Labour leader Ed Miliband's timidity, or is it understandable caution, can't propel our party to an overall majority at the General Election next May. The core vote is too fragile, especially in those diminishing Labour heartlands.
He has to ask himself how can Labour can appeal to them once again.
Miliband has shed some Blairite baggage. Iraq was't right, and so on. But he continues to be dragged back from being an inspiration leader by his very own ball and chain - aka Balls and Cooper.
To reunite the Union that makes up the United Kingdom means finding a way of enabling all those on the peripherary to believe that at least the Labour Party is listening to them. The only way I can think of is tearing up the way UK budgets are set and inviting everyone to participate in making a Growth4All budget.
The devolved nations already have the infrastructure in place to set their budgets, if not the means to finance them directly yet, except in a very minor way in Scotland. There is a mood among northern cities to have their say. But there is neither encouragement, nor the institutional framework to facilitate consensus building. The last minute horse-trading by party leaders ahead of the Scottish independence referendum may have secured a NO vote, but added to the risk of clumsy fragmentation.
Miliband could stop the rot. But it means shedding that ball and chains, and spelling out how Labour wants a UK consensus about a Growth4All budget that must be set out before the Summer Recess 2015. Every elected Labour Party representative in local, regional, and the devolved nations has a part to play in encouraging discussion, debate and resolution of budgetary priorities. Those debates should be being encouraged in every Labour Party branch, constituency and local government unit.
If the chancellor of the exchequer in waiting doesn't like the idea, tough.