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Friday, July 25, 2008
Glasgow Aftermath: How to Read the Runes
There are four things to look out for over the next 24 hours before we can judge how deep the doo-doo is which Gordon Brown is trudging in.
Silence is Golden
Tick off how many Cabinet Ministers appear on the media in support of the Prime Minister. In particular watch out for Jack Straw, Alan Johnson, Geoff Hoon and Alistair Darling. If the likes of Balls, Cooper and the Milibands stay silent, Brown is in real trouble. And if there is a mass appearance before the cameras watch out for the 'message'. They will have all been briefed to put out a single message. I suspect the message will be that it's not about Gordon, we've all got to take the blame. In essence, they will be doing the opposite of 'taking one for the team'. They'll be taking one for Gordon.
See if the media allows the Obama visit to drown out the terrible news from Glasgow East. It may come a day too late though. If the BBC and Sky lead each news bulletin with Obama, Labour MPs will breathe a sigh of relief.
The Usual Suspects?
Let's see if any Labour MPs break cover. We can expect the usual suspects to call for Gordon's head. Graham Stringer, John McDonnell etc. But if a few MPs in marginal seats who feel threatened decide to come out in the open, then the long march to oblivion may have started.
Alas Poor Warwick...
The media should lay siege to Labour's National Policy Forum tomorrow at Warwick University. These are the arch activists. I will lay bets that various Union leaders and activists will relish their moment in the spotlight, and act accordingly.
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the really shocking thing we're just discovered about all this Iain, is that.....
you still use Microsoft's woefull Internet Explorer! :O
tut tut! have you not tried Opera Browser or Mozilla Firefox yet? anything but the terrible terrible IE.
This is going to be huge make no mistake. Brown is in real trouble. Scotland is where Labour's majority comes from and it has gone.
Your analysis is spot on. I expect the flood gates to open now.
Some people cannae take it.
Prof Bill miller on STV saying Labour votes were "lent" to SNP.
Scottish media are a fecking disgrace,just cannot help themselves.
Not sure about the screenshot as checking the Wikipedia history for that page, the entries at 01:43, 25 July and also at 01:44 are slightly less flattering.
No doubt they were meant in an affectionate way of course.
Why did Obama agree to meet the disturbed one?
Is there ANY seat that LuLab can win?
General Election in the Autumn?
So much for devolution killing nationalism stone dead.
Well done Glasgow East. Scotland go the whole hog now and finish it.
English taxes for England.
English law for England.
Home rule for England.
Gordon Brown is a natural loser. It is what he does best.
Slightly left-field this, but I hope interesting. I went to Labour Home during my scroll through the blogs this morning to see what Labour folk were saying. The answer was that, after a search, I found a one line story, not appearing in the news queue. That was it.
When the Left asks itself why it's blog presence has less impact than the Right's, they might want to think about this.
Be partisan by all means, but remember that if you want people to click on your product they have to have a reason to do so - reporting only the news that you approve of on a political blog isn't the way forward.
Iain - Have you discussed the scenario if Gordon Brown is forced out at the Party Conference in october.
Will the new PM - Straw, Johnson - be forced to go to the country or will the Labour Party hand on by their fingernails for the next eighteen months?
Surely it would be unprecedented for a Government to have two unelected PMs within a term of office and there would be enormous pressure to seek the mandate of the people?
Time to give up on IE and get a decent browser Iain.
A Glasgow Kiss for 'Gunner' Brown alright. Your take on the spin to come is exactly right.
I see the Guardian's 'Comment Is Free' site is having trouble. 'No comments at this time.'
I wonder why...? ;D
Labour MPs are no lions, but they're certainly being led by donkeys
Great stuff Iain, I `m amazed
Gordon has excelled himself. By being 'pro-British' (whence it suits) he has now p.o'd his own, as well as the English by being so unconvincing. Being a conservative voter in Scotland i switched to the SNP last year, and have not regretted it. They are DOING things for people- not doing things TO people. Salmond is simply outstanding in the First Minister's role. Swinney and Sturgeon are strong too. It's some of the 'howling mad' squad on 't SNP backbenches that gives the occasional pause for thought. The Glasgae East result is a combination of the locals being sick to the stomach of LyingLabour and having a good alternative to turn to. A further plus, the Tories in THIRD and the LimpLibbies flagging behind in 4th. And Gordon is effectively f'kd. Fantastic.
For a comparable result on the other side of the House, the Tories would need to be losing places like Runnymede and Weybridge
Jamie 2.50am, I use Firefox actually. The graphic was sent to me.
Well, the Government fielded Des Browne for the 8am Today prog, and he was so boring and predictable I turned him off.
Would that we could do the same for the whole Govt.
"General Election in the Autumn?"
What makes you think that?
Brown will hang on for as long as he can, i.e. until spring 2010.
Iain, learn your geography. The UNIVERSITY of Warwick in mostly in Coventry (the campus overflows into Warwickshire), about half a mile from where I live. Maybe I should pop round and offer my condolences (as should the Tory council in Coventry).
Ray Griffin, Coventry
Labour are not in Warwick - but at Warwick University, Coventry.
A common error I'm told.
The Wikipedia page you show, naming John Mason as the Glasgow East MP, was created at 12.08 a.m. on July 25th - well before the final count was finished.
It would be the final irony if, after the May local elections, C&N, and Henley, it turns out to be a Scottish constituency which ends Brown's Prime Ministerial career.
Let's hope not...
my apologies Iain, i hope you'll agree it was an easy misunderstanding to make!
Classic screenshot. No doubt it won't last long in the name of impartiality, but it made me chuckle.
In reality this will have less of an impact than Crewe & Nantwich. It's clear now that the regime will not change leader again unless there is a general election. And, since they can't afford a general election at the minute, brown is safe for the time being.
Labour votes lent to SNP? I suppose I'd lend the Tories my labour vote at the next election.
This morning we hear the normal platitudes: "We must listen to the message and learn".
The message is that the public no longer want Labour to govern, they don't like Gordon Brown and have seen through his fake "stable" economy, built on debt, both Government and personal.
Will GB listen and learn?
No, this morning he has states "The important thing is that I will be getting on with the job, which is what people want me to do".
Good news - Brown determined to carry on. It seems that the spin line is it's time to change policies not the leader.
Stay there as long as you can Gordo then maybe the swing will be so great that the whole of Nulab will disappear!
I think Gordon Brown looks unwell. He has a sort of John Major look to him. His hair and face look so grey and that forced smile makes him look barking mad (a bit like Hannibal Lecter)
My mother is feeling sorry for Gordon Brown. This is getting serious.
As for 'marginal seat' Labour MPs being worried!!! They're dead meat already.
Glasgow says that Labour MPs are no more in any seat.
Is this the end of New Labour Iain? Is today the day we'll tell kids about when we're old and grey? 24/07/08 but today is post nuclear. Oppenheimer knew what devastation was, he thought about it before enacting it. It's great to be British, alive and a Tory all at the same time. Days like this aren't once in a generation, you're lucky if they're one in a lifetime. Outstanding!!
Have a great weekend chaps and chapesses. This ain't trebbles all round, this is the priciest bottle of champers and a cuban cigar day - daughter getting married kinda day.
I can't quite believe how bad Brown is. Witness, from the BBC:
...He added: "We've got to listen and hear people's concerns and that's exactly what we are doing."
Mr Brown also said: "I'm getting on with the job. My task is getting on with the job. It's exactly what people want me to do."...
Isn't that the point? No-one knows what you do do - only that you "listen". How many times has he told us that he's "getting on with the job?"
Getting on with the job of telling us that he's getting on with the job seems to be about all he's capable of.
Mr Obama should think twice before going any where near Jonah Brown.
Lost Glasgow East! I can hardly believe I am typing those words.
Don't forget that there is a big Catholic majority in the seat and that the Bishops condemned labour over abortion and the HFEA over the last couple of weeks. Labour knew they had a problem so postponed the Bill.
The Labour candidate said that she would vote for the Act, the SNP winner said that he would oppose it.
Obama wasn't particularly inspiring in Deutschland. He certainly ain't no kennedy.
So as the Labour bandwagon rattles along the 'third way' and nears the precipice, we can see Gordon at the front saying 'no need for a change' as Miliband and co. get ready to jump.
"Listen to voters concerns" - what a hoot!
Even Tony Benn, on the Beeb TV this morning, had a nice one on Brown's platitudes:
"If I go to a doctor with a pain, and the Doctor says 'I have a vision', then I go to a new doctor".
This is what Gordon Brown this morning.
"I think what people want to know is that we understand and we hear their concerns. People are worried every time they go to the petrol station for fuel and worry about the costs... These are concerns that are happening in every other country. My whole focus and whole task is to take people through difficult times...We've got to listen and hear people's concerns and that's exactly what we are doing. I'm getting on with the job. My task is getting on with the job. It's exactly what people want me to do."
Well heaven’s above, talk about a broken record. This is what he said after Crewe and Nantwich - two months ago.
“The message we are getting is people are concerned. They are concerned about food prices, concerned about petrol prices and concerned about what is happening to the economy. The message of the British public is clear and unequivocal. They want us to address these challenges. The task that I have set for myself is that we take this economy through difficult times into a future where we have both fairness for all and prosperity for the British people. That is the challenge I am going to meet for the British people.”
Spot the difference? What’s he done since. Swanned around the world acting the global statesman while the focus needs to be here at home. If you don’t tend your own back garden no one else will. This is why Brown is no leader. He's bereft of ideas and he hasn't the ability to give people confidence.
The University of Warwick usually puts on lot better shows than the Labour jamboree at their first class Warwick Arts Centre and it is confusing for those who are not local but it is actually set in pleasant rural surroundings on the outskirts of Coventry near to both Leamingaton Spa and Royal Showground at Stoneleigh and not actually in Warwick - although the main road through the campus is called "Gibbet Hill Road"- bit ominous for Gordon that one I think
Heard GB on 5 Live this morning .... he was utterly useless. Whatever question was asked he simply regurgitated three sound-bites ('Listening', 'doing the job' 'difficult times'), in varying order, interspersed with garbled cr@p.
I try to take an impartial, non-sensationalist view .... no particular hat on here ... but any way you view it, he sounded mentally unstable. To the listener, the constant repetition of each phrase, identical words each time, just left the feeling that he has totally lost the plot. Just the same as the robotic repetition of 'tractor stats' at PMQs.
I genuinely feel unsettled that the country is being led by this fool, teetering on the brink of madness, at a time of such economic challenge. DC was right to call for an election.
Look, it's obvious what will happen...
There can't be a change of leader without a general election.
MPs don't want to lose their seats - so Labour will limp on until 2010.
Labour are stuck between a rock and a hard place. Gordon won't step down - and even if he did there would have to be a general election. Labour will make us suffer for another 18 months.
Obama will be the main news story and so he should be. What other politician in the world can draw a crowds like Obama? Anyway, Cameron is going to get the best photo op from Obama - so who can complain?
Obama to win!
'Stay there as long as you can Gordo then maybe the swing will be so great that the whole of Nulab will disappear!'
They will, make no mistake! Anyone offering odds on Labour having NO seats in the next Parliament - my money's good!
A while ago you commended the blog of Tom Harris, the Transport Minister.
I have been reading the blog and commenting accordingly. Sadly, he has revealed himself to be a Labour lackey. He trots out the spin on a regular basis and has few original thought of his own. His response to the drubbing in Glasgow East has been pathetic. Here is my last and final comment on his blog:
"Your arrogance in the face of a massive defeat is staggering. You should be contrite and ready to figure out just what you and your colleagues have done wrong. Instead you come out with this rubbish.
If you don't get the message now, you never will. Not that it means much, but I don't intend to grant you any credibility you might have had by making the effort to comment on this blog again."
The thing is, it wont mean much. He is deluded and cannot see the degree of anger and frustration that ordinary people feel about this Government.
Bring on the election and let's get rid them.
To be fair to Prof. Miller, the SNP themselves pushed for Labour voters to use the by-election as a protest vote. But they were at pains in their doorstep discussions to point out that their aim was not the destruction of Labour in Scotland, just the need for a wake-up call.
Whether that's true sentiment is arguable, but that's the message they presented.
So there is a genuine case - supported by the SNP themselves - to view many of the votes as pure "protest" votes, rather than an all-out, permanent rejection of Labour.
And re. Warwick Uni's location... as the long-suffering husband of a current post-grad student, I too was misled into moving up here with the lure of Warwick University... if I'd been told it was "University of West Coventry" we'd still be in leafy East Anglia!
To lanchester lad @ 10.56am: Drat you beat me to it. I should have remembered Gibbet Hill Road on my previous comment.
Ray Griffin, Coventry
I watched the start of Newsnight last night. Heard the commies predicting a narrow win for nulab so went to bed knowing the SNP had won.
This morning heard the uncomprehending Des Browne on Today wasting oxygen saying nothing at all.
This result is the beginning of the end for Labour as a serious political organisation. Then we can have 2 or 3 terms of tories doing more or less exactly the same as nulab. Then it will be their turn to disappear.
The immediate choice for nulab is to keep Brown and be extinguished. Or they can replace him and it will be worse.
Ha ha ha.
"Obama wasn't particularly inspiring in Deutschland. He certainly ain't no kennedy."
No, and he really needn't have troubled to come all the way to Europe to demonstrate that he has nothing to say. We already knew.
dylan jones-evans said
"Surely it would be unprecedented for a Government to have two unelected PMs within a term of office and there would be enormous pressure to seek the mandate of the people?"
The problem is, who would apply this pressure ? The BBC will trot out the mantra that GB is our only saviour in these difficult times.... the MSM are quite content to let things ride... and any protest by ordinary people will be stamped on hard under the pretext that there is a risk to security.
Perhaps now the opposition parties could oppose, just a thought, but they could.... couldn't they ?
Inside Right said...
This morning we hear the normal platitudes: "We must listen to the message and learn".
Little bit of help here. The message is two words. The second is off.
House rules won't allow me to be any clearer!
The big thing today so far is that the BBC went from showing Gordon Brown speaking live and cut to Alex Salmond speaking live in Glasgow. I would never have believed the BCC were capable of this. Tells a story when even the BBC start to fail Labour.
Southeast Regional Organiser Malcolm Powers was reported to put through a call to Martin Salter shortly after the result came thru.He was heard muttering lines from Shakespeare:Unleash the dogs of war.Cry God for Harry ,England and St George.was it some kind of code..?
Wallenstein @ 11:28 AM
" And re. Warwick Uni's location... as the long-suffering husband of a current post-grad student, I too was misled into moving up here with the lure of Warwick University... if I'd been told it was "University of West Coventry" we'd still be in leafy East Anglia!"
Interesting point you make about Warwick University. I can attest that it is indeed closer to Coventry and Leamington Spa than Warwick.
I also happen to know (Classified Information) that this week the gas pipe repairs to the campus have closed the main road so car access is very restricted and the University bus service has been cut from 3 down to 1 bus on a much much more limited timetable.
No chance of mass protest or even mass media presence then because it is physically impossible for a large number of people to enter the campus uncontrolled than by virtually any mechanism other than on foot. As it is miles away from anywhere that is really not likely.
Probably just a coincidence and nothing at all to do with the Warwick Conference today. Wonder if Gordon will be helicoptered in?
On Sky this lunchtime its John Hutton being roasted by Kay Burley... and Jeremey Corben. Not exactly the Praetorian Guard on display
Still lead item on R4 News at 14:00hours
Interesting to note that the BBC is casting the loss in Glasgow East in rather dire terms--e.g., "stunning victory." If NuLab has lost the support of the Ministry of Information, Brown & Co. are in for an exceptionally very rough time.
Surely it would be unprecedented for a Government to have two unelected PMs within a term of office and there would be enormous pressure to seek the mandate of the people? (Dylan Jones-Evans, 7.54am)
The trouble is, of course, that in the absence of a written constitution, the constitution is just whatever Bliar/Brown can get away with. Which has given them an enormous pass up to now. Lords 'reform'... Yes sir. Lisbon Treaty... Yes sir. Cash for peerages? Three bags full sir. And so on.
Why exactly does Salmon always refer to "London Labour" and "London Goverment". Is this to stir up resentment (London = Southern, not just English) or is he highlighting the lack of any English instituations?
Iain - you have arrived. Your automatic links fail to point out that the First Post is quoting you directly with the same billing as the dead tree press here. The Best of the British Media indeed.
Heard Des Browne interview in ToDay programme. He still thinks that Brown 'fixed the economic boom' of last 10 years and blames global economic situation for the Glasgow drumming.
When it suits Bowne and Brown, it is Brown's economic wizardry (actually Brown did his thesis on Scottish Labour Party and not in economics). Despite Michael Crick's wishful thinking ( he is so partisan) Labour lost and lost badly. Brown is the single most asset Tories have, and he should in his place until 2010 or whenever he calls the election. I can't wait to wipe the snigger off in face of 'so what' Balls when he goes down with Brown.
About Warwick University. It is closer to Coventry and even on good days difficult to get a bus to go to the campus. Never understood why these universities are so remote. Has good conference facilities, one named after Lord Scarman.
Independence is coming soonLabour are going to go the same way as the tories did in scotland the SNP is on course for a out right victory at the next election
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