Friday, December 29, 2006

Kennedy.....Campbell, Hughes, Huhne..........wither 2006?

So, as the old year draws to a close - and what a year it was for us - who knows what the new one will bring..............another new leader?????? Or is that blasphemy?! I have to confess that the assassination of Charles still sticks in my gullet a bit, even as someone who was strongly of the view that we would need a new leader by the time of the next general election, but not then and not in that manner. There has been a fair bit of analysis on our performance this year on my beloved radio 4 (no not on the Archers) and it has to be said we are not coming out of it that well, even though Lembit, in his inimitable style seems to have done his bit to ensure we end the year in the headlines! It may be the conspiracy theorist gene in me, but how come Labour and Tory party chairs were interviewed for the World at One reviews but for us it was Vince Cable? Is it that our party President was unavailable……..or is it that he may have given a wee bit too honest an appraisal of our leader’s performance?

I have to admit that at the time of the election I shared the view that we didn't want to fall into the Blair/Cameron trap, going for packaging as opposed to substance. However, even though I hate to say it, packaging does have a role to play. It is what first attracts us to the product. Blair is like that old, rather insubstantial breakfast cereal which was so new season in 1997 (a la Crunchy Nut Cornflakes?) the packaging was bright and inviting in its day, but its day has now gone. Cameron is more the bright shiny hologram covered new packaging...........possibly more cocoa pops, tastes nice to start with, but you soon feel hungry again. And our Ming..........Quaker Porridge Oats? Much better for you, but the packaging needs a bit of attention. Not to compete with Cameron, certainly not, but to attract attention to the substance which is within.

I sincerely hope that this year Ming will find his feet and make the impact that is so necessary in what inevitably will continue to be portrayed as a two horse race. As a party it is imperative that we capture the imagination, that we are ahead of the game, that we anticipate the agenda, and that we offer radical alternative solutions.

So…………this year will be very interesting. The little matter of Trident…..a new Labour leader………..the possibility of a snap election……oh, and will orange be the new black?!

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