Scanning news headlines the media consensus presumes a reshuffle is on the way after the 4 June elections. I am struggling to find any conceivable reason for Gordon Brown to wait a day longer. He is the Prime Minister. He decides who is in and who is out. Unlike the Labour Party National Executive Committee, he doesn't have to wait for due process to decide who is a fit and proper person to serve in Her Majesty's Government. Or does he?
He has succeeded in driving through reform of MPs expenses, secured cross-party support from a review of previous claims and taken control of the allowances system out of the hands of MPs themselves. The Labour Party NEC has agreed measures to establish a new code of ethics for Labour Party candidates, discipline offenders and ensure working with its local members that its candidates at the next election are fit and proper persons. A major reshuffle/purge ahead of the European Parliamentary elections is needed. Though care will have to be taken to ensure Cabinet ministers with a case to answer are out, and everyone retained and promoted is beyond reproach.
As a member of Labour's NEC, I have received a lot of angry emails and comments on my blogs about apparent anomalies in the treatment of different ministers, as well as between ministers and backbenchers. Some of this upset can be accounted for by shock about what has been going on in Westminster. Some can't, perceptions of scapegoating can't be easily brushed aside.
I would be very interested to hear from anyone who thinks they know of strong evidence of an anomaly, which I could add to a case I have already referred to the powers that be. Once reviewed and explained we need to be open about the reasons why apparently similar cases are being dealt with differently. Otherwise, there is no way in which party members' confidence in the NEC and the Party Leader/PM is going to be restored, let alone that of the electorate in Labour's competence to govern.
As for a 'national plan' aired here. Oh, deary me. I'm very fearful of any plan telling us all what's good for us, without any debate. But, if the national plan was to open debate on fair pay, taxation and ending poverty, the proper role of the private sector, together with constitutional reform, that would be a different matter. It might save the Labour Party.