Commentary and opinion on national and regional politics by Seema Malhotra

Saturday, 25 July 2009

The choice of our time

I was on my way back today from a Unite meeting when I was thinking about possibilities - the need to get new people into unions and political life - and whether we should be defeatist or keep going with the fight back after a disastrous Norwich North result. In some ways I've been in discussions like this every year since 1997; discussions with people who think Labour has lost its soul; arguments that the worst Labour Government is still better than any Tory Government. The issue now however is quite stark; there is no room for luxurious debate. Within one year, the election will have happened. Decisions we make now - individually, or in terms of policy and organisation will deliver one of two outcomes: a Labour or a Tory Government. But Labour needs now perhaps to do less and deliver more, as well as show what it has delivered in terms of outcomes for Britain, and outcomes for individuals. People need to know what they and the country are going to lose by not voting Labour; Labour needs a clear statement on this with a vision of the country's future too, that people can then choose to invest in when they come to vote at the ballot box.