Tactics vs. Strategy
Steve Richards is one of a few journalists who are well worth reading, despite their tendency towards a somewhat Panglossian analysis of Gordon Brown and the Labour Party. In today’s Independent Richards looks at what Peter Hain has had to say recently about the future prospects of the Labour Party. Hain’s case, essentially, is that this Government has failed to articulate any sort of convincing narrative. Obviously, I would tend to go along with this analysis – I lurve political narrative. Richards also seems to agree:
His broader analysis reflects what a lot of ministers and Labour MPs are saying in private: that there needs to be much greater sense of direction if they are not going to be slaughtered at the election.
Part of this goes to what has been Gordon Brown’s biggest single failing as Prime Minister – his lack of strategy. So much of what he has done has been driven by short-term political positioning. Look back to the early days, the ostentatious ‘tax cuts’ the recruitment of Tory defectors, the invitation of Margaret Thatcher to tea: all these were done with the aim of positioning the Tories to disadvantage. I wrote about this at the time, and said then that the relentless party-politicking indulged in by Brown was bad Government. It’s turned out to be bad politics as well.