Following on from my last piece about politicians forgetting the lessons of history one of the things Labour in particular ought to realise is the fact that after 13 years in power (assuming the General Election comes in 2010 rather than next year) many people will hanker after a change whatever the circumstances of the time. Even if the economy and all else was to show an upturn in this comparatively short time then Mr or Ms floating voter would still be saying "perhaps we ought to see what the other lot can do". Remember too that as the policies of the main parties become closer the old tribal loyalties will continue to diminish and that more of the electorate will be prepared to switch votes.
It will be no good Labour harping on about what the Tories did or did not do prior to 1997, that is becoming too much like ancient history. Although Cameron will need to put some flesh on Tory policies at some stage you can see the reasoning in Conservative HQ - with a good lead in the opinion polls, Labour in dire financial straits and that party seemingly ready to implode why worry too much about broadcasting your own policies at this moment in time.
I will be interested to see how Gordon Brown addresses his upcoming party conference. He is not a natural orator whereas Tony Blair seemed to be able to get the party faithful eating out of his hand. Blair might have talked total garbage for much of the time, but this didn't matter. He understood how to work his audience (of course there are always exceptions - I remember that TV footage of the WI members slow hand clapping him!).
Here's a point to ponder: following the trauma of 'Black Wednesday' and interest rates going into the stratosphere the Tories got their act together and vacated government in 1997 with the economy in good shape. However the sleaze, the infighting over Europe and the perception that they were past their 'sell by date' did for them.
I get the feeling that many a Labour MP will now be worrying about their job prospects in a couple of years time.