JENNIFER SELWAY believes it is past time for leaders to take the initiative.


AT THE cinema the projector broke down. So no film. Then all the trains home were cancelled because of an “incident” around Wimbledon. First-world problems I know, but it does feel as though everything is falling apart. And what about those rats scampering over the croissants in that supermarket? If that doesn’t say “end of days” I don’t know what does.

Better to stay home and watch TV. I’m enjoying Blair And Brown: The New Labour Revolution which began last week on BBC Two. For a start there’s the fascination of seeing how the main players have aged. And watching all those lady spads in their mid-calf 1980s dresses sprinting loyally after Tony Blair as he marched into the future with his chest puffed out.

“The single most important thing in politics is to have the initiative,” he said in last week’s opener. And yes, you did feel that at the time Labour had the initiative, the wind in their sails.

“We were like a trio of musketeers” purred Peter Mandelson talking about himself, Brown and Blair. Though back then with his spivvy moustache and white suits, Mandy looked more like a holiday camp ents officer than D’Artagnan.

Is having the initiative the “single most important thing in politics”? It could well be and it doesn’t feel as though any party in Britain has it now.

We’re being buffeted about as though we’re in a game of pinball, pinging from one mishap to another.

Set out in the car and you’ll be trapped on a motorway waiting for the police to move the eco-warriors. Tempting to send in the tanks to sort that out but the Army is too busy driving petrol around because there are no lorry drivers.

Inflation is about to soar, the supermarket shelves are half empty and there will be no gadgets, turkeys or pigs-in-blankets for Christmas.

All the energy companies are going bust because of the price cap (embraced by both Labour and Conservatives) which is a prime example of a crowd-pleasing policy with unintended consequences.

The Home Secretary talked tough at the party conference about people-smugglers but does anyone believe that the inflatable dinghies are going to stop coming?

When the current unpleasantness magically sorts itself out the Prime Minister is going to lead us into a high-wage, low-tax future. . “Brinkwire Summary News”.


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