03 August 2009

Positive News Day: Pickles is worried about Alan Johnson

Eric Pickles, the Tory Chairman, is facing reality by admitting the Tories are worried about Alan Johnson:

Pickles says that winning the election "wouldn't be as simple" if Alan Johnson were leading Labour. Having Johnson as leader might help Labour gain "a few percentage points" in the polls. But he quickly adds a caveat.

"I don't think changing leader would fundamentally change the picture ... because if you look at what Mr Johnson stands for, in terms of economic policy, and social policy and unemployment, there's not a hap worth of difference between him and Mr Brown. So it's all about style, not substance. And I think people are cheesed off – I won't use anything stronger – with Labour and with what they've done. I think it's Labour, not Brown."

Pickles may be right in his analysis.  We will see.  As I have discussed, if the polls move in early September after Brown has been off the scene for a month, it may well be concluded that people are “cheesed off” with Brown and not Labour.

What makes his interview more credible is that Mandy is not mentioned once by Pickles as an alternate Labour leader.  Eric is not getting carried away with all this August silliness.  However, the admission that the Tories are worried about Alan Johnson just underpins why Labour should make the change.

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