This Is Our Time

The words in the title of this article were spoken by Barack Obama in Berlin two weeks ago. Yet this week they yield a very different meaning for a very different audience. Far from enhancing the belief that the left is about to experience an era of renaissance, for Labour these words embody the painful truth that the success of social liberalism in politics over the next decade and the very survival of the Labour party are ebbing ever closer to the edge. Whilst the foolish few MP's that the Labour Chief Whip was able to conjure up insist that everything will go swimmingly if we just wait and be patient, the reality could not be more different.

As Labour MP's enjoy their holidays, the poorest and most vulnerable members of society are slowly realising that they may soon be looking down the barrel of the gun that David Cameron holds. Whilst the middle classes may be won over with his cheap words and one dimensional visions of a 'fairer' world; the devil is as always in the detail, or in Cameron's case, the lack of it.

Labour MP's worried about loosing their £60,000 per year jobs should spare a thought for those on tax credits who will be hit brutally by the hidden stick of Cameron's politics. They should spare a thought for the single parents who do not fit into Cameron's plan to 'fix' our 'broken society'. They should spare a thought for those in true poverty who, according to Cameron, have only themselves to blame, and therefore, one would guess, only themselves to look to for help under a Conservative government. As Labour MP's walk around with buckets on their heads nervously looking at their majorities, they should realise that others will be the real victims should Labour fall.

Yesterday, I said that Labour has no choice but to replace its leader. Today, I say that the sooner they get on with it the better. Whilst things always proceed at a glacial pace in politics, the speed of the plotting against Gordon Brown is of concern. It is widely reported in today's papers that Brown is now planning a cabinet reshuffle at the start of September, Polly Toynbee even says that Alan Milburn may be brought back into the fold. The more time Brown is given to shore up his defences, the worse things will get for Labour. Make no mistake, Brown cannot turn it round. MP's holding out to see the results of cabinet shuffles, more 'rebrands' (were we not promised one of those after the local elections?) and other assorted tactics from the pick 'n' mix of political last resorts should be aware that nothing can make a difference.

On the day that Labour lost Glasgow East, John Hutton stood outside the National Policy Forum at Warwick University and stated "It is important that we do not change direction like some are advocating". No quote better describes the self-serving delusions of many members of Browns cabinet than that. The problem is, if he is still in office by September, his cabinet reshuffle will bring more nasty arch-Blairites into the government and this would be nothing if not a complete catastrophe.

Time is not on our side, so it is vital that we waste no more of it on Brown. David Miliband has laid out an admirable plan to save Labour and stave off the vanities of Cameronism, our job is to put him in a position where he can carry out that plan. This is our moment, this is our time and if we don't use it wisely it could soon belong to Cameron.

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