Wednesday, 29 September 2010

Not part of a new generation

Ed gave a good speech yesterday; he carefully balanced his criticism of the Blair-Brown years with his praise for the many things that government achieved. His criticism of the Iraq war was measured and handled sensitively enough; it can have come as no surprise that he said it. But I sense that the Iraq war may be a sore that LP members can’t stop picking at. It was divisive at the time, the decision was some time ago. We must let that decision go - while learning important lessons from it.

There were a lot of broad brush aspirations in the speech; some of them will be hard to achieve. But I for one am happy to give Ed time to flesh out these aspirations.

But there is one thing he needs to drop. I think he mentioned the ‘new generation’ about 15 times. Frankly, it’s not a very good slogan - clearly one dreamt up by a set of young advisers who haven’t the skills to really work out what they’re saying and what the effect will be. If he keeps using the expression he’ll alienate many of us who have worked hard to sustain the party over many years - and an odd sentence saying it’s nothing to do with age doesn’t alter the fact.

In fairness to him, I don’t think he mentioned new generation in his R4 interview this morning . . . but I was feeding the dog, so I may have missed it.

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