Graham Allen: Brown must go

We must find the courage to make the change

Share
Related Topics

There is only one reason to have an election for Labour Party leader: to increase our chances of winning the next election.

A working-class constituency of former council estates like mine will suffer most if our Surestarts are closed, our school building programme halted, and if our community protection officers, local GPs and our early intervention policies are not funded.

Keeping the Conservatives out is my first priority, as it is for all of my parliamentary colleagues. We have an honest disagreement on how best to do that and have had a swift and remarkably mature discussion which must now reach a conclusion.

This is nothing to do with Blairites and Brownites. It's about Labourites – whether they are MPs or cabinet ministers – seizing the last chance to change before the general election.

As a young Labour official, I was sitting with Jim Callaghan on election night 1979. He told me: "If we lose we will be out of power for a decade."

It turned out to be 18 years.

We have a chance not to repeat our history but to pre-empt it. Voters too have used the council and European elections to spray on the eyeballs of MPs the clearest possible message.

Ignore them, remain paralysed in our default position and we – and those who depend upon us – will pay the price.

Nothing has been harder in my political life than having to confront this choice. I am not one of the "usual suspects". I admire the Prime Minister and proudly nominated him and I believe he has got the economic calls right.

But now it's about more than that. To reverse Labour's current trajectory it is not about administering government but reviving politics. It is about having the skills to reach out beyond those who agree with you to win over those who don't, to empathise with voters, to communicate more effectively our superb achievements and to inspire our supporters with the future which we can offer.

It is also about ruthlessly skewering the hollowness of the Conservative leader, who dreads us making a change more than anyone. Whatever decision is made, I will respect the outcome and get on with winning for Labour. However, today for my party and my constituents, I, like many others, must find the courage to make the change.

The writer is the Labour MP for Nottingham North

React Now

Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

HR Business Partner - Banking Finance - Brentwood - £45K

£45000 per annum + Benefits: Ashdown Group: ** HR Business Partner - Senior H...

PA / Team Secretary - Wimbledon

£28000 - £32000 per annum + Benefits: Ashdown Group: PA / Team Secretary - Mat...

Mechanical Lead

£65000 - £75000 per annum + competitive: Progressive Recruitment: Mechanical L...

Nursery Nurse

£8 per day: Randstad Education Manchester: Nursery Nurse The Nursery Nurse wi...

Day In a Page

Read Next
 

Fist bumps will never replace the handshake - we're just not cool enough

Jessica Brown Jessica Brown
The children were playing in the street with toy guns. The air strikes were tragically real

The air strikes were tragically real

The children were playing in the street with toy guns
Boozy, ignorant, intolerant, but very polite – The British, as others see us

Britain as others see us

Boozy, ignorant, intolerant, but very polite
Countries that don’t survey their tigers risk losing them altogether

Countries that don’t survey their tigers risk losing them

Jonathon Porritt sounds the alarm
How did our legends really begin?

How did our legends really begin?

Applying the theory of evolution to the world's many mythologies
Watch out: Lambrusco is back on the menu

Lambrusco is back on the menu

Naff Seventies corner-shop staple is this year's Aperol Spritz
A new Russian revolution: Cracks start to appear in Putin’s Kremlin power bloc

A new Russian revolution

Cracks start to appear in Putin’s Kremlin power bloc
Eugene de Kock: Apartheid’s sadistic killer that his country cannot forgive

Apartheid’s sadistic killer that his country cannot forgive

The debate rages in South Africa over whether Eugene de Kock should ever be released from jail
Standing my ground: If sitting is bad for your health, what happens when you stay on your feet for a whole month?

Standing my ground

If sitting is bad for your health, what happens when you stay on your feet for a whole month?
Commonwealth Games 2014: Dai Greene prays for chance to rebuild after injury agony

Greene prays for chance to rebuild after injury agony

Welsh hurdler was World, European and Commonwealth champion, but then the injuries crept in
Israel-Gaza conflict: Secret report helps Israelis to hide facts

Patrick Cockburn: Secret report helps Israel to hide facts

The slickness of Israel's spokesmen is rooted in directions set down by pollster Frank Luntz
The man who dared to go on holiday

The man who dared to go on holiday

New York's mayor has taken a vacation - in a nation that has still to enforce paid leave, it caused quite a stir, reports Rupert Cornwell
Best comedians: How the professionals go about their funny business, from Sarah Millican to Marcus Brigstocke

Best comedians: How the professionals go about their funny business

For all those wanting to know how stand-ups keep standing, here are some of the best moments
The Guest List 2014: Forget the Man Booker longlist, Literary Editor Katy Guest offers her alternative picks

The Guest List 2014

Forget the Man Booker longlist, Literary Editor Katy Guest offers her alternative picks
Jokes on Hollywood: 'With comedy film audiences shrinking, it’s time to move on'

Jokes on Hollywood

With comedy film audiences shrinking, it’s time to move on