to define ourselves on the left-right spectrum. Now I have all the Facebook political compass-type applications going and I understand all the reasons why two axes are superior, but I am left nevertheless with one simple conclusion;

"If no-one in the media is never going to give a rat's nether regions about two axes, we should stop blathering on about them!"

All the analysis now is going to be that we are suffering from being squeezed out of the centre ground. That is the terminology of the day, so it's that terminology we must challenge. The irony is, with "cozy consensus" we're halfway there, but cozy consensus doesn't work as a message if the perception that we're in the middle of it goes unchallenged. Failure to challenge it will just see us repeating history yet again.

Either way, I hope we will reflect on and appreciate the contribution that Ming has made to the party, even in his parting. It was a courageous decision, a decision that showed real commitment to the party and its ideals over individual power. The sooner he is back taking David/Ed/Glenn/Steve Miliband to task over the failings of New Labour's excuse for a foreign policy, the better.

PS A special award to blogger for having an outage just as I was about to post this last night...

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