Labour leader in wrong movie

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Labour Party leader Job Cohen has come under fire from members of his own party interviewed off the record in HP/De Tijd magazine. A senior party ideologist describes Mr Cohen as a “non-leader”.

“Job was cast for a different film,” says a fellow party leader – also anonymously, so evidently from a friendly opposition party.

When Mr Cohen took over the Labour Party leadership from former finance minister Wouter Bos, he was warmly welcomed in the party as a bridge-builder and widely seen as a strong prime ministerial candidate.

But the mild-mannered former Amsterdam mayor soon drew criticism with stumbling performances in the election campaign. And in the coalition talks, he failed to secure his party a place in government.

Mr Cohen might have made a fine prime minister, but he’s not cut out for the “street fighter” role of opposition leader, say his critics in HP/De Tijd.

They draw comparisons with the malaise in the British Labour Party in the wake of the Blair and Brown years. If I had to place an advert in the paper,” says one senior party figure, “it would run: ‘party without a leader seeks a story’”.

© Radio Netherlands Worldwide

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