Sunday, August 13, 2006

How John Reid Has Weakened His Leadership Chances

John Reid's ego knows no bounds. He now seriously believes he will inherit from Tony Blair. He won't. He believes his tough guy approach will win him plaudits and will ultimately result in him turning the Home Office round. It won't. He believes his successful sidelining of John Prescott over the last few days will win him the admiration and respect of Labour Party members. It won't.

Over the last few months John Reid has lost what hew friends he had in the Cabinet. Only diehard Blairites like Tessa Jowell would still support him in a leadership contest. Even Blair-ultra Charlie Falconer has fallen out with him.

Not only that, but he has alienated many Labour backbenchers with his macho style and on-the-hoof policy making. His predecessors, David Blunkett and Charles Clarke are steadily spreading poison about him among Labour MPs, who apparently need little encouragement to launch into vitriolic attacks on the good Doctor.

Today's revelations in the Mail on Sunday seem to show that Reid has used this week's terrorist plot for his own political ends. Now that really would be unlike a Blairite, wouldn't it?

The fact of the matter is that John Reid has alienated the Cabinet, annoyed Labour MPs, betrayed the trade unions and irritated Labour Party members. Not exactly the way to win a leadership contest, is it?


Anonymous said...

he is a new labour nutter of the highest order (quote from a labour party pal of mine).

he reminds me of tebbit to be honest, though I dont recall tebbit having his issues............

he scares me to be honest, new labour taliban!

Anonymous said...

I do not know. John Reid appeared to me to be competent this week. A quality unknown in Labour politicians for years. I feel he may well be our next PM and unless the Tories get some policy/ substance momentum going, we might be stuck with him.

Anonymous said...

Iain said "John Reid has alienated the Cabinet, annoyed Labour MPs, betrayed the trade unions and irritated Labour Party members"

but didn't another Labour gentleman by the name of Blair do something like that, and he was rather successful politically IIRC.

Of course Reid may be a little too old for that sort of caper, a bit past his best, and maybe a little too instinctively fascist (see

Anonymous said...

From a labour point of view im sure that many see him setting out his stall as the true Blairite candidate.

That said I doubt whether Labour wants another blairite leader...

Anonymous said...

His comments that the Immigration Dept is "not fit for purpose" and riven from top to bottom with managerial incompetence, after 9 years hard labour, must have endeared him to his cabinet colleagues, especially his predecessors as Home Secretary.

Yet it is the new competent Home Secretary who announces that the introduction of vital passport checks for travellers leaving the UK may not take place until 2014.

Anonymous said...

Surely alienating the entire cabinet of preachy morons should be seen as a good thing?

Anonymous said...

Hmmmm.... An 'A' lister speaks?
or maybe mouths what he's been told to say?

Who knows? Who cares?

Where can I find a blog which I can sense is independent?

Anonymous said...

'You can't buck the market', as a famous Tory PM once said. The fact is that people are racing to get their dosh onto Reid. That doesn't mean your comments aren't true.

But 'perception is reality' and the fact that people are willing to back their view that 'Dr' Reid is a potential PM with hard cash is not something to be ignored..

Anonymous said...

Surely if you thought Reid was an awful bloke, the last thing you would do is to try and strangle his leadership bid at birth ? Or even before it has been conceived.

Something tells me that someone who is tough on terrorism, and pitching to be harder on the 'new wave' of european migration than either his predecessors or the shadow cabinet has you rattled.

Truth or Dare, Mr Dale ??

Trevor Ivory said...

Not sure I agree with you here Iain. As I argue on my blog, Brown is clearly still the odds on favourite to succeed Blair, but Reid did become a serious challenger this week.

Iain Dale said...

Anonymous, good try! If I thought he was genuine, I'd welcome it. I'm not rattled that easily, matey!

Iain Dale said...

Wonderful for his age, don't be such a prat. Have you read the Norris piece above? Does that sound slavish to you? I said when I went on the A List that I would continue to give my own views. And I have. FOr what it's worth, I spoke to David Davis yesterday and put my theory about Reid to him and he wasn't convinced. No one tells me what to say, and if they did, they pretty much know what response they'd get.

Anonymous said...

Anonymous, 7.37pm said:
"John Reid appeared to me to be competent this week".

Perhaps you weren't one of the 400,000 airline travellers. That could mean a lot of lost votes if it emerges that the disruption wasn't actually necessary - except to further Mr Reid's personal ambitions.

Anonymous said...

It's just as well he's probably got too many enemies to win a leadership election -- on anecdotal evidence, I think he's the only Labour person who could completely smack down Cameron.

Anonymous said...

I think he has strengthened his chances. Most people aren't as political as the people who frequent this blog. Most accept what they're presented with, and he looks strong and confident and he has corralled and neutered the embarrassing John Prescott.

I think he will prevail - Gordon Brown's a spent horse - and he'll walk the next election, given, uh, Dave.

Anonymous said...

edr - Reid can and will smack lightweight, trendy, flittery Dave down. He would not be able to smack down David Davis. Dave's a piece of cake.

Anonymous said...

John Reid will be the next Labour leader and probably the next prime minister. He's told the Muslim Council and all their slithery little clones to straighten up and fly right.

He's sidelined egomaniacal, touchy John Prescott, excluding him from important meetings.

He's a take-charge guy. They tend to win.

Dave is nowhere. He's a bit player.

Anonymous said...

Didn't Hitler seize power by setting fire to the german parliament building then "guaranteeing" public safety by leading a strong government?
Are there any similarities to Mr Reid and his methods?

Paul Linford said...

Your are right in saying Reid is not popular within the Labour Party but if it gets to the point where the polls show him to be markedly more popular with the public than Brown, a Labour Party already lagging behind DC in the polls might look rather silly if it overlooked him.

I am not saying I think this will happen - but it could.

Anonymous said...

I agree with anonymous of 7:37 PM.

As an ordinary member of the public with political views well into 'wingnut' territory, I must admit to having a grudging respect for Mr Reid. (For me 'Dr' should be reserved for 'real' PhDs, like medicine, chemistry, physics or engineering). He seems to have mastered his brief at the Home Office with lightning speed. That he is not afraid to call a chronically ineffective Department 'not fit for purpose' gives me at least some hope of meaningful reform of the Home Office. (Though I cannot claim to understand Mandarinese, this sounds about as damning a verdict as could possibly be pronounced within the Civil Service.)

Who better than an ex-Communist to play his Senior Civil Servants at their own game and beat them. I am even secretly wishing that he would set up his own Lubyanka, into which underperforming Senior and middle-ranking Civil Servants would disappear for a midnight appointment with a bullet in the base of the skull.

Also, in politics as in other spheres of life, people sometimes just happen to be in the right place at the right time. This may well be the case with Mr Reid. I believe this week may ahve been a 'tipping point' in public opinion. Before this week, any senior politician who had dared to state that controlling immigration was not racist would have provoked howls of self-righteous protest from al-Beeb, the liberal print media, and the race-relations industry. As a politician Mr Reid would not be human not to use it to position himself to best advantage.

Anonymous said...

Sorry, but here I am again sounding like a nattering nabob of negativism, BUT, John Reid succeeded in cutting John Prescott out of the picture last week. Given Prescott's ego and feral political instincts, this was quite something to watch and rejoice in.

Gordon Brown was nowhere, as always. Afraid to put his head above the parapet, but I don't think it matters any more. Voters want someone in charge and Brown's never on the scene of where the action is, and has never once acted like a leader.

Reed has also sidelined the ineffective prime minister, who makes bleating noises and consults "the Muslim community" and apologises to them for our living in a democracy. That he was on a yacht in the Caribbean while all this was taking place is instructive. Blair is pointless.

(I have said since the beginning of this year that Blair would be gone by the end of September. I think this is now inevitable, especially with the police so interested in him. I would be astounded if they have not been squirrelling away their assets in Nassau.)

So that is the three big ones Reid has knocked out. It goes without saying that Dave, with his Blairesque Weltaunschunng, is looking distinctly passé in the new era of robust confrontation with radical Islam introduced by Reid. With Reid, the era of appeasement has been drawn to a close.

If David Davis were the leader of the Tories, there would still be a fighting chance. But Dave and the windmills of his mind against the tank-like Reid - nolo contendere.

What do others think?

Anonymous said...

the jabberwock - I agree that we're at the tipping point. And Reid recognised the climate, saw he was in the right place, and grabbed the reins.

This is all most interesting.

Anonymous said...

Dr John Dire seized the opportunity that last Thursday offered him on a plate but he has said nothing of substance.

Unless or until the arrests actually lead to succesful prosecutions and convictions we will simply have experienced another episode of management by fear.

I cannot get Jeremy Vine's recent "Climate of Fear" piece on the Brillo Pad Neil show out of my head.

Anonymous said...

Does Blair know he's been sidelined, or does he care? Are they shopping for premises in Nassau? My guess is, yes.

I don't think these two are going to stick around long. I said two months ago that Blair would be gone by the end of September, and I think this is going to prove right on the button.

Anonymous said...


The Vicar jetted off to the Bachelor Boy's pad knowing full well that Lord Levy would sing a stirring rendition of "Summer Holiday" to Inspector Knacker of the Yard.

That's cowards for you - they squeal like pigs to save themselves/their money/their liberty.

Where IS that chappie Prescott? What does one have to do get a drink on this ship?

Anonymous said...

Wrong, Last Scots Tory. Levy has said he ain't gonna sing.

So now the police have to trawl through his computers. My guess, delaying tactic while Princess Toni and The Blairina get their affairs in order to get the hell out of Britain ahead of the fuzz.

Of course, they'll have to come back and leave respectably if they expect to get jobs being feted at luncheons and dinners in the US, but right now, they're putting the blocks into place.

That's why Tone's not home, front and centre, dramtically dealing with the crisis with many hissy soundbites.

He's thick, but he has feral instincts and he knew John Reid would sideline him. Making it easier for him to give an unexpected farewell speech while the jet idles ... or even from outside Britain.

I have felt since this slimebag came to power that it would all end in tears. Fingers crossed.

Anonymous said...

last scots tory,

"Unless or until the arrests actually lead to succesful prosecutions and convictions we will simply have experienced another episode of management by fear."

The noise I'm hearing from the general public is "thank goodness we're safe". And if it comes to nowt, it will be "better safe than sorry".

On almost everything else, people are very cynical of government, and yet are completely accepting that the government is doing all of this to protect them, and that it's all necessary. Someone with the desire to grab martial law with a "Reichstag Fire" would have no trouble.

Anonymous said...

tim almond said the noise he is hearing from the general public is "thank heavens we're safe".

This tells me a lot, because what you ought to be hearing from the public is,"How dare a bunch of primitive foreigners threaten us on our own soil with such an outrage. How soon is their trial and the guilty will deserve their death sentence for treason."

And if, as you say,it comes to nowt, "better safe than sorry"? Not, get these unsuitable people off our territory?

Has Britain really become so supine?