Left Watch

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Labour's huffing and puffing won't break the Coalition

Labour MP Tom Watson tweeted this last night:

Screen shot 2010-06-27 at 08.40.33 Is this really the most sensible approach that Labour could adopt? At some point Labour may need the Liberal Democrats as Coalition partners. Mr Watson's language - late on a Saturday evening - is markedly more personal than the attack deployed by Harriet Harman earlier in the week.

I'm reminded of Aesop's fable of the wind and sun;

"The North Wind boasted of great strength. The Sun argued that there was great power in gentleness.

"We shall have a contest," said the Sun.

Far below, a man traveled a winding road. He was wearing a warm winter coat.

"As a test of strength," said the Sun, "Let us see which of us can take the coat off of that man."

"It will be quite simple for me to force him to remove his coat," bragged the Wind.

The Wind blew so hard, the birds clung to the trees. The world was filled with dust and leaves. But the harder the wind blew down the road, the tighter the shivering man clung to his coat.

Then, the Sun came out from behind a cloud. Sun warmed the air and the frosty ground. The man on the road unbuttoned his coat.

The sun grew slowly brighter and brighter.

Soon the man felt so hot, he took off his coat and sat down in a shady spot.

"How did you do that?" said the Wind.

"It was easy," said the Sun, "I lit the day. Through gentleness I got my way.""

For Andrew Rawnsley in The Observer, Labour needs to worm away at Liberal Democrat self-doubts;

"What will wound [Nick Clegg's] sense of himself and erode his position with his party is being seen as the neutered subordinate of the Tories. There will be a voice in every Lib Dem ear whispering: "We're being used, we're being used, and everyone can see it." It doesn't even have to be all that true to start hurting. This worm of unease is already niggling in their guts. If it grows, it could gnaw away at the foundations of this coalition until it comes tumbling down."