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There really isn't anyone in the Labour front bench that really captures the publics imagination, I mean even Miliband doesn't really come across well in the eyes of the public.

I'm a bit of a political geek and even I struggle to remember some of the Labour front bench, they aren't exactly the most memorable bunch.

The age old problem is still alive, it's easy to know what you want to be saved from, what you want to be saved to is quite another matter.

Nevertheless, it's their own fault, in a way I just wish the election was sooner rather than later as the country is suffering whilst they sort out their internal mess.

I wouldn't call Redwood 'absolutely anybody'. He is a serious, honest politician with well-developed and consistent ideas, the very opposite of the intellectual pygmies in Brown's cabinet. The contrast highlights the depth of Labour's crisis.

"There really isn't anyone in the Labour front bench that really captures the publics imagination, I mean even Miliband doesn't really come across well in the eyes of the public."

The present one? No. Not when one compares to Prescott and Blunkett from 1997.

I suppose there's Alan Johnson, but even then he's just too "nice" to hold high office...

The biggest difference is that Labour MPs are all still thinking in terms of winning the next election. Too many Tory MPs in the 90s were prepared th sink the Conservative government ship unless their egos were massaged.

Remember the words of wisdom of that great croquet champion, Deputy Prime Minister and
lover, John Prescott: there is nobody among NuLab of the stature of McBroon. I do not recall anyone in the Tory Party in 1995 who gave their Front Bench such a ringing endorsement.

Other issues at play:

Kinnock wasn't trusted by the public to run the country - not one bit. His ineptitude, compounded by the economic mess inherited by the Cons, put Labour into opposition for longer than merely a 'we need a change' vote.

Labour's term in govt hasn't been artificially long however, and the Conservative 'renewal' has been solely down to Cameron's stewardship, rather than Howard, Hague or IDS - as good as those men are, their policies were very similar, image very similar and they were similarly unpopular.

Conversely, John Smith was relatively popular as a Labour leader. His demise - and TBs reforms - protected TB from any 'same old Labour' jibes...

Cameron's repositioning of the party is having that same effect in the public's affections, but in a shorter timeframe, without the luxury of the electorate not remembering your last term in office.

It is to the previous leaders' credit - especially Hague - that their support hasn't merely been to stand back and let DC get on with it, but to proactively support him. TB had a rougher time of it, with Clause 4, meaning he never had total support... total subservience, possibly.

In conclusion:

Labour's term in opposition was longer, and TBs predecessor gave him a relatively positive legacy. Cameron has to compress the twin disadvantages of shorter 'renewal' period and less positive 'public opinion' legacy into a shorter timeframe... No mean feat as G.Brown will testify.

A year ago I was convinced that Labour would win the next election.

Now I am convinced they are going to lose it.

What I still haven't worked out is which would be better from the selfish point of view of wanting to spend as little of my life as possible under Tory rule. If Major had lost in 1992, would his successor have won in 1997?

I agree with David Sergeant. I don't think Labour are quite in 1995 territory (in reverse), but they aren't far off it.

The difference is really the number of seats the Tories have now is notionally about 63 lower than Labour's then, so a massive majority at the next election is not going to happen.

Bill Cash, Marlow & Co seemed to be actively trying to bring the Conservative government down, although I wasn't unsympathetic to several of their key views on Europe.

Labour MPs and Ministers seem to be merely depressed, and the YouGov polls today seem to confirm changing their leader won't help, with the possible exception of Jack Straw who narrows it slightly. Miliband makes almost no difference, and Balls is about as unpopular as piles.

Brown can only dream of being in the position of John Major, right now his position is much more like that of IDS before that last fateful conference.

Straw or Johnson would have been better leaders for them. Straw sounds a bit hesitant but thinks logically, and is experienced enough to multi task on very different subjects, which Brown can't do.

I think we have to be prepared for the fact that we might not be fighting Gordon Brown, in a desperate last throw of the dice from them, although it's still more likely we will be because there would have to be an immediate General Election, and they will probably draw back.

Another similarity - legislation made in a desperate bid to "buy" the public! I am hearing this morning of Labour planning a "windfall tax" to "help the poor"! The Poor Misguided Fools think that the majority of the Great British Public WANT more taxes???! I should think it will make the pit all the bigger for them to be buried in!
In the "dying days" of the last Conservative Government we had the Dangerous Dogs Act which was an apallingly cobbled together piece of legislation and the Disability Discrimination Act which, although a good idea, was quite un-Conservative in the way it was put together and which certainly did not attract votes but merely pander to the "political correctness" culture!

Biggest difference between 1995-97 and now? Policy, most specifically our relationship with the EU but also taxes, Bosnia etc. Wher are the differences between the 'Brownites' and the 'Blairites' today? There may be some, but I'm not aware of them.

Nulab/Blair created a narrative about the decline of the public services and convinced the electorate that increased spending would transform them into "world class". Remember "24 hours to save the NHS" etc.

Eleven years later massive amounts have been spent on "schools and hospitals" but no-one really believes they have improved. The argument seems now to between the micro management advocated by Brown and the reform package advocated by the Blairites.

Unfortunately for Nulab both depend on spending even more money for even longer in the hope that "change" will eventually convince a sceptical public.

Brown's financial management of the economy has killed the golden goose and the money is running out. Look at the level of the FTSE. Not much evidence there to support Brown's case.

The Labour right offer the managerial android while the left wants windfall profit taxes.

They have finally run out of steam and the argument is back where it was in 1976 with the IMF but the public may now have finally got the message that tax and spend gets you nowhere.

There is now the opportunity for a long period of conservative rule. DC will have to make sure he doesn't make any promises he can't keep and he will have to make sure he isn't set up to take the blame when he has to take on the public service unions and cut spending.

Support the right side of DC. Vote YES at www.FreeEurope.info ! Not too late...

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