Here’s a thought. The usual suspects of the hard left are gathering at Downing Street tomorrow, to shout from behind the steel gates that the prime minister should resign. Indeed, the comrades in Momentum are calling on everyone to be there. Very good, you might think. The PM has been dragged, kicking and screaming, into admitting that he has done all right thank you very much out of his father’s unusual tax arrangements. Let’s call on him to quit, right?
Here’s another thought. Thousands of ordinary Labour Party members will be on the streets tomorrow. Not mingling with the Socialist Workers Party, the Socialist Party (Militant) and the rest of the 57 varieties of Trotskyism, calling for class war and, more importantly, selling their newspapers, but pounding the streets of our great cities and towns, knocking on doors, handing out leaflets; trying to persuade people to vote Labour in the coming council elections. These are important elections for Labour and the party will be looking to make major gains on the modest improvements made on the last council elections. With a divided and increasingly unpopular government, this is the time to inflict a huge defeat on David Cameron. There is surely only one thing to do tomorrow.
Granted that a march to number 10 will make a few headlines, especially if there is the odd bit of trouble here and there. The Sun and Mail would just love that. But what’s the easier choice?
There is a need to play the ball and not the man at the moment. The issues raised by Panama are very serious. The PM appears to be up to his neck in the mire, but that is where PMQs comes into play. I see nothing to be gained from a gathering in Whitehall when what Labour really needs is assistance on the ground. Next week, Jeremy Corbyn has a golden opportunity, a career defining opportunity, to sink Cameron, or at worst hole him below the waterline.
So Labour’s efforts must be twofold. Rent-a-mob in London might make decent TV, but what the party really needs is boots on the ground, to get the vote out for the council elections. It should be for the leader to deal with Cameron in the House of Commons.
The march on Downing Street is fluff, no matter how many people attend. It’s here today, gone tomorrow stuff. If Cameron is cut down at PMQs, everything is to play for.
In general terms, outside the Commons, Labour Party folk should play the ball but inside it, Corbyn needs to grow a pair and play the man. If he is up to it, this could be a cataclysmic week in politics.