Charles Clarke launched a scathing attack on Gordon Brown yesterday, saying that he believes given the current climate Labour face ‘utter destruction’ at the next General Election. Whilst I agree with him and his assesment I am going to do something very rare indeed: defend Gordon Brown. Charles Clarkes salvo can be summed up in one word for me: bitter. At a time when ex-ministers and the party faithful, and I use the term ‘faithful’ losely, should be keeping schtum to see how things pan out, he has decided to kick a man when he is down.
Clarke is known not to be a fan of Gordon Brown, he is a Blairite, he didn’t support Brown’s leadership bid and he has been the thorn in his side on many issues including 42 days. What irritates me most about all this is what has Charles Clarke actually said in his latest barrage of abuse ? If you break down the rhetoric he has said: Labour is in trouble, if they don’t change they will lose the next election, Gordon get your act together. Pretty bog standard stuff. Not a word on how this change can come about, no suggestions, no mild inkling of support like he hopes Gordon does sort it out, nothing.
His comments serve no purpose other than to throw Labours disunity and infighting to the fore once again. He refuses to let Labour get on and try to make things right because he knows that if he keeps the pressure up the media wont let this story go. If Gordon Brown is to sort the country out, although I’m entirely convinced he isn’t the man for the job, then we and others need to at least let him try. Stop banging on about leadership challenges, and Labour disunity, let them show the country how they are going to change things and sort out their mess and we can shoot them down. People like Clarke are making it too easy for the Tories, and everyone knows we like a challenge.
I want to defeat Gordon Brown in a battle of ideas and policies not on the back of the grumpy, disloyal ramblings of certain memmbers of the Labour party. It is the job of Her Majesty’s opposition to expose the flaws in the government of the day and not bitter ex-ministers who believe ‘it should have been me’.