On Sunday most of us almost fell off our chairs listening to John Prescott give the impression that Tony Blair would be leaving office sooner than later. Most commentators and MPs, including me, have been predicting an announcement from the Prime Minister in about May or June of next year with the 2007 conference as another possibility.
I have been working on the basis of having the opportunity of about a year long campaign to get our message across and recruit people back into the Labour party to enable them to qualify to vote in the leadership election for a new direction for the party.
I will still be surprised if Tony Blair announces early but we have to prepare for that possibility by urging as many people as possible to join the party and soon. The qualifying period of membership to vote in the leadership is 6 months. So if you are not a member of the party now, join quickly.
The critical element of the leadership election is the political debate to be had on the future direction of the party in government. That is why in September we will be hitting the ground running with meetings around the country region by region, at the TUC and in the run up to Labour party conference.
If you feel you can help in organising meetings in your area please contact our campaign. This is a grass roots campaign relying upon the voluntary assistance of Labour party members, trade unionists and supporters. If you can help in any way, no matter how small, please link up with us.