Saturday, May 24, 2008

Why Labour Are Stuck with Gordon


Normally, I agree with Matthew Parris's view of the world, but his article in this morning's Times is, I believe, off beam. He argues that Labour's only hope of winning the next election is for Gordon Brown to either step aside voluntarily or be ditched. If he voluntarily stepped aside in the next few weeks and a new leader had time to establish themselves, you can make a coherent argument for them being able to turn around Labour fortunes, except for one thing. It is inconceivable that the British public, let alone the press, would accept a second unelected Prime Minister within a year.

There is also no clear frontrunner to take over. The only two people I can see actually having a chance of success would either not run or not win - and I'm talking about Alan Johnson and Hilary Benn.

In the second scenario, where Gordon Brown is ditched, the mess which would be created along the way would render the party unelectable afterwards - no matter who emerged. And with the same electoral college system which allowed Harriet Harman to win the Deputy Leadership, you have to wonder just who might emerge from that process.

Labour's best chance is to stick with Brown in the hope that he will be able to pull a rabbit out of the bag. But with his luck, any such rabbit would probably be struck down with myxomatosis.

Graphic by Theo Spark.

72 comments:

Anonymous said...

Parris's article is a hoot. The argument that Cameron is one of those Tories Brown hates, Cameron will call for Brown to go, hence Brown will stay on and refuse to listen to the Tory.

So Parris, one of those Tories Brown hates, goes on to call for Brown to go, and expects Brown will listen to his every word instead.

A masterstroke for the Tories.

Anonymous said...

The only hope for Labour is for Gordon to go. The people just do not like him and want him as their PM. A vote for Labour is a vote for Gordon.

Gordon has to go, as Gordon is unelectable, thus making Labour unelectable.

It is that simple Ian. Gordon has to go

Rohan said...

The problem for Brown is that unlike Blair he doesn't or can't make the political weather. Rather he is buffeted by media generated squalls. He has policies, albeit duds and ideas, albeit the wrong ones. His script was written ten to fifteen years ago. Times have moved on. But he seems stuck in a time warp. New Labour has ceased to be relevant to conditions on the ground. Hence the electorate's revolt. There is a danger here for the Conservatives for no one knows anything of their alternative vision if indeed they have one. While I recognise that there is a reluctance to flesh out ideas only for the magpies of New Labour to pinch them, the time surely has come to acknowledge that the Labour brand is so tainted that nothing can save them?

As you rightly point out Iain the Labour party is a party without a natural successor to Brown. There is no heir apparent or 'coming man/woman' who could slip seamlessly into No 10 and breathe new life into Labour. They're stuck with Brown until the inevitable happens. And they know it.

Boozer Brown said...

I agree with M Parris. The idea that Brown can turn things around is frankly risible, he's falling apart at the seams. But it would suit us best to keep him, as I think 'anyone but Brown' would do better in a GE.

Anonymous said...

Don't offer a shred of sympathy to Brown, please (as in "...with his luck...". Brown is the architect of all his own misery. I used have a little sympathy for Kinnock, as in 'seems quite a decent bloke, but not cut out for the job', but Brown? Not for one second do I ever feel any compassion. He's getting all he had coming to him, and I hope he drags down his odious coterie with him, preferably by the Balls!! Remember that great contribution to democracy last year, when Brown said he wanted to blow Cameron away and smash the Conservatives. Charming. Well now he's getting his come-uppance for years of arrogance, sulking, tantrums and generally being utterly dislikeable.
Sorry for the rant, and despite my euphoria on Friday morning, I keep telling myself to be 'optimistic, but cautious', but I really do dislike Brown and his Government of all the nonentities.

Vox Populli said...

Personally,I think it would make little difference to Labour's electoral prospects if they attempted to remove Brown as leader and belive me if they think he would go quietly they obviously haven't learnt much about the man.

But and this is the point if there were to change leaders they should be left in absolutely NO doubt that it would not be acceptable to the electorate for there to have been 2 unelected PMs in and that they would be required to go to the country to seek a new mandate, which of course rather negates the whol idea of getting rid of Brown.

No, I'm sorry but Labour "sleepwalked!" into allowing Brown to become leader and let's face it they knew his form well before they allowed it so I've absolutely no sympathy with any backbench Mp who now fears for his seat - sorry but you're stuck with him and will lose the next election.

Daily Referendum said...

Self preservation, fear, greed, envy and lust for power amongst Labour MPs will see the back of Brown. The question is when?

verity said...

Rohan writes: "There is no heir apparent or 'coming man/woman' who could slip seamlessly into No 10 and breathe new life into Labour. They're stuck with Brown until the inevitable happens. And they know it."

Warms the cockles of one's heart, doesn't it?

poorly townbee said...

There is surely at least one vain and air-headed Labour MP who can be shuffled into the Upper House in short order - so that Ken Livingstone can return to the Commons...

Anonymous said...

As Guido points out today.

"A fish rots from the head."

Either Brown goes now or a rotten Labour will go to the country in two years time.

Andrew said...

I think Mr Parris makes a useful column to Conservative aims. What he says is the bare unvarnished truth. As such it is difficult for the PLP to admit or Brown to accept and as such it will not be adhered to. So Gordon remains.

Anyone who follows the erudite Mr Parris knows that his greatest fear of recent years has been a mediocre Tory win. What he craves is a Labour implosion, a landslide against 1997. This is most likely only if GB remains in office but not in power.

Hence MPs piece today in the Times. By arguing truthfully for what would be in Labours best interests he helps stop them from doing it. Following the public advice of a Thatcher insider is worse than committing electoral suicide for many Labour members.

WWW

ascotinlessables said...

Frankly, who cares? Let them strut around, change direction (which way?)and we should just sit it out. Dave should just continue doing what he is doing and Nu-Labour will implode. Personally I cannot think of a better end to a bunch of crass idiots!

strapworld said...

forget Parris..read the Daily Mirror/ sorry Mail and Oborne's article. talk about ignoring the Conservative win it is all about what Gordon should do.

Is the Daily Mail now considered a socialist rag now?

John W said...

Talk of an unelected prime minister is pure nonsense - and the media could do to learn it.

We commoners elect a parliament with a mandate to run the country for 5 years, from amongst their ranks they then appoint a prime minister who assembles his executive.

Gordon Brown was an elected prime minister - unelected prime ministers would be ones from the House of Lords.

It is to the degradation of our democracy that we forget this important point. It is both a symptom and cause of the fall of independence of MP's and the 'presidentification' of our highest office that people 'elect' a prime minister and not a local representative to the House of Commons.

Vox Populli said...

There are already calls from the left within Labour for the party to move more to the left(vid: Labourhome - very illuminating comments) and that if Brown were to do this he would be "acclaimed" by conference and "secure" his leadership although perhaps not his premiership which is surely more to the point

Let's hope these counsels prevail. A left wing government is almost certainly unelectable in the UK - surely they learnt that from the disastrous leadership(for them)of Michael Foot and "Militant Tendency" - talk about the Labour Party Manifesto of 1983 as the "longest suicide note in history" this would be Gordon's equivalent of "the Long Goodbye".

tapestry said...

It's not just Parris. Heffer offers the same advice in the Telegraph, as does Charles Moore.

The Guardian makes it clear that no one in the cabinet wants to address the leadership issue. It seems that Gordo is in total denial of the problem.

Oborne thinks that bringing in Blairites like Clarke, Reid or Milburn and shaking their hands will save Gordo. I think he's also in denial.

That leaves it open to non-cabinet members to initiate the process of replacing Gordon. It's going to be messy, but Blair ducked it in 2001. The Party ducked making Gordon compete in 2007. The problem if put off again will send the Party into oblivion, as Gordon veers left to try to head off an assassination.

Labour MPs must surely act to try to save their Party and themselves.

Anonymous said...

Gordon must resign
Jack Straw could be caretaker until a beauty contest take place the cream should come to the top and as he annouces the beauty contest he should also say the general election will be in 2009 This would allow the new labour party winner time to map out his policy`s and have a chance in late 2009
The public would accept this as they would know the election was coming shortly

Adrian said...

"Labour's best chance is to stick with Brown" Who are you trying to kid?! We know you want Brown to stay because that'll guarantee a Tory victory!

Anonymous said...

Labour should make Dawn Primarolo their next leader.

Her Moustache and Haircut make her a fantastic Hitler lookalike, she even sounds and behaves like Hitler too. The perfect leader for the New Nasty Party.

Shaun said...

Said rabbit is more likely to be struck dead on the A roads by a prius as it pulls out of a petrol station while carrying a junior minister to lecture some people on the merits of being green.

Shaun said...

And also, as tories, we *want* 'New' Labour to do what the Conservatives did by getting rid of Thatcher? If she'd been in and lost the 1992 election I don't think you'd have had 3 labour terms from '97 onwards as the public wouldn't have been repulsed by obtuse infighting over what were percieved as overblown, over signified EU gripes.

This time, you'd get spats over the war in Iraq and the role of the market along new/old labour lines, presumably with 'new' divided between the Cult Of King Tony, the Thrice Winner and the stalinistic Cult of Gordo with its enigmatic slogan - "Its all alright, our feet are only wet due to external, unforeseen forces acting on the material of the hull. We are not sinking. We are well placed to make a full recovery just as soon as some feckless people learn how to swim!".

I think that ten+ years of bitter internicine warfare and schism is exactly what this mob have earned.

theorangeparty said...

The Conservatives need to keep Brown in, Ian.
New Labour is licking its wounds. Brown and New Labour cannot survive. The party donors are ebbing away. The people are revolting. Power is draining away...
Labour can get out of the hole it has dug for itself.
Brown cannot survive - but who replaces him? The New Labour clones are as unpopular with the people as he is. Even with a caretaker leader he/she will been seen as just that, a caretaker. And how long can you go on with the third leader of a government without a general election?
No. The only answer is for the Labour Party to go back to its core Labour roots and values and focus on its core supporters. That is what is being mooted at the moment.
You see, Labour can win the next General Election - but it will be a victory for True Labour not New Labour. The Party should elect a fighter, not a caretaker and come out fighting. Make it clear New Labour is dead (shout it from the rooftops), focus on some Big Issues, make bold decisions and come out clear and strong.
A caretaker leader cannot do too much before the General Election - but they can take tough decisions. Pick them off. Scrap ID cards once and for all, call a referendum on the Lisbon not-a-constitution, pull all operational troops out of Iraq and Afghanistan, scrap the Olympic financial fiasco, bring core strategic public utilities and services into public ownership, wage a real war on government waste by axing now the ridiculous quangos, PFI schemes, the NHS IT computer debacle and worthless IT projects. Conduct a forensic account of public spending, including all the spending Brown has hidden away off the balance sheet. Throw out the SpAds and consultants. Scrap the ridiculous alcohol licensing laws, and yes tackle immigration as a numbers issue not people. And so it goes on. Take your pick, there's plenty to choose from. And for goodness sake stop the robotic Newlabouspeak. Be direct and honest and speak English.
This would be no U-turn. These once would have been Labour policies. It would signal an end to the New Labour Project . A General Election would then be fought on these issues. They may not win but they would have put up a good fight and totally wrong foot the Conservatives.
But they wont.
As New Labour policies fall apart and people have woken up to the sham, the Conservative strategy has been and continues to be - to react and ridicule, only putting forward a hard policy when it needs to. The 10p tax fiasco was a classic example. Here we saw not reaction but a real sensible policy - cut taxes, fight the debt culture and fund public services with a purge on government waste. But that's the only true policy so far.
The Conservatives will have to start producing some policies and sensible real manifesto commitments. As real alternatives to Labour.
So New Labour will limp along. They won't t come up with the solutions and again they deserve all they get.

drink-soaked popinjay said...

The whole point is that Labour are unelectable now, hadn't you noticed?

They will remain so for as long as Brown is their leader.

That is why Parris says Labour must ditch him.

The difficulties of doing so would be far less onerous than the annihilation that awaits them if they follow your advice.

This is so obvious it is clear that your sole intention is to pass off the promotion of Tory interests as independent comment.

P.S. It's myxomatosis.

Neil Reddin said...

Labour are stuck with him, not only because none of the serious challengers are going to want to take the helm of the Titanic when it's too late to avoid the iceberg, but because Brown and many of the senior ranks are still convinced that they can turn the thing around.

I had a stab at the subject a couple of weeks ago (forgive the blog plugs).

DiscoveredJoys said...

My suspicion is that Gordon Brown was only intended to be a caretaker PM until the electorate had forgotten the lack of achievement in the Blair years.

Unfortunately (for the Labour Party and the country) the caretaker has been given a whole new set of problems to address and he has not got the ability to do so, nor enough ability in his cabinet. The Labour party have not got enough money to run a powerful election campaign, and no other candidate for the PMs job wishes to start from a caretaker's position.

The only way that Labour can hope to retain power after the next election is to nurse Gordon along until the Labour Conference and then rollout a total change of leader and policies. Unfortunately I do not think there are enough brave Labour people to pull this off - for the good of the country.

So we will just have to soldier on until the General Election is called. I hope David Cameron has some early wins planned!

Trumpeter Lanfried said...

I am now more concerned about the damage Brown and the Labour party will do before they go - and the deals they will do with the Unions in their desparate search for funds.

However, a truly dreadful two years of rising prices, rising taxes, and stroppy Unions may give the Tories an opportunity. They may be able to say, in due course: 'All bets are off. The economy is in such a dreadful state that we now have no alternative but to lower taxes and cut back on central government.'

Benjamin Gray said...

If Labour gets a new leader they will have to first consolidate their hold on the party, and then articulate a new vision of Labour politics and their place in Britain.

During that period, as well as the preceding infighting and leadership contest, Labour will effectively be out of the public discourse as a coherent political force and message. The Tories will be well-placed to step in to such a vacuum and begin to dominate the public agenda, using the lack of coherent Labour criticism to set out their stall for Britain in a mini-honeymoon of sorts.

By the time Labour get their act together they may well be on the back foot and struggling to keep up with a debate on Conservative terms. Given that it is at most two years before a general election, Labour would find it very difficult to then close that gap in time. As a result, a serious leadership challenge and soul-searching period is unlikely to be favoured by the top ranks, which is why they are closing behind Brown to some extent.

The most likely scenario would then be for Brown to be ditched with a caretaker appointed (Jack Straw?) with the aim of minimising losses rather than staying in government. A few concessions maybe, but no U-turn. After a general election loss and a honeymoon period for the new government, Labour will have much less to lose from a period of soul-searching, and the real leadership challenge can begin.

Brown Bottle said...

Once Brown's predilection to drown his sorrows gets out, like Charlie Kennedy, he'll be done for.

JohnfromCamberley said...

In explaining the current Labour / Brown mess, and gaining a clue as to what might happen in the future, it is important to weigh in the influence of a single word in all of this. That word is FEAR.

No MP, no "grandee", no-one is going to fix himself up with a meeting with Gordon and then go in and tell him to leave, because the prospect of facing Brown in those circumstances is terrifying. Think - an interview with the headmaster, or a dressing down by the boss, times ten on the horror-ometer. They are not things that you choose to do, but things you do if there is absolutely no choice at all. Brown is revolting, repellent, unstable. Tell a labour MP that he is going to be in with Gordon in five minutes, without backup, to tell him something that he doesn't want to hear, and watch the blood drain from his face. The man is an ogre; sensible people stay well clear.

The flip side of this collective fear is Brown's own fear. He is a sort of an historian - actually, not a very good one, but he knows what "the judgement of history" is all about. He knows that when he leaves office, credible commentators will start to expand arguments on how he was the worst PM in living memory, the worst labour leader since the war (yes, including Foot). Former ministers will creep out of the woodwork and recount experiences of how Brown operates, how he handled himself one-to-one and in cabinet. He knows that the judgement of history will be that he was a disaster, maybe even a disgrace. Quite understandably, he's scared of the prospect, because to experience criticism like that, and not be able to fight back, will be excruciating. But none of this will start until he leaves office. So, he is scared to leave office. Resignation wil end our nightmare, but start his own.

So, nobody is going to tell him to go, whatever happens, and he isn't going to leave of his own accord, whatever happens. He will drive the Labour bus over the cliff-edge, and his passengers in the back, the MPs, will do no more than simper, sweat and look at their shoes.

Personally, I think GB will leave No 10 in a straightjacket.

if you gotta go, go now said...

An inescapable fact of life is that Brown will never shake off the mantle of Chancellor. He will always be perceived as the nation's Taxman rather than its PM. There is actually no hope of him ever being popular - the taxman never will be. Traffic wardens are higher up the amiability index.

I agree with Parris that a change of leadership now followed by an early election would be damage limitation. Labour would not win, but it would live to fight another day. All the more so because the Tories would inherit an unholy mess not of their making.

As George Orwell said, 'the British elect a scapegoat once every five years'.

Anonymous said...

It might be unacceptable to the public for there to be two unelected PMs in a year, but it is not unconstitutional and realistically there is nothing they could do about it.

Rohan said...

Parris didn't mention one name. I wonder why? Problems with the current cabinet of 'all the labour talents' can be summarised thus:

1. Ineffective/Incompetent

Alistair Darling - awaiting decommissioning. Tainted by the Northern Crock disaster, tax fiasco and a deteriorating economy.

David Miliband - widely touted as the next leader, but mostly on the basis of spin rather than substance. First occupant of the FO since Blair left and thus should have been able to revitalise one of the great offices. In practice has been the invisible man and utterly ineffective. For example, he was unable to make his boss make an arse of himself signing up to the Lisbon 'Reform' Treaty. Has sartorial issues, a basin haircut worthy of a choir boy and a supercilious manner.

Jack Straw - Adept at political survival his seat is turning into a marginal so he might not survive a swing to the Conservatives. Dribbles on about the UK being the land of liberty but a member of a government that has created 3,000 new criminal offenses. Pompous.

Jacqui Smith - Has the manner of 'Miss' at a primary school. Ineffective. Period.

Des Browne - his master's voice. His record at the MOD is not great, we all know on this blog.

Geoff Hoon - a serial bungler.

Ed Balls-Up - reedy voiced charisma vacuumn who seems out of his depth in the nursary schools he likes to visit. An over rated back-room boy.

2. Failed Deputy Leadership Candidates

Ironically one of these is probably their best bet. But as they couldn't even beat Harman what are their chances?

Alan Johnson

Hilary Benn

Hazel Blears - A motorcycling midget as PM? Umm no.

3. Unknown Journeymen.

Douglas Alexander

John Hutton

James Purnell

John Denham

Andy Burnham

Paul Murphy

Ed Miliband - drops into cabinet when he is not running the local student union.

4. Quite Simply Dreadful

Harriet 'oh fu$k its' Harman - do I need to mention her abundant qualities?

Yvette Cooper - the talking head de jour. And isn't she irritating!!

5. Class Traitor

Shaun Woodward - I expect him to re-rat and apply for Boris' seat in due course say 'Its all been a big mistake....'

Will said...

The central thrust of your argument is flawed, because the reality is that the British people have accepted an unelected Prime Minister every single time because the post is not a directly elected post and never has been.

Iain Dale said...

Not flawed at all. My point was about two within a year. I accept there is no constitutional bar, but it would be difficult to see people (or the media) accepting it.

simon said...

Labour would lose much more getting rid of Brown than keeping him on. The admission on getting rid of Gordo would be that economic policy under ZaNuLabour was bollards from the get-go. It's the weight of their actions since 1997 that is against them: the economy, law and unorder, political correctness-mainly to avoid offending immigrants- unwelcome by the mass populace, devolution, europe, tax, & immigration. With only 2 years to go to an general election (unless there is a serious economic catastrophe before that...) would not be long enough for Labour to 'lie'/'buy' their way out of a defeat. Parris' 'Times' article mentions that Gordon does not understand 'England'- that is true- but surely Labour MP's who sat on their hands after 'the greatest liar' on earth vacated No10 knew this. As i've said time and time again- you can't have a non-English MP serving as PM when you have RACIALLY EXCLUSIVE devolved bodies. What we will see is a 2 year 'get tae f'k' Labour sentiment grow- things will get MUCH worse for them. Good.

Anonymous said...

"It is inconceivable that the British public, let alone the press, would accept a second unelected Prime Minister within a year."

Iain, we don't have any choice in the matter. If we did get a second unelected prime minister it's hardly likely to incite armed rebellion. People are beyond being angry. We just don't care anymore.

Anonymous said...

but it would be difficult to see people (or the media) accepting it.

Don't be so wet Ian, the people can't stand Brown, they destest him, they want him gone. They would accept almost anything to see the back of Brown.

neil craig said...

Parris is talking rot for the reasons you give Iain. There is nobody on the Labour benches who has any public stature or any different answers (the nearest is Milibland whose idea of progress is fortnightly bin collections). Soldiers who shoot their officer turn into merely a mob with guns.

When you look at it the real world economy has not gone as bad for him as it seems. We aren't (yet) in recession let alone remotely close to the Callahan days. Brown was widely considered a lucky Chancellor & he has been an unlucky PM but public opinion, like pendulums, swing.

If we get through a recession, as we probably will over 2 years, he will be "the man who led us out of recession".

Brown was never loved. He was respected - he has or seems to have all the unloveable presbyterian virtues but these are respected. Where he failed was not in losing the publics love but in losing their respect & I think he did this, not by not calling an election but by saying that the decision not to call an election had nothing to do with the drop in the polls. That was an obvious & foolish lie. He should publicly admit this, apologise humbly for it & promise not to lie again. Even to take the electorate into his confidence about what is going on - the British people are more sophisticated than the political class thinks & would be able to make sacrifices if they knew what it was for, or perhaps even if they believed those in charge knew what for.

In theory, since he said it in Parliament, he could get busted for admiting that but in practice nobody would dare.

An apology works very well, once. Worked for Nixon but don't bring on the dog.

Jimbo said...

Iain

I do hope you mean Myxomatosis. Average survival time in jumpy white-tailed frit nibblers is around 35 to 40 days.

So any bunny pulled out of a hat for Henley would probably be dead already....


James

trevorsden said...

"P.S. It's myxomatosis."

well you learn something new every day.

Look, just changing leaders is like (and i hate saying this) shuffling the deckchairs on the Titanic.

Labour have cheered Browns budgets for 10 years - are they now going to disown them? Brown was nominated by 101% of the parliamentary labour party - what does that say about their judgement?

Will they change leaders AND policies? If so there will surely be blood-letting by the side who lose out in this game of musical chairs.

Blair did not go of his own accord he was forced out. Are we to believe that ANOTHER leader can be forced out within 12 - 18 months? And all the while the real problems we face are ignored by the party in power as it squabbles away.

What labour need now is a time machine.

bebopper said...

I like Mathew Parris and won't forget he was almost alone, when Gordon was about to take over, in saying: "Every commentator says, 'Don't underestimate Brown'. But I disagree; he should be underestimated, because he won't be up to the job."
He's always interesting, but he likes to be controversial and like some other journalists he likes to argue against the consensus, which is not always honest.

Ben said...

Brown should stay: too difficult to remove, nobody fit to replace him. All this has been well rehearsed.

He has a chance to redeem himself by showing genuine contrition. Spend the next two years unscrambling some of the worst mistakes Labour has made(too many to choose: fox hunting, HIPs, pension raids, abortion laws ...). Scrap ID cards, hold the EU constitution referendum. Come clean on the true state of the national debt. Start the process of waste reduction and tax reform; provide access for Cameron's team to learn what they will have to take over, then bow out gracefully.

The result: a grateful nation, a Labour party reconciled to and prepared for opposition, and the respect of generations to come.

He could do it.

Ben said...

Brown should stay: too difficult to remove, nobody fit to replace him. All this has been well rehearsed.

He has a chance to redeem himself by showing genuine contrition. Spend the next two years unscrambling some of the worst mistakes Labour has made(too many to choose: fox hunting, HIPs, pension raids, abortion laws ...). Scrap ID cards, hold the EU constitution referendum. Come clean on the true state of the national debt. Start the process of waste reduction and tax reform; provide access for Cameron's team to learn what they will have to take over, then bow out gracefully.

The result: a grateful nation, a Labour party reconciled to and prepared for opposition, and the respect of generations to come.

He could do it.

dirty european socialist: said...

Paris is a right winger. He hated Blair he hates the present labour leader. He will hate next one.
Ian Dale has given a neutral view and not one biased by right wing views.
The present PM is good man who fought losing an eye to win a double first and lead the economy through now 11 years without recession. Thacther had 2 recessions. V zero under new labour. Growth is still up. The people will see through the flim flam of the new tories, and the wishy washy drivel of the old Blairites and choose strength, character and honesty of the greatest chancellor this nation ever saw I predict he will become our greatest PM.

PS Michael Foot was English so why does everyone think any old English cabinet minister is an automatic political genius? Having an English accent does not make you electable. Neither does having Jock one make you electble either i admitt.

dirty european socialist said...

The PM is a man of honour He lost his eye at 16 and despite this got a double first. That shows guts determination, and honesty. Guts not many of us can compete with. He is a great man. He had the guts to sit through 10 years of Blair's rule, he has the guts to sit a through a few months of bad opinions rantings he will ride it out the tough times, and win, win, win, win, (like the Bruce and the spider )like he allways does. Anyone who says the PM lacks character or strengh is an idiot.

Anonymous said...

Simon, what "racially exclusive" bodies would these be?

Anonymous said...

Be careful what you wish for.

Like a general election.

Is Cameron really so convincing? Not much more than 10 minutes ago Dave was derided as unconvincing by large swathes of Tory thought.

God knows what there is to say about Dave's team and God knows what there will be left of them after a four-week GE interogation of Dave's policies.

All it takes is for that the Woking Martian John Redwood to come out of the woodwork, having learnt the Welsh national anthem by heart no doubt, and Team Dave will be an iffy proposition.

The electorate will want to award a hung parliament.

Danny Finklebum reckons Harriet Harman could step up to the plate. You can dismiss her as a harpy lightweight but let's admit she rolled up her sleaves and beat up Hague at PMQ.

The game ain't over until the Peckham Princess sings.

stuart said...

You are right, Iain. Labour's problems aren't limited just to Brown and him being disliked.

They don't have any money to fight an election; indeed, they owe millions.

The Government has run out of money, and no-one is willing to pay any more to boost public spending any further.

That last point means tight pay rises for nurses, midwives, police officers and so on, which means they are losing support from public sector workers.

It's a god awful mess, and a change of leader isn't going to change anything.

Anonymous said...

I'm just throwing something out here to get other people's views...

If Gordon were to go :-

* Alan Milburn - 90% of people down the pub would go 'Alan who', as he hasn't been on the telly in ages, and outside political circles nobody could mention any of his achievements

* Hilary Benn - I cannot see people voting for a Labour party run by a Benn - Maybe that is foolish, or it is prejudice, but I can't see it being a runner

* Ed Miliband - Aficionados of the 'Yes, Minister' programme will know that being Prime Minister is not about being 'the best one' but the 'least disliked' one. Ed Miliband just hasn't been in enough jobs to rattle cages and upset people so he is in with a chance. Of course, like Milburn he is not well known, but people can forgive that a bit more a mere whippersnapper not long out of short trousers..

* John Hutton, Alan Johnson - Am I alone in thinking that Labour now realise that someone lacking in the 'fanciability factor' is doomed as the leader of the Labour Party ??

* Balls, Burnham, Parnell - school boy humour ain't going to get them anywhere with crucial female voters

* David Miliband - you can't fault his 'fast-track' to the top, but he looks far, far younger than his big bruvver - are the public ready for a chap who makes the Pitt the Younger look long in the tooth as a Prime Minister ??

Anonymous said...

I thought it was
mixin my toasties

Unsworth said...

I disagree. Labour's best hope is to find someone utterly ruthless within their ranks who would depose Brown, get a severe grip on the party and its MPs, and with some sort of clear plan to regain public confidence over the next fifteen months. Actually they don't have anyone who fits that bill, nor do they have the slightest notion of how to get out of the self-inflicted mess, and events will shortly overcome the last vestiges of public support.

I have not heard a single Labour MP put forward a suggestion as to how things may be rectified, despite all of them are running round saying 'lessons will be learned', 'we hear you', 'we feel your pain' and all of the other platitudinous bollox. Right, so after the lesson has been learned (and Jesus they've been taking their time to do that - are they all ESN or something?) what is The Masterplan? Or is this going to be the subject of yet another long-winded and crass Review? Come to think of it where are the Cabinet in all of this - apart from Harperson and the elfin Blears?

These people are simply incompetent. With any luck they're now realising that they are going to lose their jobs. I hope it is an excruciatingly painful education for them all.

Shaun said...

Anonymous dirty european socialist said:

"He had the guts to sit through 10 years of Blair's rule, he has the guts to sit a through a few months of bad opinions rantings he will ride it out the tough times, and win, win, win, win, (like the Bruce and the spider )like he allways does. Anyone who says the PM lacks character or strengh is an idiot."

Many would say it would say it would've taken MORE strength and courage to challenge the idiotic excesses of Blair's clique. Instead he did the easy thing like a good little boy and sat quietly waiting to be paid. In the end. Eventually. After a few false dawns.

I don't think he lacks character or strength; I merely question the quality of the former and the direction of the latter. What kind of quality of character is it to introduce a tax band to help the poorest workers in the country and then whip it away when the Daily Mail suggests you need more middle class votes and this lets you cut their taxes? I'd suggest it was pretty craven, particularly poor quality as its indicative of either a mistake in its introduction or a gaffe in its removal.

That his strength is directed at a lame 'we listen, we feel your pain' mantra, devoid of a willingness to *change* (the one thing voters want him to do. Except maybe, at this stage, to f*ck off and die in a hole!) but fired up with a dogged determination that he is right and if only we ignorant voters listened harder we would somehome 'get it'.

To me that's the strength of a bloody-minded idiot, an arrogant one at that.

Anonymous said...

Can't agree with Parris about the Tory front bench. They have come across as collectively stong of late.

What the F++k is Parris on? The only lightweight in that lot is Dave's mate George but he has an extraordinary wife who should be able to lick him into shape.

Anonymous said...

When Gordon told us he wakes up every morning feeling our pain. Gordon lost ALL credibility.

Labour with Gordon as leader are Labour with an anchor around their necks.

Anonymous said...

des, quit carrying on about the bloody one-eyed PM and his courage!

My old man lost the sight of one eye at the age of 66, and is still working 3 years later because 'the greatest chancellor' ruined British pension provisions, and because what savings we had are penuriously taxed, so he can't afford to retire.

Your 'greatest chancellor' was greedy enough to claim expenses for his second home, despite living in a grace&favour residence for the last 11 years, your 'greatest chancellor' is close friends with multi-millionaires (see hedge funds and overseas trusts) who influence his policies.

Your 'greatest chancellor' is a miserable, bad-tempered, cowardly, incompetent and boring sod who only knows how to tax and spend and borrow in order to buy votes.

Anonymous said...

Here's a man who, as Chancellor, took over an economy very much on an even keel, even on the way up. He made one, just one, good decision in 10 years - he stuck to the Tory spending plans for 2 years. And that only because it was politically expedient. The bigger the problems, the more he could blame the previous administration.

Since then, as agreed by every economic pundit on earth, the western world has had a 'nice' decade. Chinese imports to keep inflation stable, a boom in the emerging economies, a credit explosion of truly grandiose scale.

And now we have a government unable to move when the good times end, a population loaded up to their necks in debt, no room to expand government spending to take up the slack in the privare sector.

When will the truth about Brown be accepted by the general media (even the Mail & the Telegraph!). As Chancellor, he has been an unmitigated disaster for the UK and as Prime Minister it will be even worse.

I am fed up with how 'intelligent' this guy is. He might be able to spout bull about the social problems of Scotland before the last depression but, I'll tell you, he is a buffoon, a fool, over promoted, a complete waste of oxygen and a carbon footprint we could all do without.

The qicker the better or the UK takes it's place in the New World Order - third world!

dirty european socialist: said...

8:29 PM Lb has increased pensions. It is the tories who cut pensions for the poor.
Pensioners were a group greatly neglected under the previous conservative government and have enjoyed much improvement under New Labour which includes in healthcare, the winter fuel payments and well above inflation annual pension increases. Public pensions have got better even if private ones have been cut.

dirty european socialist said...

The PM is so miserable because he feel our pain.

Anonymous said...

A Brown led Labour party is unelectable. The longer he leads and the longer a general election is delayed, the bigger the eventual defeat and meltdown of the party.

However, the rejection of Labour is only part down to Brown - it would have been the same under Blair but that shyster, as usual, got out before the s*** hit the fan! And if anyone from the current Labour front bench takes over, the same story unfolds - Labour meltdown.

The majority now see through the New Labour mirage - it's a phoney, it's hot air, they have nothing to say, nothing to contribute. And the economy is on the edge of a 1929 economic disaster.

And I thought I had problems!!

dirty european socialist said...

9:13 PM The UK has never even had a negative economic quarter in his time as chancellor and PM expain that,if he is such an idiot.

Albert M. Bankment said...

Just a quick hat-tip for the faked-up film poster. 'Der Untergang' is a transfixingly wonderful film, and Bruno Ganz is magnificent as Hitler. If you haven't see it, do so.

Anonymous said...

Dave has certainly got his work cut out if he wants Gordon in office for another two years.

Mirtha Tidville said...

Broon is an old fashioned unreconstructed Clydebank Socialist and labour (Nu or otherwise) are stuck with him until the ship sinks.....Delicious

Anonymous said...

As a Tory I have the option of Broon staying on and loosing the next election. At the cost of doing more damage to the country for the next two years. Or going volentarily or otherwise, having two years of somebody who will do less damage but with the risk of winning an election.

Hillary Benn might have the dynastic connections, though that did not work for Dunwoowh jnr; but has no experienc he went from minister for giving my money to rich African tyrants to minister to giving my money to rich farmers.

simon said...

To an earlier poster- the Welsh and Scottish are a race (i'm not too sure about the NIrish)- therefore the Welsh Assembly and the Scottish Parly are racially exclusive bodies. It isn't difficult. To the 'establishment (ie) wankers in control) England is 'Britain'. They require telling otherwise.

Anonymous said...

verity said...

"Warms the cockles of one's heart, doesn't it?"

Warms mine.

Brown has been at the centre of the nulab determination to destroy as many British jobs as possible and create the maximum possible number of unemployed British people.

Now they are destroying their own and they are going to be unemployed.

Ha ha ha ha ha ha ha.

Perhaps they could up their skill levels and get jobs as cheap labour on farms in Bulgaria.

Ha ha ha.


dirty european socialist said...

"The PM is so miserable because he feel our pain."

I'm so happy because I feel his pain.

Ha ha ha.

Victor, NW Kent said...

I would love to see the back of Gordon Brown even if some little wet takes over until we can sweep them all away.

Brown remaining for two years will be very serious for the UK, a disaster of tsunamni proportions.

Anonymous said...

What's all this about Brown being an unelected leader? He's as elected as Blair ever was. The only members of the public that elected him are in his own parliamentary constituency. Everywhere else we vote for our local MP. The party that wins the most MPs gets to determine who is Prime Minister.

Are people confusing the British system with the US/German/French system of the public directly electing the leader of the country?

Auntie Flo' said...

dirty european socialist said...

9:13 PM The UK has never even had a negative economic quarter in his time as chancellor and PM expain that,if he is such an idiot.


It was all a con, des, that's why. Broon and nulab are con artists - dead ringers for my last ex-husband.

For ten years my ex and I lived together while he ran a successful business. Between the two of us our family had a good, steady standard of living, we were feel good factor personified.

Then we married, amalgamated our bank accounts,I became pregnant - and all hell let loose.

My ex then confessed to a labyrinthine mountain of personal and business debt that he'd begun accumulating before we'd met.

Inland Revenue were bankrupting him, the bank were selling our house from under our feet my ex was sued for Britain.

We lost everything and narrowly escaped homelessness while my ex sat rocking in a corner and left me to sort out this mess throughout my pregnancy.

My ex had been nothing but a - very convincing - smooth talking con man who'd used a hegemony of lies, aliases and snowballing debts to sustain phoney businesses and his apparent income.

He was Blair and Broon personified.

There was only one way out of the giantuan mess he fabricated, just as there is for UK now: hard work, honesty, a reduction in living standard, paying off that debt and living within our means.

And divorcing that b*stard.

Auntie Flo' said...

Rohan said...
The problem for Brown is that unlike Blair he doesn't or can't make the political weather.


No, he can't because its all gone too far for anyone to make the political weather with the corrupt, Blairite lies which built nulab's psychotic hegemony.

Brown was the invisible puppet master of that and is constitutionally capable of nothing else.

Brown's living The Fall of the House of Usher, yet too deluded to recognise it. He soon will.

Now we are now beginning to see the extent to which nulab's never, never ideology of a society built on debt and relativism without ethical values, was a psychotic delusion.

For a time nulab hooked in millions of us in UK as we mimicked that delusion.

Like all corrupt empires, nulabia was all, always in Blair's, Brown's and the nulab elite's sole self interest. For all the while they filled their boots with our power and money and plotted how to grab more of it.

And, as with all corrupt empires, deluded power lust and greed were the embedded seeds of its own inevitable destruction.

Sooner or later, reality had to step in. It was never a question of if nulabia would collapse, just when. Now that collapse has begun and nulab's corrupt, hegemonic fantasy is disintegrating and crashing down around Brown big time.

The real agent of change is nulabia's conflict with the reality it always feared and loathed.

Now Brown is visibly fragmenting under the pressure of that reality he's evaded for ten long years. Only economic and social realism can save UK now, but that's a foreign country to Brown, Blair and nulab.

Auntie Flo' said...

Part of The Haunted Palace

(from Fall Of The House Of Usher)


In the greenest of our valleys
By good angels tenanted,
Once a fair and stately palace-
Radiant palace–reared its head.
In the monarch Thought's dominion-
It stood there!
Never seraph spread a pinion
Over fabric half so fair!
...And all with pearl and ruby glowing
Was the fair palace door,
Through which came flowing, flowing, flowing,
And sparkling evermore,
A troop of Echoes, whose sweet duty
Was but to sing,
In voices of surpassing beauty,
The wit and wisdom of their king.

But evil things, in robes of sorrow,
Assailed the monarch's high estate.
(Ah, let us mourn!–for never morrow
Shall dawn upon him desolate!)
And round about his home the glory
That blushed and bloomed,
Is but a dim-remembered story
Of the old time entombed.

And travellers, now, within that valley,
Through the red-litten windows see
Vast forms, that move fantastically
To a discordant melody,
While, like a ghastly rapid river,
Through the pale door
A hideous throng rush out forever
And laugh–but smile no more.

Edgar Allan Poe

dirtyeuropeansocialist.:: said...

Remember in WW2 the UK was losing at first buy thenm it won.