Tuesday, April 27, 2010

What Brown should say: we’ll take whatever result you give us

Gordon Brown is right to say that politicians should “not take the people of this country for granted” and not “be arrogant enough to assume that you can start talking about after an election”. But he should go further.

Last year, it became obvious that we in parliament had been letting you down. Too many individual MPs had been playing the system when they should have been working for you. And collectively, by tolerating this system for too long, parliament was guilty of thinking it knew best, and not respecting you.

I’m sorry. We have to do better and we will do better.

But some politicians still think that they know best. There’s been a lot of talk about how post-election deals might work and how certain sort of results would be unacceptable.

Well, this just won’t do. You’re the voters and this is your election – not mine, not David Cameron’s, not Nick Clegg’s. We’ll make our case, but in the end we have to accept that you know best and you will vote whichever way you want to. And then we, the politicians, will have to accept whatever result you give us, whether we like it or not.

I know what result I want to achieve. I’ve been going around the country, talking to people about what we need to do to protect our schools and hospitals, to nurture the economic recovery and create jobs, to fight crime and reduce poverty. Maybe you agree, maybe you don’t. That’s your call.

So here’s my post-election deal. It’s a pact I’m making, in public, with you, the voters.

You vote the way you want to. And in return, whether Labour comes first, or second, or third, or fourth, or fifth, we will do everything we can to move towards a fairer, stronger Britain. I can tell you we won’t always succeed. And I can tell you the other parties won’t, either. But whatever result you give us, you’ll have a parliament full of fallible human beings, and a government run by fallible human beings. We’ll do our best to achieve as much as we can.

Now, I’d rather spend the rest of the campaign talking about policies, not polls – about jobs in the economy, not jobs in the cabinet. Let’s get on with it.

(OK, the wording’s not great. But then, nor are most of his speeches.)

1 comment:

Liam Murray said...

A nice response.

Not sure it's that credible from someone who admitted considering and then rejecting an earlier poll on the grounds that he wouldn't win / hadn't made his case yet.