How Labour could (easily) win the next general election
There are two schools of thought on Labour’s election-winning strategy. The first is that it no longer matters who leads the Labour Party - they are known to be such a shower of abhorrent incompetents that victory at the next general is now utterly unattainable. The second is that it matters very much, and anyone but Gordon Brown at the helm would stand a better chance of delivering Labour a fourth term.
This has nothing to do with policies, or reason, or even politics. It is simply about perception, popularity and feeling. For in the postmodern age of unreason, that is all that matters. While the rational politicos worry about policies and argue over manifestos, the overwhelming majority of the electorate vote more in accordance with how they feel than how they think. This is not subject to any discourse of reason.
If Labour MPs were simply to focus on winning another term instead of internal feuding over ideological divisions, they could easily secure a victory, and haggle about personalities and policies afterwards.
Here is Cranmer’s winning team:
Prime Minister - Alan Johnson
Chancellor of the Exchequer - Frank Field
Home Secretary – John Denham
Foreign Secretary (and Europe Minister) - Gisela Stuart
Health Secretary – Stephen Byers
Education Secretary – Alan Milburn
Justice Secretary – Ben Bradshaw
Business Secretary – James Purnell
Environment Secretary – Hazel Blears
International Development Secretary – Hilary Benn
Defence Secretary – Quentin Davies
Communities Secretary – John Cruddas
Transport Secretary – Shaun Woodward
Culture Secretary – Glenda Jackson
Olympics Minister – Kate Hoey
Leader of the House of Commons – Chris Bryant
Party Chairman – (out of sight but highly effective) Peter Mandelson
Cranmer is neither advocating the merit nor lauding the integrity of any of these characters; merely stating this would be a winning formula and would contribute to an electoral victory for Labour.
Such a line-up would have the media flocking to Labour’s doors and send the Conservative Party into convulsions, leaving them to face a record fourth defeat and a potential 18 years in the wilderness. This new Cabinet would not actually have to do very much at all over the coming months; simply circulate the media outlets, do a string of interviews and make lots of inspiring speeches about ‘change’, of which they would be the undoubted embodiment. And if they were to invite Baroness Thatcher to No10 and secure the blessing of Tony Blair, they would be anointed for an unparalleled fourth term.
Cranmer would also recommend elevating Oona King to the House of Lords. It does not matter what portfolio she holds; she is beatiful, charming, eloquent, and the people adore her.
He would also elevate Shazia Mirza to the House of Lords - just to irritate the hell out of Lord Ahmed.
Concurrent with this re-shuffle (if that is not to tame a word) would be the imperative of keeping certain personalities out of the media altogether, especially Gordon Brown, Alastair Darling, Harriet Harman, Patricia Hewitt, Dawn Primorolo, Keith Vaz, Ed Balls, Ed and David Miliband, Goeff Hoon, Jacqui Smith, and sundry lords (but especially Ahmed).
The public either loathe or distrust them, or both.
It is not that Cranmer wishes to assist this appalling Labour government in any way. But he is increasingly disturbed by the complacency induced and the euphoria exhibited with each new opinion poll which is having the effect of inculcating a sense of inevitability about the outcome of the next general election. A Conservative victory is not assured, and a Cameron premiership is by no means a foregone conclusion.