PvdA leader cast in wrong film

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

“Job was cast for a different film,” says another party leader – also anonymously and evidently an opposition ally.

When Mr Cohen took over leadership of the Labour Party PvdA 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 .

They draw comparisons with the malaise in the British Labour Party in the wake of the Blair and Brown years. "If I had to put 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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