Today Gordon Brown will seek to portray the modern Tory party as right wing wolves in sheep's clothing. He will argue that David Cameron has succeeded in modernising his party - back to the age of Thatcher. Brown's speech is important. Since the advent of new Labour taking sides has been a rather unfashionable political stance. For many people the past few years has seen Labour, as a party of principle, disappearing into the soggy centre ground. Labour ministers have become administrators and technocrtas - competent but uninspiring.
Tomorrow the Prime Minister will set out some of the key themes that he wants his party and the nation to focus on in the run up to the general election. I believe that one of those themes should be about the need for Labour to make a preferential option for the poor. In today's modern world there is still an unjust distribution of goods and services whereby a relative minority of wealthy groups and ruling classes use their power and influence to perpetuate macro-economic and political structures which exploit the labour and lives of the vast majority of the planet’s population. Gordon Brown is well placed both at home and internationally to advance a new politics of liberation, a politics that offers hope. This is not a jam tomorrow kind of hope, rather the hope that the philosopher Soren Kierkegaard described as the ‘passion for the possible.' Politics that seeks the liberation of people from poverty, injustice and persecution can be a powerful force for change.
At home and abroad perhaps it is time for Brown to be Brown and for Labour to make a preferential option for the poor. It is time to take sides and end the political cross-dressing of the 1990s. As a political party it is time to be clear about who we are, who we were and what we want to become.