Wednesday, September 28, 2005

Getting On With It

Yesterday's rejection of the Howard/Maude/Monbiot plan was a vital first step on our path to winning the next election.

Yes of course, it would have been better if the plan had never been cooked up in the first place- and we should all keep a careful note of those who were promoting it. But let's have no more hand-wringing: we are where we are, and right now the clear imperative is just to get on with it.

May we reiterate that our MPs have a particular responsibility to ensure we don't have a repetition of the IDS experience. Theirs is the power to winnow down the candidates to that shortlist of two- either of whom they could work with. And this time, they need to take that responsibility seriously.

We all understand about grudges and axes, and what fun it is to plot and conspire. We all heard that unedifying whoop of joy Ann Widdecombe emitted when she heard M Portillo hadn't made the 2001 final cut.

But come on guys- you're meant to be the "most sophisticated electorate in the world". Please concentrate very hard and make sure you present us with two candidates you genuinely believe could do the job in Westminster. Two candidates who are- among other things- capable of knocking heads together when the going gets tough.

Lord Hodgson- who is someone who actually knows- reckons "it is perfectly possible for this election to be completed in eight weeks".

We expect to have our new leader in place by Christmas.
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