Jonathan Freedland: http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/2011/apr/12/conservative-labour-pendulum-coalition
Voters accept the old story that Labour wrecks the economy, and Tories destroy society. The coalition may do both...
What Labour needs to do:
"... a limited apology for regulating the banks too lightly but no more. That's sensible, and fits with the facts. It's not Labour profligacy that caused the deficit – if the last government was spending too much why did the Tories promise, until summer 2008, to match its largesse? What's more, the books on the nation's current account were set to balance over the cycle before the crash hit. As David Miliband used to put it, this was a problem caused "on Wall Street, not Downing Street".
Labour needs to become as tireless at making this case as the coalition is at repeating, ad nauseam, that it "inherited this mess". Only then can Labour hope to disrupt the pattern that, if the past is any guide, would keep them out of office for a generation.
There is another possibility. That the current wave of economic bad news – with the latest retail sales the lowest since records began in 1996 , along with rock-bottom consumer confidence – persists and gets worse. In which case the coalition will have swung the pendulum both ways, ruining both the economy and society in a single term. If that happens the coalition partners won't be renewing their vows but saying the last rites."