Frank Dobson has always reminded me of Uncle Albert from Only Fools and Horses - a figure of complete ridicule, yet rather respected by his nearest and dearest. We Tories may poke fun at him but in the Labour Party people still have a sneaking admiration for him. On GMTV on Sunday morning Dobbo will be calling for Tony Blair to quit - and quit now. Here's what he will say.
Frank Dobson: Two years ago I said that I thought he would hang on for about two years after the general election and I don’t see him hanging on for very much longer and I think quite a lot of people would believe that it would probably be best if he stayed until after the local elections in England and the elections in Scotland and he could take responsibility for whatever happened then and it would probably be better if his successor, most likely to be Gordon Brown, could sort of pick up the pieces afterwards rather than be blamed in any way for however badly we did, but I do get the impression, again since I’ve come back, that quite a few people who held that view are now thinking that things are getting into such a mess that it would be better if Tony Blair went now even if it meant that Gordon Brown did have to take some responsibility for our electoral performance in May.
Steve Richards: Is that increased in your view?
Frank Dobson: Yes it is in that I think I’m along with the others. I thought well probably best for him to be around till May/June and then go, but things do seem to be rather falling apart. And I think that one of the biggest problems that John Major’s government faced in the end was that it looked as though it was not really in charge of things and there is an air arising in the government at the moment that people are not quite in charge of their departments and I think that whatever else British people like or don’t like, they don’t like the idea of the government not being in charge.
Steve Richards: So you’re coming more to the view of sooner the better?
Steve Richards: What would that mean in effect then? He would go quickly and Gordon Brown would be in place before the May local elections?
Frank Dobson: Yes, I expect that he would, and it would mean presumably that Tony Blair, I think the procedure would be he would resign as leader of the Labour party, the Labour party would then elect a new leader and that new leader would then become the Prime Minister.
Steve Richards: Well it will be interesting to see how it all develops over the next few months. If that doesn’t happen and this extraordinary period continues for another 5 or 6 months, what do you worry will be the impact on your party and the government?
Frank Dobson:Well I don’t think it is just an impact on the party, I think it would be an impact on the country – I’ve been predicting that the Prime Ministers authority would go down and it wouldn’t go down in a steady slope, there’d be the odd cliff and then a plateau and then another cliff and I think we are going down a pretty steep slope at the moment and it is likely to get worse and I think it also means foreign affairs as well, if Tony Blair is going to international meetings people are thinking well there’s not much point in talking to this man because he’s not going to be around – it’s this other man Brown that we need to be talking to.
I thought you were going to say "We Tories may poke fun at him but in the Labour Party people still have a sneaking admiration for him. Frank Dobson is another matter entirely...."
Dobbos broadly right but he and the Labour party are insane to believe that Gordon Brown is their saviour, swooping down from the Treasury to right wrongs and protect Labour from electoral oblivion.
NuLab has failed beacause it failed to grasp how to drive change and how to change the system from within. Gordon Brown is the system. A tax raising monster spewing tax-payers money left and right with so little benefit to show for it. He's really going to help labour at the next election when they have to stand before us and account for 10 (or more) wasted years. Not
Amazing how you can see so clearly into the future, Iain. But I am puzzled. If we are on a steep slope, we can't be on a cliff, though obviously we are not on a plateau. But a slope is not as bad as a cliff; one's descent can be controlled. Has Dobbo been talking to Prezza? I think we should be told
Frank Dobson always reminds me of Moore Marriot from the Will Hay films.
Always made me smile how he refused to shave off his beard to improve his chances in the London Mayor election.
Interesting if this view is the 'tip of the iceberg' and that others in the Labour party are starting to express disquiet with a potential coup...
Iain, you seem to have a crystal clear time vortex leading to the future as Bryan Appleyard points out - can you give us the exact wording of Blair's resignation speech, so we can comment on it in advance?
Brown would be a fool to push Blair out early. If Blair goes before the may elections and then labour do really badly, it will be the final nail in the coffin for any mandate Brown could claim to have. He would have little option other than to call an election that his party can ill aford.
it will also mean that Blair wont be able to invoke any kind of privalige when dealing with Yates of the Yard.
As Blair's first Health Secretary, Uncle Albert demonstrated how incapable he was for cabinet office. He was and remains, with or without his beard, a figure of deserved derision. His views are not to be taken seriously.
Meanwhile, in today's Economist, we learn that:
Extraordinary as it seems, [Tony Blair] is ... serenely confident that he will be remembered as the man who saved Britain's beloved National Health Service. ... How can he be so sanguine when even his own ministers, wearing their hats as good constituency MPs, can be found protesting against the local consequences of these policies?
The answer was provided by David Cameron this week ... [who said] “I want us to leave no one in any doubt whatsoever about how we feel about the NHS today. We believe in it. We want to improve it. We want to it improve for everyone in this country.”
Sadly for Mr Blair, his true legacy is likely to be a growing realisation that despite every effort and colossal sums of money, the health service in anything like its present form is unfixable. In which case, stronger medicine will be needed than Mr Cameron's sentimental fawning over health workers and timid “me-tooism” on policy.
And there we have in a nutshell, the Tory leader exposed as the empty vessel, the PR man he really is, the leader of no principle except empty victory--for what use is victory if the price is abandonment of your principles, unless you have no principles.
THAT is the real problem we need to face and resolve today before there will be any hope of another Conservative government in this country.
I watched Frank Dobson on the parliment channel ,he looked very miffed and when he mentioned certain names I got the impression he was growling , oh for the old guard ,not, and that includes the conservatives
The Moody Blues got it right in the 1960s:
This is what is known as "being dobbo'd in it" innit?
>Frank Dobson has always reminded me of Uncle Albert from Only Fools and Horses
You have no idea how funny that is when you're stoned!
Even the BBC appear to be so panic stricken that they're trying to force Blair out. Take a look at the anti-government, anti-Blair, comments currently posted on BBC's 'Have Your Say'.
'I say it's time we marched on Downing Street'..'Anarchy would be an improvement on the current lot'...'Can we not find space for New Labour in our prisons?'...'The entire country is in anarchy'...The lunatics really have taken over the mad house'...'I am a police officer, I am counting down to when the lunacy will end'...'Go now Blair and take this bunch of Scottish half wits with you'...'Reed says, it's nothing to do with me, it's nothing to do with me, EEEE I ADIO0000 it's nothing to do with me!'...'I hate this government and I want them out.'
Make the most of it, good old Auntie's sudden democratic leanings will be snuffed out once their pal Mr Broon's enthroned at Number 10.
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