and do you know what the shock is............?
......it is that the Tories are the ones who are pledging to spend £20 billion on a new high speed rail network between London, Birmingham and Manchester.
And the tragedy.......
....that after 11 years of my party being in power, with two landslide majorities, with often unpopular privatised railways, with ever more clogged roads, with growing concern about CO2 emissions and a Tory party which, whatever the spin, is at its core less concerned about the environment - my party failed to even suggest this policy.
I would bet that 99% of Labour members and voters would back the Tory proposal to scrap Heathrow's expansion and build a high speed rail network.
Not only is it common sense, environmentally sound and dynamic, but it is also extremely politically shrewd. It may succeed at doing what we should be doing to the Tories. Namely, it smokes out the true nature of a political movement. We are in danger, unless we match or better this policy proposal, of being shown to be timid, while they will be able to present themselves as radical.
I cannot believe that I am typing this...as it is all so unnecessary. Please Gordon, throw a few more scraps of meat to the hungry membership base and, frankly, the public at large. People like Governments to take action sometimes (as you're discovering).
Now is the time for us to be radical, or else we will be exposed on all flanks by the Opposition (who of course have the luxury of not actually being in power)....