This summer has been truly rotten. From the appalling weather to the rising food and fuel prices there has been very little room for cheer. In the wider world, Russia flexed her muscles in an international incident in the Caucasus and the worldwide economy suffered a series of shocks, including the collapse of US mortgage giants Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. The UK’s own rate of inflation rose to 4.7 per cent in August, the highest since records began in 1997. Millions around the UK are feeling the impact of the economic crisis.

Yet what have we heard from the Government? Near silence. No word from the Prime Minister or the Chancellor while the markets are in turmoil. Instead, the Government suggests that a package of half price lagging for lofts is the solution to the financial problems facing Britain today. Instead, the Labour party is in turmoil while it decides whether Gordon Brown is still the right man to lead the party. Up to six ministers of state are thought to be prepared to resign, in addition to the dozen or more MPs who have asked for nomination papers. Articles in the national press have appeared, not suggesting solutions to the credit crunch, but how certain current or former cabinet ministers believe that Labour is heading in the wrong direction. Instead of strong government, we have paralysis.

Britain needs leadership in these difficult times. The country cannot afford another 18 months of a divided Labour Party, a weak Prime Minister and a Government driven by self-interest rather than the national interest. We need an election to get the strong leadership and change the country needs.