At the risk of inducing fresh apoplexy amongst Jon Cruddas groupies, there was an important nugget in an article by John Rentoul in today's Independent regarding the Labour membership issue.
Cruddas recently tried to whip up panic over Labour's membership figures, which currently stand just below 200,000 to boost his Deputy Leadership chances, and had to be slapped down by Hazel Blears. Rentoul points out however that at the end of John Smith's well-regarded leadership, membership stood at 254,000. For sure membership soared in the late 1990's as a result of Labour's popularity in opposition and the Tories' disastrous record, but once the change in government had been achieved, many of these newly-recruited members drifted away, job done.
That doesn't mean that I'm relaxed about the current state of Party finances, or the pressing need to recruit more members. It is important to retain a sense of perspective, however, when candidates for office make self-serving statements which cast the Party in a poor light.