Wednesday, 27 July 2022

Crick in the Political Neck


I have a lot of time for Michael Crick, whom John Prescott once called, "Biggles from Newsnight." He was speaking from Talk TV as a guest, the channel with one viewer at that point - me - only because Crick was already on.

He says the Tory leadership is over already, Truss being the winner. She has positioned herself on the right but expects she'll govern nearer the centre. I hope he's right. Certainly someone who has reconstructed herself over and again can do it again.

Someone else who did that, positioned on the left to win the party vote, is Sir Keir Starmer. He's been chucking all his winning commitments out of the pram.
Crick said he has no charisma and no one knows what Labour stands for. They should be twenty points in front of the Conservatives after all that has happened, so it is quite possible that Truss will win the next General Election. Blair, Smith, Kinnock all were well ahead of the Tories at this stage, and Labour is not there.

'Beergate' was never anything, and Starmer survived the police enquiry fully intact. But it perhaps would have been better for Labour had he gone, for someone else with some charisma to take over. I'd favour someone like Wes Streeting. (Has to be from the right of the party, I'm afraid.)

He didn't mention Sir Ed Davey, leading the Liberal Democrats, and why would he? To my mind Davey has to be distinctive, and the one way he can do it is by promising to make moves to join the EU single market and customs union. We should be like Norway. Even Blair has abandoned this position, because we'd be rule-takers only. But he knows this is not true: the European Economic Area involves lobbying the EU and Norway makes its representations. Davey can offer solutions to our movement and travel,  ending our trade disadvantages, and most of all secure Northern Ireland's peace inclusion in the UK and closeness to Ireland in the EU. Charles Kennedy made his stance on the Iraq war and was rewarded for it in terms of recognition. It's time that Ed Davey did the same, and (as a Lib Dem member, if largely inactive) it's about time he got on with it.

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