The Futility Monster

He'll pointlessly derive more enjoyment out of your resources than you

What Is Jon Cruddas Up To?

Posted by The Futility Monster on September 9, 2009 @ 06:33

I'm sure I've seen Alan Sugar in a similar publicity photo for The Apprentice. Maybe they photoshopped Cruddas' face onto it...

I'm sure I've seen Alan Sugar in a similar publicity photo for The Apprentice. Maybe they photoshopped Cruddas' face onto it...

I don’t know about you, but for a Labour MP, Jon Cruddas seems to enjoy taking every opportunity possible to knock his party.

Last night he did it again, telling the Compass think tank that Labour had, “no compelling case for re-election”.

Having said that, the man does have excellent judgement. He refused a job in Gordon Brown’s cabinet in June 2007, which with hindsight seems a superb decision, but at the time must have been very difficult for him. After all, he’d never been anywhere near government; most MPs would never dream of turning down a chance to get their hands on the tiller.

But Cruddas did. Surely, even then, he was not doing what most people assume he is doing, and thinking that Gordon Brown would be a total disaster, a government job from him would be a poisoned chalice, and that guilt by association would be terribly damaging to any future leadership bid?

As it happens, time has proved him right. And now, with at most nine months to go until a General Election, if he really does want the Labour leadership, the time for him to lay out his stall is fast approaching. What would a Labour party under Jon Cruddas be doing different right now? What would its policies be?

Cruddas has actually been something of an enigma. He has gained his reputation as a tough talker on the BNP; he was one of the few Labour MPs to advocate that they must be tackled head on. Otherwise, what he truly stands in terms of actual policy is a little more hazy, apart from opposition to Trident and Royal Mail privatisation. But, as we know from history, having only a couple of policies doesn’t matter. After all, Cameron only had one!

Cruddas’ new-found prominence was built upon his excellent campaign for the Labour deputy leadership, which showed him as erudite and a decent public speaker, and the outcome was he came from nowhere to finish third against some of the biggest names in the Labour Party.

Since then, he has spent his political capital wisely – popping up at regular intervals to give a poke in the ribs to the party establishment. Just a little “friendly”  reminder that he is still there. Still waiting. Still scheming. Even when he is ostensibly “backing” his leadership – it’s always done in a way which still berates his own party and appeals to the base.

If Cruddas doesn’t make a leadership bid when Brown is soon toppled I’ll eat my hat. It all just adds up too conveniently now. Even if his decision to avoid high office in June 2007 was a pure fluke, his actions since then have been always indicative of someone waiting in the wings for the right moment.

He is playing a dangerous game by knocking his own party with such force, such regularity, but every swipe keeps him in the media agenda, keeps the attention of the party hierarchy, and no doubt appeals to what remains of the tired, beleaguered grassroots of Labour.

It is no co-incidence that the Labour Party conference is on the way. Maybe we could be seeing a move against Brown sooner than we think…

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One Response to “What Is Jon Cruddas Up To?”

  1. It is no problem for him to attack Gordon Brown, and for that matter not be in the cabinet, because he has never been New Labour in the first place.
    If after the next general election Labour decide that New Labour is dead and buried, he is the obvious person to elect as leader of the party.

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