Wednesday, September 20, 2006

EXCLUSIVE: Meacher Weighs Up Leadership Bid

It may seem astonishing to you and me, but Michael Meacher, the man who in the late 1970s was regarded as Tony Benn's vicar on earth, is seriously weighing up a challenge to Gordon Brown for the Labour Party leadership. Well, perhaps more accurately, I should say he is considering challenging John McDonnell for the position of Leftie candidate who will be smashed by Brown/Johnson/Reid/Benn (delete as appropriate). Michael Meacher's career has been one long failure. When he took Blair's shilling he sold out to the left, who now regard him with utter contempt. His conversion to the green cause raises a hollow laugh among those who remember his years as Environment Minister when he appeared to be more concerned with holding on to his red boxes than doing anything meaningful for the wider green cause.

So, is this speculation on my part which can be dismissed as blog gossip? No. I know for a fact that Meacher has been discussing a leadership bid with at last two senior (but equally maverick) Labour MPs. He hasn't decided whether to go ahead yet, but he's got an ego which in the end will prevail, I suspect. What fun.

22 comments:

Anonymous said...

This is better than the end of the pier show.

bebopper said...

Oh dear, Meacher must know that it will simply bring back the stories about how he tried to pretend his dad was a farm labouror (farm manager as I remember)and how such a holier than thou socialist is in fact a property millionaire.

Anonymous said...

he won't get 44 votes. mcdonnell will struggle too.

Shotgun said...

Michael Meacher? You are just pasing some stale and silly gossip aren't you?

Even Labour members think he had snuffed years ago and/or went into retirement and imbecilic obscurity with his master Benn.

Prodicus said...

Hello? Is the Comedy Store?

bebopper said...

Iain
I assume you're shouting, "Hold the front page," as you strive to find out the identity of the Third Man.

Benedict White said...

Iain, I am dissappointed in you. When our party decided upon care in the community, we did not think people would mock the afflicted in the way you just have.

politicalcorrespondent said...

To be fair Iain, Meacher's leadership ambitions do not really constitute breaking news to anyone on the red side of the fence, entertaining though I'm sure your Tory audience are finding it!

Anonymous said...

That would be super......Meacher is just the kind of Working Class Hero Labour needs after years of smarmy university types hooked on advertising to make their way.

A real son of the soil like Meacher would be an inspiration to agricultural workers everywhere..........and his rags-to-riches stories should be a lesson to all asylum-seekers

nsfl said...

He was good in that BBC drama The Edge Of Darkness but I never thought he'd be able to afford so many houses from a cameo.

Paul Linford said...

Amusing, but completely academic, as neither Meacher nor McDonnell will get the 44 MPs needed to appear on the ballot paper. Neither for that matter will John Hutton (excitable Blairite hacks take note.)

MorrisOx said...

This was the man, remember, who appeared in that 1980 BBC nuclear drama 'Edge of Darkness' delivering an impassioned speech to a bunch of right-on students.

Ah, how we look back to those far-off glory days when Labour's philosophy headed gloriously in the direction of one of Saturn's moons.

Charlotte Corday said...

I was once in the same train restaurant car as Michael Meacher. When he ordered ice cream instead of custard with his fruit pie the menu and the steward wasn't sure if it was possible, we got the full: "I beg your pardon. Do you know who I am?" bit until the steward grovelled an apology and got him an ice cream. It was like watching a child have a tantrum.

It's strange how many of those who claim solidarity with the working class enjoy lording it over the workers when they get a little bit of power.

AnyonebutBlair said...

Perhaps it's just a positioning exercise for when Brown is PM. Meacher wants to be housing minister

Neil Craig said...

While my opinion of Meacher is lower than yours Iain I don't think you can really call his career a failure. He has had his ministerial mondeos, articles in the Grauniad & assorted perks, treated as if he knew what he was talking about etc. For somebody who knows absolutely nothing & is proud of it, this is a pretty good achievement.

Peter Hitchens said...

Iain you neglected mention his hilarious libel case (he lost) Having claimed to be the son of a humble farm labourer somebody rather cruely pointed out that his pa may indeed have worked on a farm,however it was about 5000 acres and belonged to his titled dad.
And Charlotte ,my own mother had a run in with him on a train (first class natch)arrogant shit who talks like he hs a gob full of marbles when there isnt a camera rolling.
And I have just remebered, this clown was pontificating about how it was for peope to own second homes, then another unking person pointed out that he owns at least 5.

Anonymous said...

Dawn Primarolo "my favourite minister." Tom Watson is allegedly a shoo in for a top job in any Brownite administration. Rumours are Dawn has her eye on the Deputy PM's job. Dawn has been keen to ensure colleagues realise just how popular with Gordon she is and how he's assured her of his future patronage . She was the left -wing bennite who staged a coup against Michael Cocks (then Labour Chief whip , I believe) to become the MP for Bristol South.

Anonymous said...

No surprise to hear Gordon's running an ultra loyalist sect within Labour. Tom Watson was Red Dawn's aide wasn't he. She orchestrated a left wing 'Bennite' coup against Labour's then chief whip Michael Cocks to replace him as the MP for Bristol South many moons ago. Resonant! I'm not, by the way suggesting that she was driven, now or then, by anything other than self-interest!

Anonymous said...

And lets not forget his completely dingbat comments about September 11th!

justanothershark said...

This story was on the BBC months ago, keep up Iain!

Jefferson said...

He'll probably be the only challenger. His political career is all but over. Why would you challenge Brown is you want to keep your political career alive? All Blairies take note.

JohninLondon said...

You are all being unfair.

Meacher must be a serious politician.

They keep having him on the Today programme.

You KNOW that Today has balance, no bias, would never dream of interviewing a has-been.

That's why they never talk to Tony Benn, Clare Whatshername, Jenny Tongue, Chris Patten et al