The Guardian says:
Labour needs to find someone who is able to set out a case for progressive government. Political reform can no longer be put aside as an abstract idea, of appeal to dreamers but not to voters who face the harder realities of life. The public is calling furiously for a better system. People want an honest parliament. They want leaders who are prepared to act. They loathe the old system, and many of the people who are part of it.
The truth is that there is no vision from him, no plan, no argument for the future and no support. The public see it. His party sees it. The cabinet must see it too, although they are not yet bold enough to say so.
The blunt reality is that, even if he set out a grand programme of reform now, his association with it would doom its prospects. Proportional representation would transform parliament, but if Mr Brown put a referendum on the ballot, it would be defeated because he backed it.
I agree. For the good of the country and the Labour Party, Brown must go. We need a new leader, who will set out a program of constitutional reform. But reform cannot be left to parliament, sincepolitics will have self-interest that is diofferent from the interest of the nation. So the new Labour leader must enact a Great Reform Bill which will allow the people to vote separately on such measures as:
- recall elections for MPs
- a fixed term for the House of Commons
- the number of MPs (whether it should be reduced from the current 646)
- whether the House of Lords should be wholly or partly elected
- whether an elected House of Lords should have more powers than it has now
- limitations to funding of political parties
- citizens’ initiative petitions that can force a referendum on any issue
- and other measures that may be put forward
If you haven’t already signed the petition calling for him to resign, it’s here.
UPDATE: A letter is circulating among Labour backbenchers, calling on Brown to go. Its text is short and to the point:
“We are writing now because we believe that in the current political circumstances you can best serve the interests of the Labour party by stepping down as prime minister.”
NB — according to the Labour Party Rule Book, it takes 71 Labour MPs to trigger a leadership election.