Is Cruddas preparing for the election defeat post-mortem?

Is Cruddas preparing for the election defeat post-mortem?

Has he gone too far with his comments about Dave?

We are getting to stage when almost every comment by a senior Labour MP is being looked at in the context of what might happen in the party after a general election defeat.

And the latest “on stage”, as it were, is the Dagenham MP who built up his position in the party two years ago with good bid for the Deputy Leadership when he finished third, John Cruddas.

For in an Economist interview Cruddas, who refused a join in the government, makes a number of what could be seen as surprising observations about Cameron and the Tories – which you can just see being seized upon for PMQs whenever Brown is not AWOL next. Thus Cruddas warns that Labour may be losing touch with voters as the Tories capture the public mood.

When asked whether he believed Cameron was “genuine”, Cruddas said: “I take him [Cameron] quite literally. I think he could be. I think we have to be prepared for the fact he might be the real deal in terms of what he’s talking about.”

A more “compassionate” Tory stance could also, lead to Labour losing vital centre ground in the run-up to a general election. He said: “It’s hugely dangerous to the Labour Party, because at a time when we could appear slightly shrill and mechanistic in terms of the language we use, Cameron is talking about relationships, empathy and fraternity. And this goes with the seam, it goes with the grain of the people’s sense of unease about what’s happening in the modern world.

“Unless we as a Party can respect what’s going on in the Conservative Party at the moment I don’t think we can confront them as a political force.” ”

Unlike colleagues who are ministers, of course, Cruddas is much more able to speak his mind – and I see this as being him getting something on the record so he can say “I told you so” in the general election post-mortem.

Cruddas has tightened to 10/1 in the next Labour leader betting.

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