Friday, June 05, 2009

The Story of the Day So Far

It's been a weird day so far. Another cabinet minister resigns (that's four in case you had lost count) and yet many commentators seem to be underplaying this. Why? This is the most serious crisis in cabinet government since the Westland Affair. There is a clear lack of confidence in the prime minister. It's difficult to gauge the reaction of Labour MPs. We have interviewed Andrew Mackinlay and Kerry McCarthy on the programme and they both seemed quite calm. Andrew clearly expected further developments, whereas Kerry McCarthy couldn't quite see why it was all causing such a fuss. But it's MPs like them, with majorities of 5-10,000 who will determine the prime minister's fate. Will they have the courage to follow James Purnell over the top? If not, the media commentators are right to be cautious.

There are very few results to far. Sky and the BBC only announce results when the full results are in for each council. The trends we are seeing are a complete decimation of the Labour Party, a dramatic increase in support for the BNP in many areas where they already had a presence, and a resurgence of the Conservatives in the west country. But it's early days.

Very sad to hear that Paul Goodman is standing down from Parliament. It's a real shock. And it's made me really think. If people of his quality are leaving parliament, what does that say about our politics and our political system? I'll write more about this over the next couple of days, but the news has cast a real cloud over my day.

By the way, I'll be interviewing Boris at 1.50pm on PlayRadioUK.com.

If you want to listen to the interviews we have done with Nick Clegg, Paul Goodman and Simon Darby from the BNP, click HERE.

70 comments:

Rik said...

Has Gordon done anything other than fill posts vacated by resigning ministers? Apart from Alan Sugar of course, in the end to celebrity governing.
The election that never was.
The reshuffle that never was?

Paul Halsall said...

Great Program on payradiouk, Iain. I turned off the sound on Sky News and have just been listening to you and Hopi. Much more interesting.

I know one Ward in Greater Manchester is not much, but I was kind of stunned that the BNP got 16% here.

It is a real high, btw, when an election is so close (9 votes here in Radcliffe West) that one's own vote so clearly counts.

javelin said...

Alan Johnson handed the poison chalice at the Home Office. Alan must believe he won't be in the post long enough to taste it.

One thing you can say about Brown - whatever he does - it will be a mistake.

Nigel said...

Extraordinary interview with Barry Sheerman on Today this morning, when he claimed that Gordon Brown and Yvette Cooper had been calling his constituency officials to try to get them to put pressure on him.

Blackacre said...

I would have thought Labour are doing worse than a decimation - are they really only losing 1 in 10 seats?

javelin said...

Is the Star Chamber helping those who pledge their loyality, to pledge their loyality loudest?

Sean Haffey said...

BBC and Sky only reporting councils when all results are in is infuriating. Would they only report on parliamentary results when all results from all constituencies are in?

This isn't "news", it's "olds". Very 20th Century.

Bert Rustle said...

A direct link to todays interviews is:

http://playradiouk.podbean.com/category/iain-dale/

judith said...

Prof of Politics on World at One said where Labour vote dipped, it was going to BNP, where Tory vote dipped, it was going to UKIP.

Although some of the results seem to indicate Labour voters switching to LibDems.

Reporter in Matlock predicting Labour to lose control of Derbyshire - 6 Tory gains so far (1.45pm).

Martin said...

What is all this nonsense about Alan Johnson as a successor to McMental? He and all the other 'men' got their backsides kicked by Hattie Hatemenperson in the deputy leadership bid.

Let me make it clear. If the next leader is selected BY the Labour party as a whole it will be Hattie. Most of the grass roots in Labour are 'wimmin' and they have their feminist agenda.

Andy said...

Only if you care:

The word "decimate" means to reduce by one tenth. Not, as it is often misued to reduce to one tenth (or less).

If you meant that Labour were only losing 10% then that's fine, if you meant they were being wiped out, decimate is not the word.

Havocman said...

Brown is safe - for now. There doesn't appear to be enough willing to stick their heads over the parapet at the moment. The only way he will go is if he chooses to jump and I can't see that happening.

Anonymous said...

WTF has Osborne to his hair?? Looks fucking ridiculous!

Anonymous said...

John Hutton is also leaving Parliament at the next election , yet another MP who is jumping before he is pushed....Barrow & Furness is going to be taken by the Tories , of that there can be little doubt.

Former People's Republic of South Yorkshire said...

Doncaster:

Another recount between the English Democrats and an "Independent".

Labour 3rd, Tories 4th.

In Labour's heartlands, this must count as a major blow. Though Flint is spinning that the Tories "must be very disappointed" in coming 4th...

Rebel Saint said...

Would like to listen but playradio just seems to timeout constantly. :o(

Kevin Boatang said...

Of course Brown is bloody safe, what idiot is going to start off the most complicated election process ever devised in the full glare of a Stalinist?

Labour are spineless, always have been always will be.

Iain, I would like you to ask Boris a question away fromt he current issues. I would like you to ask him why he felt the need to betray his anti-tall buildings policy and side with the developers, something previously done by Hazel Blears.

Go on, ask something awkward for once.

Anonymous said...

I was completely shocked by how technologically up-to-date Kent county council's results service is:

http://www.kent.gov.uk/Kcc.eGov.Elections.Public.Site/CountyPage.aspx

Seat by seat results as they are declared, interactive map, the works!

Stuart Dickson said...

In Scotland: looks like we got approx 8% swing Lab -> SNP (compared to Holyrood 2007, ie. SNP got 32.9%)!!

:D

Squiffy said...

Call this a reshuffle? I've known dead people shuffle about more. Not the night of the long knives, more the morning of the warm spoons.

They're finished. I have a delicious thought that after the re-shuffle is complete, another secretary will resign, causing terminal damage. It would be the best plot ever.

trevorsden said...

Sugar is just another 'tsar'. A bit of tinsel. He gets to keep his businesses. And he gets a Lordship.

Bob Ainsworth is at Defence.

LibDems are doing badly in the West. Burley is trying to say Tories afe doing badly but never mind the swings, this is surely good news for conservatives.

Bardirect said...

I see the Grauniad has Labour's briefing notes about how to spin Purnell, Hutton etc

http://www.guardian.co.uk/politics/blog/2009/jun/05/purnell-labour-briefing

Wonder where they got them?

Stuart Dickson said...

Devon: CON gain from LD

ukipwebmaster said...

UKIP have won their very first county council seats. (One in Norfolk)

Stuart Dickson said...

Somerset: CON gain from LD

moorlandhunter said...

Alan Sugar stepping in to help out Gordon. We are doomed if Gordon thinks this self-serving celebrity man can sort out the UK.
Anyone got a pill; I’ve had enough already?

Nigel said...

Listening to your show from Bermuda, another from overseas

Stuart Dickson said...

Compared with the start of the Euro campaign in mid-May, the main beneficiaries in the Line Betting market have been the SNP, Plaid Cymru and the DUP:

Betfair - Party Seats Line

Con 354 - 357
Lab 206 - 213
LD 51 - 56.5
SNP 15 - 19
PC 5 - 6
DUP 6 – 9.5

Triple exes all round said...

The reason people in the real world of politics aren't getting as excited as some in the Conservative commentariat is because there aren't 4 resignations for the reason they claim. There's only one!!

Blears was a troffer who jumped before she was pushed.

Smith and her husband had made arses of themselves over expenses and she had to go anyway. At least she didn't show the disloyalty of Blears.

Hutton is leaving politics altogether.

And the only one to resign for the reasons you want was bedwetter Purnell which act turned into a rather damp squib.

That's the reason there's no traction.

Mirtha Tidville said...

Bob Ainsworth at defence....just shows what Broon thinks of our armed forces. He is as thick as pig shit and twice as dense...

This is the man who 2 days ago was supposed to turn up at RAF Marham to welcome 13 squadron back from the middle east and `forgot` blaming it on a `diary error`...

This one eyed idiot is going to sit it out..so time for the Lib Dems to gird their loins and prepare to be the official opposition......it will happen..

Former People's Republic of South Yorkshire said...

Doncaster Mayor:

English Democrat gain from Labour

Stuart Dickson said...

BBC - "Projected National Share":

Lab 23%
Con 38%
LD 28%

Stuart Dickson said...

"English Democrat gain from Labour"

Flippin eck!!!!

Stuart Dickson said...

Staffordshire: CON gain from LAB

Nick Thornsby said...

Whoever wrote this seems to think that Paul Goodman is the Lib Dem leader...

http://playradiouk.podbean.com/

Victor, NW Kent said...

So far, of the counts completed in Kent. Labour has lost all 7 of the seats it held. 6 came over to us and one went to an Independent. Swing against Labour varies from just under 12% to as high as 29%.
LibDems hold a single seat so far but have generally lost a few percentage votes.

Victor, NW Kent said...

So far, of the counts completed in Kent. Labour has lost all 7 of the seats it held. 6 came over to us and one went to an Independent. Swing against Labour varies from just under 12% to as high as 29%.
LibDems hold a single seat so far but have generally lost a few percentage votes.

dodrade said...

Apologies if this analogy has already been used (godwins law alert!), but today is increasingly resembling the July Plot, with James Purnell as Stauffenberg attempting Brown's political assassination, and Milliband, Johnson et al as the spineless high command preferring to follow their Fuhrer to certain doom rather than rise up and try to save what's left of the Labour party. A mortally wounded Brown limping on for another year is the worst possible outcome for Labour(or best if you're a Tory) and also the most likely.

Stepney said...

Labour in flames in Lancashire.

Astonishing results

Labour seat losses now at 20 (from 43); Conservatives have gained 13 of them and now only need 6 from the remaining 19 to win overall control

Anonymous said...

Peter Hain back as Welsh Sec

Adrian said...

Reading the profiles of the two leading candidates in Doncaster, it's great to see such good people standing and being voted for. Shame they can't both be mayor. http://www.doncasterfreepress.co.uk/15745/PROFILE-Peter-Davies.5311931.jp
http://www.doncasterfreepress.co.uk/15745/PROFILE-Mick-Maye.5313355.jp

Steve H said...

***Labour in flames in Lancashire.***

Where the County Palatine leads, the nation follows, by eck tha knows.

dodrade said...

Anyone know what's happened to poliiticalbetting.com? All posts after April 25th seem to have disappeared.

ukipwebmaster said...

More results just coming in and UKIP are getting quite a few second and third places.

Chris said...

English Democrats have definitely won in Doncaster. Result on Doncaster Council website:

DAVIES Peter English Democrats 25,344* elected
EXELBY Stuart Community Group 2,152
FELSE Michael James Independent 2,051
HOLLAND Sandra The Labour Party Candidate 16,549
MAYE Michael Thomas Independent 24,990*
OWEN Dave British National Party 8,175
WOOD Jonathan The Conservative Party Candidate 12,198

Flemingcrag said...

As always with Labour you have to wait for the dirt to rise to the surface before all becomes clear. John Hutton appears as one of the first Cabinet Ministers to give the beleaguered Gordon a vote of confidence, his next pronouncement is his resignation as Defence Secretary.
Why? My guess is the second was always going to happen but, the promise of elevation to the house of Lords delayed it until after he praised Gordon.
You see a politician's greed is not entirely satified at the trough of MPs expenses, many like John and Caroline Flint are always prepared to sacrifice any and all political principles in the cause of personal advancement.

Treble exes all round said...

A grey haired academic bloke on telly says that, all things considered, the Conservatives haven't done as well as they needed to do to win the next election.

His argument seems to be that the Tories haven't stored up enough fat with these results and projections for the inevitable lean of retracement before the general election.

Just noticed the Hoon is gone. Guido will be annoyed.

Stuart Dickson said...

"BBC understands Jim Murphy to remain Scottish Secretary"

Ha ha.

That is, until the Tories boot him out of East Renfrewshire.

Murphy is toast. He is infamous for having a wonderfully well-organised, efficient constituency/on-the-ground operation in E. Renf. That will not help him one iota, cos the electorate have had enough of him and his ilk.

Paul Halsall said...

However much you may dislike her, Harriet Harman is a massively competent TV performer

Windsor Tripehound said...

The story of the day so far is the revelation that the parliamentary Labour Party is a spineless, self-serving, useless mob.

Can't they see that Brown's leading them to oblivion? That would be O.K. by me if it weren't for the prospect of the addition damage Brown will do in the next 12 months.

Sir Lancelot de Boyle said...

A brief perusal of the Army Rumour Service leaves little doubt that there is less than delight at the promotion of the useless Ainsworth as S of S. As a veteran, I consider Hutton to have committed a gross dereliction of duty in resigning when there is a war in progress. If Brown wanted him to move he should have been honourable enough to publicly state his case and not play the weasel. In my opinion he has betrayed the men and women of the Armed Forces.

FramedBromsgrovian said...

I had to look for the my local results in the County council website. I suppose that is what most will have to.
Worcestershire is a Conservative hold with a rather big majority. The most interesting thing is that Jaqui Smith's Redditch has turned completely blue and there is not a single Labour county councillor now.
The LibDems have stayed where they were and Labour, well there are now more independents than them!

Anonymous said...

Conservatives have regained Kent. Labour have lost all of their seats so far......

Nigel said...

Loved this from the BBC website. The resemblance to Soviet era encomiums fro Stalin is uncanny:

'...Ex-minister Tom Watson has published his resignation letter. He is downright florid in his praise of Gordon Brown. "However spitefully your character is traduced and your triumphs degraded by Labour's enemies, they can never erase the towering achievements to your name,"...'

Stuart Dickson said...

dodrade - "Anyone know what's happened to poliiticalbetting.com?"

Try:

PB.com Channel 2 ->

http://politicalbetting.blogspot.com/

Jonathan Cook said...

Derbyshire has gone Conservative!

NorthernEconomist said...

Conservatives win Lancashire AND Derbyshire. Incredible.

Anonymous said...

Five.Hoons going as well

VotR said...

Hoon has quit. Not so much of a reshuffle, but a falling house of cards.

Lola said...

Being brought up in the way I was it completely passes my understanding just how MP's and cabinent ministers in particular look first to themselves and their party in times like these. The economy going down the pan. Brown's policies (such as they ever were beyond tax and spend) falling apart and still these, our representatives, cling on for one more years pay and perks. Their responsibility is to us. Not the bloody Labour Party. No amount of protective thinking can shield them from the truth that their government has run its course and failed. No amount of personal deceit can possibly provide a convincing argument that, because their philosophy is right - which of course it isn't - entitles them to keep going on and on with this disaster. Personal responsibility should tell you that you must act, in the interest of the country, and finish this ferrago. Cut your losses and go. Shut it down before it does any more damage, just as you would a business unit that is losing money and threatening the whole firm.

But, no. They sit there and announce that they are carrying in government for the 'good of the Labour Party'. Not the country the labour Party. The party that about 80% of the electorate do not support.

Tell you what, to quote Captain Prostetnic Vogon Jeltz, 'Death's too good for them'.

javelin said...

Hoon has gone.

Does that mean another reshuffle - or has the last one finished? I'm confused!!!!

Thomas Rossetti said...

Come on, Iain. Where your reaction to the Hoon news?

Martin said...

What is this obsession with Alan Sugar? All he's ever produced is cheap crap that broke and he's the prat that told Bill Gates "you can't make money selling software"

And this prat is going to advise business?

Means Test ACA said...

Bye-election in Norwich North! Get in, Iain!

You can always get the Tory whip afterwards.

Anonymous said...

It just shows how low Brown has sunk by appointing a barrow boy and spiv to his cabinet. It was bad enough when this nasty piece of work was given a knighthood but to give him a peerage is scraping the barrel. Sugar has done nothing to benefit the UK as virtually all the junk sold by him has been sourced from abroad and he has, therefore, done considerable damage to our economy.

Sunil Prasannan said...

Ian Gibson resigns to force a by-election in Norwich.

Sunil Prasannan said...

Beckett resigns from Govt too LOL!

AndyChap said...

The results in Cornwall are quite sensational. from 9 seats in old county council Tories up to 33 already.
Interestingly the Mebyon Kernow insulted by Lib dem leafle thas been elected in Camborne!

Peter H said...

None of the big three parties really wants an election until AFTER the Lisbon Treaty has been passed. Calls for an election are very half-hearted

Anonymous said...

Damn! Labour have managed to get a single seat in Kent due to a split vote between the Tories and UKIP.

Hopefully that will be their only one. The map of Kent looks beautiful at the moment...