Posts Tagged ‘own the future’

Miliband can own the future in a way that Cameron can’t

22/03/2011, 04:40:10 PM

by Jonathan Todd

The longer Gordon Brown was prime minister, the harder it became, sadly, to picture him in post at the 2012 Olympics. His purchase on the future evaporated. Ed Miliband has to recover this to return to government. He has to convince that he has the answers to the challenges of 2015 and beyond. And personify these answers.

While his speech to the resolution foundation looked towards this, the past is always knocking incessant, trying to break through into the present. As Jim Murphy told the progress political school, in politics, the past is always the context, the future the contest. The spectre of Iraq hangs over Libya. The fiscal management of the last government colours arguments about the approach of this. In many areas – NHS, schools, welfare and, increasingly, foreign affairs – David Cameron presents himself as more heir to Blair than a return to the 1980s. Labour begs to differ. The public is uncertain.

What is not in doubt, however, is that the past has to be overcome to own the future. The 1997 victory couldn’t happen until Labour had outrun the shadow of its discontented winter. Tory detoxification hadn’t removed the stench of Thatcherism before 2010. That foul odour now emanates from Number Ten, in spite of Cameron needing Nick Clegg’s help to limp over the finishing line of the general election. (more…)

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