The Thick of It


Monday, August 16, 2010

Alan Milburn?

Alan Milburn has tried to push himself back into the political limelight a few times since he left the cabinet. There was his "rallying call" with Charles Clarke and his role in a failed coup to get rid of Gordon Brown. Now he is to work with the Tories as a social mobility tsar many in the Labour Party feel let down.

The Guardian's Gaby Hinsliff suggests that the backlash Miburn is now feeling highlights divisions within Labour. Cameron is clearly trying to hive off some Blairite individuals to leave Labour looking more extreme. It also gives us more reasons to argue. Back to Milburn though. The point is he has chosen to support a Tory government. He should leave them to it and let Tories and Lib Dems do the dirty work.

Milburn doesn't have a great deal of credit left with the Labour Party. Many won't be surprised that he is helping the Tories and if he is kicked out of the party I doubt many will miss him.

It is naive to suggest, as his move does, that the Labour Party doesn't offer him any means of influencing future government policy. We are selecting a new leader and there is every chance that with a good leader we'll be able to fight back, highlighting the nastiness of the Tory government. Milburn just lost his right to complain.

1 comment:

Idle Pen Pusher said...

Suppose he thinks he can influence the government to his perception of the better for the benefit of the nation and particularly the less well off and their 'social mobility'. The Labour tribalist position is to say he should "leave them to it" for reasons of 'loyalty' to a political party as a collective punishment for the nation's not having voted Labour?

I think this kind of unsavoury, weird and pointless tribalism (who under 40 actually cares about party labels other than politicians and those who wish to be one of them?) will contrast unfavourably with both the Lib Dems and the Tories' rather more modern approach to co-operation.