The resignation of a government PPS who no one has ever heard of is not something that in normal circumstances anyone in Westminster would get very excited about, and in all probability Angela Smith's departure as Yvette Cooper's bag carrier is no different. And yet ... And yet...
John Biffen once memorably described the toppling of Margaret Thatcher as being like standing in front of a Paris Metro ticket machine, punching in your destination and watching all the stations light up one by one. I am not saying Brown is in the same position but the government has a whiff of panic about it. Just take a trip to LabourHome.org if you don't believe me.
Labour MPs in marginal seats know they are staring the dole queue in the face. They know that there is nothing so ex as an ex MP. They're like cornered rats. And what do rats do when they are cornered? They have nothing to lose so they go for the throat. Gordon Brown and his whips would do well to remember that.
MAYDAY ! MAYDAY !! MAYDAY !!!
Ian, this is nothing to do with principles. This is a last ditch effort for her to remain an MP.
The doubling of the 10p tax band has been known by ALL MPs for over 12 months now.
All parties are equably culprable in NOT opposing it until now.
Yes it's almost as if they've lost the will to live, the final feeble thrashes of the fish's tail on the riverbank. Maybe Balls was saying 'So weak, so weak', after all.
I think the way Ms Smith "is not currently denying" her resignation from her Treasury post while Gordon is in America showed real guts.
If Ed's still here, perhaps he can get in some shouting practice.
Why do you host an ad that keeps telling me I am the 999.999 visitor and have been selected to win an Audi A3 ???
BBC Website is now reporting she's not going having spoken to Brown - they can't even get resigning right at the moment!!!
How's this for a hilarious extract from a BBC bio of Brown - written last February:
He tutored Blair in how to handle the media, using his television experience to craft snappy soundbites and eye-catching press releases.
Funny how those snappy soundbites seem to have eluded McBean since he became PM. What a lot of junk we've been fed. Having read some comments on Labour Home I'm beginning to feel sorry for them.
I was chatting to somebody the other day who you might expect to be completely uninterested in politics - far from it.
She was absolutely fuming about the income tax changes - a lifelong labour voter who would not be voting for them again.
She also made one VERY interesting point; the brunt of the anger over tax changes will come when april payslips are issued. This will be right at the end of the month. As fate would have it, this is immediately before the elections!
Labour have always been incompetent, but now they are setting new records for stupidity.
Apparently she has changed her mind.
Yvette Cooper to bag carrier Angela Smith " Ange if you resign over doubling 10p tax rate, this could be the start of a domino leading to Gordon's resignation which in in turn could lead to darling Ed becoming PM and having the power to bring you back Ange in a highly paid government minister position. I leave it to you and your sense of integrity to do what is right for you, for me and for Ed."
Aahhh! Of course Anon 8:05 pm - it's nothing to do with the government - we are all guilty.
She's had a 'conversation' with Gordon and has now decided not to quit....
Labour resemble rats whether they're cornered or not. Jack Straw looks like a rat. Heather Blears looks like a chipmunk, which is a rodent. Margaret Hodge looks like something that lives under a rock in Australia.
Ed Balls looks more reptilian, though. A fat,smiling toad, for instance.
According to the BBC (!) she has decided not to quit after talking with Gordon Brown. She has now gone to ground.
That suggests to me that a compromise is already on the table in order to head off a rebellion.
What slimy bastards they all are.
And now she's not resigning, apparently. This bunch can't even resign competently.
Apparently she has changed her mind.
So dithering is catching is it? Or was this more a case of thumb screws? Too late anyway - it was all over the news bulletins. The damage is done.
BTW there was a nice soundbite from Dave. In an interview with Kathy Newman for C4 she asked him what he'd poll at the local elections "in his wildest dreams". Dave said "Well I do have wild dreams Kathy - but not about poll share". Very nice.
BBC is reporting that she is NOT now resigning. Apparently she called GB who persuaded her f the merits of impoverishing the good Burghers of Sheffield Hillsborough in the name of helping the poor Burghers of...er....Sheffield Hilsborough!
God, it's like a Clash song!
Darling you gotta let me know.
Should I stay or should I go now.
If I go there will be trouble!
But if I stay it will be double!
Verity: would disagree about Jack Straw looking like a rat. More like this heron.
It is not just the MP`s of course but the vast web of sinecure holders nervously gnawing on a last morsel of cheese.
Admiral West, Lord Digby Jones, Angela Smith, that chap who disagreed with increasing beer prices - amazing how they change their minds after a word from dear Gordon isn't it. DVD to hire: "The Lives of Others".
Anonymous @ 8.05pm
The opposition did vote against on 18th March when the amendment to the Income Tax Act was put forward.
What is galling, or an example of stupid Labour are, is the number of Labour MPs who voted for this cut in March and are now complaining.
Force fed 'porridge' no doubt!
[angela smith] 'These are my principles Gordon, and if you don't like them, well, I have others..'
Sold down the river...
Labour MPs might be frightened, but not one of them has the courage to do what needs to be done - kick out Brown and start again.
They prefer to cling on to the wreckage, and pretend that the ship's still afloat. Rats would have more sense.
There is no resignation at the time of writing. Ms Smith got a call from GB and changed her mind.
The demise of the 10p rate is suddenly controversial but not really the end of the world.
Hopefully there can be some measures to aid those victim of unintended consequences. But any change to the tax system will have some winners and losers at the margins. This is no exception.
Absolutely incredible that more than a year has passed without much opposition - even from oppositions who voted against by rote, but approve of the change at heart - to this symbolic change.
It is not helping the Tory case to have this continual over-statement of the problems.
The ad referred to by anon 8:51 is particularly inopportune when juxtaposed with serious news.
1) Smith was going to resign. Update: after a chat with Gordon, suddenly she isn't.
2) Lord Falconer was against extending detention from 28 to 42 days. Update: after a chat with Gordon, suddenly he isn't.
3) Several Labour MPs were tempted to throw their hat into the leadership contest ring. Update: after Gordon made it clear what would happen to their political careers if he were to win, suddenly they weren't.
There might be a pattern to this. It needs a stronger word than bully.
Chris Paul said...
But any change to the tax system will have some winners and losers at the margins.
"the independent Institute for Fiscal Studies says a total of 5.3 million households would see their take-home pay fall as a result, including people earning between £5,200 and £18,500."
That seems to be a pretty wide margin hmm ?
Tachybaptus - I take your joke. But the heron has pretty plumage and an elegant look to him.
Actually, as rats are intelligent and resourceful, it's not a fair comparison anyway. Better we say about any rat we don't like, "Well, he looks like Jack Straw."
Speaking of cornered rats, the following is currenty the third most recomended post on BBC's Have Your Say "Is there life on earth" topic:
Yes, Gordon Brown lives on another planet..
Sorry,couldn't help it!
Oh do try and keep up, Martin, we're talking about *intelligent* life!
[DisgustedOfMitcham2], London, United Kingdom
Chris Paul wrote,
"Hopefully there can be some measures to aid those victim of unintended consequences."
In other words, "This is another Nu-Lab idea that hasn't been thought through properly"
Brown has to break off his meeting with the World's most powerful man to phone a Mrs Smith that no one has ever heard of and beg for her loyalty?
He must be very very very worried indeed, to do that.
Chris Paul - "..... victims of unintended consequences"...
"But any change to the tax system will have some winners and losers at the margins....."
Indeed yes, Chris, but hasn't it struck you that for the losers to be poor (or poorish) people and the "winners" to be well-paid, prosperous people is a rather odd decision for a Labour government to make?
Plus, for this to be an allegedly "unintended consequence" suggests that Labour are even more stupid and incompetent than even I had previously thought. If you remove the bottom band of tax which is obviously more important to poor people than rich, it is blindingly obvious you will make things worse for those same people.
Are you really suggesting that mighty Gordon Brown, Chancellor for 10 years, couldn't work that out? Does he have to take his shoes and socks off if he wants to count higher than ten?
He knew exactly what this would do, so we must assume that is what he wanted to do. "Let's make poor people poorer" - who suggested to him that would be a vote winner?
The reason why Labour rats are now suddenly up in arms about the 10p business is because when it came in they were ahead in the polls and now they aren't. They absolutely could not give a toss about the poor, then or now. What they care about is their place at the trough and they're only kicking off about this now because that's looking threatened.
Evil, evil scum.
As I mentioned in my blog, Brown probably offered her the chance to be parachuted into a safe labour constituency at the next election as her's is being abolished.
Shes obviously not 'that' interested in the tax changes, so it's not really much of a principled stand is it.
Gb is a total jonah everything he touches turns to crap.The only thing i can think of as to why people thought he was a "brilliant tactician" is that he just opposed everything bliar wanted..not skill or cunning just childish opposition.Now he has the top job this is what you get tax the poor to give to the better off,slag off the USA then visit them it would be laughable if he didn't represent our country.
"but hasn't it struck you that for the losers to be poor (or poorish) people and the "winners" to be well-paid, prosperous people is a rather odd decision for a Labour government to make?"
If memory serves the net result of the Labour governments of the 70s was to reduce the wealth of the poor and increase the wealth of the rich. (Or was that the one in the 60s? Or both? I forget.) That, however, was clearly an unintended consequence.
Nulab have been deliberately sucking-up to the rich throughout their term of office. The only unintended consequence of this particular attack on the poor is that everyone has noticed.
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