Monday, June 08, 2009

Houdini Gordon Delights the Tories

Gordon Brown should have a new nickname - Houdini. I'm not taken in by tonight's reports from the PLP. Most of the rebels weren't there. It was a good whips' operation. But the fact remains, Gordon Brown has survived five cabinet ministers resigning, the worst set of local election results in history and scoring a mere 15% in the European elections. That takes some doing. But he hasn't quite yet escaped from the barrel. I also wonder if Hazel Blears isn't planning to make a resignation statement in the House of Commons at some point soon. But perhaps Tom Harris makes the best point of all. Tom displayed some real courage today when he stood up at the PLP and told the Prime Minister this...
If there’s one thing that unites this PLP it’s a determination to win the next election.

And those of us who have come to the conclusion, by an entirely objective and logical process, that you cannot lead Labour to victory, would be doing a disservice to our country and to our party by staying silent.

The results from last night have confirmed in my mind that the electorate aren’t yet sold on Cameron, but they have made their minds up about you, Gordon, and it’s not going to change. We can win the next election, but only if we have a new leader.

So answer me this, Gordon: Why do you think Cameron wants you to remain in post?

A good question. And it highlights the fact that Conservatives couldn't be more delighted with the fact that Brown remains in situ. He's swinging from the gibbet but there is no one courageous enough at the top of the Labour Party to pull the rope tight around his neck.


John K said...

Up to a point, Lord Copper.

Depends on whether Cameron would rather be PM soon, in difficult circumstances, or in a year's time, with a smaller majority...

And the demise of Brown is NOT yet a certainty.

Martin S said...

English Democrats say: “We did it cheaply and Cheerfully!”

Bill Quango MP said...

No takers for the burial party today.
Yet how many 'loyal' comrades will rush to knife him hard next May?
They will be saying that they were persuaded against their better judgement, to leave Brown in charge.
How they will say that they tried valiantly to get support, but none would stand with them.

Gordon should autograph that ghost written courage book and send a few copies round to his enemies.
He's survived. He deserves a good gloat.

Anonymous said...

If they need a volunteer.....?

Ralph Hancock said...

Unfair to Houdini, who was honestly escaping for money, not to evade the consequences of decades of hideous malfeasance. But he could be added to the list of the men they couldn't hang.

Norton Folgate said...

Just seen Tom Harris on newsnight he is now towing the line, the piss weak labour revolt is dead.

The Grim Reaper said...

Houdini - a magician, escapologist, stunt performer, actor and film producer - would be insulted to be compared to a political dodo.

JBW said...

Can't help wondering if Cameron really wants to be PM at the moment. With the economy so bad, it must be a bit of a poisoned chalice to take it on right now.

DC is not going to be a popular man when he takes the decisions that have to be taken.

Anonymous said...

If Gordon survives the latest round of stabbings, the Conservatives will have all the ammunition it needs to destroy Labour all the way up to the general election and beyond.

There won't be much left of Brown or his party afterwards. But until then, all this drama and theatre proves the case for fixed term parliaments and stronger recall procedures, including and upto the role of PM.

Catosays said...

There's not much point in Tom Harris towing the line now. Neither Brown nor the Whips will forget what he said so he might as well stay a rebel.

fatter than prescott said...

dale---he is houdini

but chinese water torcher--act will happen oct

Martin S said...

Brown but not out! “Will no one think of the children? Little Balls, teeny tiny Yvette, poor wee Davey? Och, deary me!”)

Whilst David Cameron punches the air with a wild should of: YES! Great result!"

(Actually, in truth, I think Cameron would rather have Brown out now, to see if someone in Labour could do something to help the country...)

Rob said...

Tom just gave a very good account of his position on Newsnight as well. It must be shocking for some people to see a Labour MP being honest for once rather than political positioning.

Norton Folgate said...

Well he seemed to have surrendered in an interview after the meeting but sounded different with Paxo.

Who knows?

Paul Halsall said...

This has been a disorganzied piss-up in a brewery.

First: The resignations coordinated failed to co-ordinate. Flint backing out was crucial then.

Second: Mandelson managed to hold back some hits

Third. It all smushed together on sunday.

But Darling, Miliband, Johnson, and Harman all refused to move,

So now there are six weeks until the Norfolk and Speaker's byelections.

Plus the Telegraph has not quite quite finished, yet, has it?

Anonymous said...

It's all about the election.

If Labour were in a position where they could win the next election, Gordon would be gone instantly.

Anonymous said...

I never had doubts about Gordo surviving. The next few months with Lord Sleaze the real PM should be interesting. Kavanagh's article in the Sun is so well explains why the infidels will not strike. It is not the Labour's way. I have seen it in
Callaghan's case after the Winter of Discontent and when Michael Foot was such as disgrace as a leader of opposition. Cameron should develop policies and reshuffle his front bench so that his team should hit hard at this weakened bunch. The Postman Pat is hardly literate and is a mere follower and not the leader. Hence Gordo limps on.

Ross said...

"Gordon Brown should have a new nickname - Houdini".

Rasputin would be more accurate, he simply won't die.

Anonymous said...

Brown won't quit so under the Labour Party rules they have to wait until September. Harris is right people are not sold on Cameron. They don't want Blair 2. Brown goes September 27. Johnson is PM. Labour close in on Tories. Cameron looks like yesterdays man, and bang Boris is PM in May of a hung parliament....

25-1 lump on....

Anonymous said...

Iain - you mentioned giving detailed results on your radio show. Is there anywhere online where one can see the results broken down into units smaller than the regions themselves?

DiscoveredJoys said...

There's plenty of bad news to come - and Gordon Brown will get the blame for it, if only because he believes (in his own mind) that everybody else is useless.

Tube strike - blame Gordon.

Further expenses scandal - blame Gordon.

(Probably) going to the IMF for a loan - blame Gordon.

Petrol going up - blame Gordon.

Corruption being exposed in local government - blame Gordon.

Poor by-election results - blame Gordon.

I'm not sorry for him; he is reaping what he has sown. He has become a blame magnet. But I do pity him.

Political Dissuasion said...

Labour, as a party, can only now get rid of him in the next few days. Any longer than that and they will look weak as a group, never mind GB's appearance.

If they don't do it now, they will only be able to do so after (losing) an election, and even then, the long road to that day will demoralise the party to depths more sunken than the Tories experienced after Major.

It really is now or never, do or die...and it looks like they won't.

NodtoBob said...

Haven't seen the whole Newsnight/Newsnicht interview but Tom Harris is still taking the need-for-a-change line. Brave man. (The leopard never changes its spots, as I’m sure he well knows.)

Can anyone tell me incidentally why there's not more comment in the media about Brown's sheer hunger for power. It's so naked, all consuming, pathological, utterly devoid of principle; call it what you will, but it’s one of (the many) reasons why I find him so deeply, deeply unimpressive.

I think a lot more people find this sort of thing unappetising in politicians and I can't understand why the opposition parties don't make more of it. Then again I suppose people can see it for themselves.

Anna said...

>>Conservatives couldn't be more delighted with the fact that Brown remains in situ<<

I thought I was a Conservative but clearly I was mistaken. I worry about the further damage Brown, with his supine majority, can wreak upon my country in the coming months. I certainly am not delighted that he remains in situ and if I am so far out of step with the party I have supported all my life, I had better think about voting for someone else. Maybe the fairies at the bottom of the garden...

Dimoto said...

The other element is that the Brownster has (for his own devious reasons), moved Johnson to the highly exposed Home Office.
Johnson will have loads of opportunities to tarnish his "great white hope" status.
Or, he might prove to be a major success ....

Anonymous said...

Even if Brown survives the past week's events, things can never be quite the same. Brown and Labour have been damaged beyond repair. I'm not sure what will happen next, but surely we cannot simply slug on like this for another 12 months? Every day that goes by from now on, makes Brown's position more and more untenable. Sooner or later, political realities will have to kick in.
As I say, I have absolutely no idea what will happen next, but I find it very hard to believe that Brown will simply soldier on as if nothing has happened, and will get to call the next GE at a time of his choosing. No, things have already gone too far. He's like the mortally wounded bull that still stands there, refusing to accept his death until he keels over. Events will overtake him, one way or another.

Anonymous said...

I don't really care if sacking Brown, and having someone (anyone) less obnoxious in charge of our country, means a hung parliament next year. The thought of 12 more months with this dangerous man in charge of our country should fill everyone with dread and sorrow.

Shame on the lily livered Labour backbenchers for bottling the chance to save our country (and probably their party)

Anonymous said...

People have to realise that the UKIP vote will go to the Tories in the GE - that makes about 43%.

I wish this hysteria surrounding alan johnson would subside. He's the biggest coward out of all of them.

Oldrightie said...

I'll say it until I'm blue in the face. It's all about themselves and how much money they make the longer they hang on. Nasty, selfish bunch of f**kwits.

Houdini said...

After that most uncalled for insult, this is war Dale.

Plato said...

OldRightie - yup

Victor, NW Kent said...

These is certainly not a bunch of MPs who would die for their country. It is correct to call them cowards since they do not have the courage to overcome their inbuilt avarice and do the right thing.

I just spent an hour with a youngish businessman who has always voted Labour - he is ashamed of the present Parliamentary party and feels that they do not represent him in any way at all. That is from a man who even has a good word for Bob Crow.

fatter than prescott said...

dale---checkout--MATT--telegraph cartoon-tues 9th

classic on EU elections

Anonymous said...

I am sure Cameron wouldn’t keep asking for an election to be called if he wasn’t ready for one and he certainly is proving to be the making of a good PM and ready to take on the challenge.

Andy JS said...

We shouldn't be surprised. None of them had the courage to put a candidate up against Brown in 2007. We were endlessly told that either Meacher or McDonnell would stand against him but nothing transpired. Today was just a repeat performance.

Lord Elvis of Paisley said...

Because you Iain and the rest of the political class, of which you are a member, are completely ignoring the fact that this isn't about Brown surviving until the next election. It's about Brown surviving until the Lisbon Treaty - the self-amending treaty - is ratified, and that is it. Mandelson wasn't brought back into government by Brown for his business acumen and contacts, he was imposed by Brussels to ensure Brown remains in power long enough for the Irish to be coerced into voting yes, and then all democracy in Europe can be suspended permanently.

The rest is just semantics.

Anonymous said...

Oh there's nothing magical or exotic about Gordon.

He's that tedious and tiresome last guest who won't leave at the end of the party.

Anonymous said...

Lets be realistic.

1. Labour wont call an election now, as they will get trounced.

2. GoBo is incabable of putting party (let alone country) above himself.

3. Ergo, no election until May 10, and no new nu labour leader until July 10.

Anything else is navel gazing.

However, if he had any balls (apart from Ed) he would.

1. Announce he is standing down after the next election.

2. Fix the date of that election.(if he was interested in the Country, this would be for Autumn, to allow budgets to be set for the next financial year by whatever government was elected.

3. Organise a leadershop contest.

4. Allow the elected leader to set the policy and direction of the election campaign, and support them.

This would at least allow him to save face, and show some leadership.

However, I think that what he will do is demonstrate that he is a self centred twat, stick it out till the last minute, get stuffed, and get tossed out.

If i where him, I would prefer the dignified way.

Fausty said...

I can't see Gordon keeping his promise to end his dark arts campaigns of fear and control against Labour MPs - demanded by the rebels. When he gets caught in the act again, there'll be another rebellion.

I think Dan Hannan's Terminator image is apt. He'll fight to the bitter end, whether it destroys Labour or not because it's not in his interests to go.

copydude said...

Anon wrote of Brown:

He's that tedious and tiresome last guest who won't leave at the end of the party

Excellent analogy.

But the Labour wimps don't get it either. How can anyone possibly look at the council voting map of the UK, solid blue from one end of the country to another, and fail to realise they are 'not wanted'.

To continue the analogy, if you continue to outstay your welcome at dinner, you are never invited again.

The theme also reminded of the lovely old lady who used to write aphorisms on greeting cards . . . Patience Strong. She wrote:

The friends I cherish are the few
Who say they are going to go and do

Anonymous said...

i think Gordon is a pretty cool guy. eh guarantees a Tory landslide and doesnt afraid of anything.

rob's uncle said...

Re: ' , , but there is no one courageous enough . . to pull the rope tight around his neck . . '

Wrong analogy: what your friends and relations actually did for you [back in the days when 'death by hanging' meant slow strangulation rather having your neck broken instantly] was pull down on your legs so that you strangled more quickly.

SHB said...

Another dimension to this is that the Labour Party is very short on cash at the moment and would probably struggle to fund a 'full on' election campaign.

If I were a Labour strategist (which I am not) I would be assessing the following:

1) Have the polls bottomed out for us?
2) Why did up to 1.3m of our voters stay at home last week?
3) What short term tactical changes can we make to policy to sure up the vote?
4) Is there a credible (by which I mean credible to us, not the Westminster Village) 12 month plan which gets us to a position where it looks like the vote could improve to a point where something looking like a proper fight could be on?
5) At what stage in the next twelve months will we be able to afford to fund a General Election campaign?
6) If this is explained to enough of the PLP will the 'Brown out' section quiten down?

Even Mandelson recognises that there cannot be a change of leader without a General Election. So why would you change leader when the polls are so poor and you can't afford an election.

If I were a Conservative strategist (which I am not) then I think the issues are:

1) Being much less evasive on policy and start explaining more than just the frameworks
2) The issue of a referendum on the Lisbon Treaty is an important issue for a significant amount of the population. There needs to be a clear statement that there will be a referendum whether it has been ratified or not. Knowing full well that having a referendum resulting in a 'no' after its been 'ratified' will cause chaos in Europe. But if that is the will of the people then that is the route that must be taken.
3) Making sure no one makes school boy errors
4) Making a stronger case for cuts in the cost of public services by explaining that cuts in the costs of services doesn't equate to Labour 'cuts'. The whole efficiency improvement piece needs explaining.
5) Clear statements of intent on education, health, defence, immigration, law and order etc etc
6) Have we got enough cash to go at anytime in the next 12 months, and if not how do we bridge the gap

The key difference being that the Labour Party is consumed with staying alive while the Conservatives are able to concentrate on delivering considered policy to the country.

It is going to be a dreadful job having to undo New Labour's legacy and the electorate should be left under no illusion how tough this wll be. We have had 12 years of being treated like children and idiots by this Government and I think the public would be a lot more receptive to being told it like it is.

I am disappointed that Brown hasn't been toppled, the longer he stays in No 10 the more damage he will do. But for Labour it is about buying some time, if the polls are bad, at least they might be able to throw some cash at not getting annihilated. Whereas, if it happens tomorrow they almost certainly will be.

While the Conservatives only need Labour to slip up a couple more times and it will be their election to throw away.

I am convinced Brown will oblige.

Rebel Saint said...

I too would like to know where we can find a more detailed breakdown of the election results - council & EU. Can anyone oblige?

Yak40 said...

it highlights the fact that Conservatives couldn't be more delighted with the fact that Brown remains in situ.

I'm not delighted, I'm utterly disgusted.

Anna 1129p and Lord Elvis both get it right. This shower needs to go now, for the good of the country.

If that causes DC problems, well deal with them, it's what comes with the job.

Anonymous said...

I rather liked this comment in reply to a post by Jackie Ashley on CIF.

By now, readers will have spotted the central dilemma...

You know what, Jackie? I think I have.

Labour does not care a flying f..k for the country. Amidst the worst political and economic crises that the country has faced in the modern era outside of world war, the only thing that interests the Labour Party and its small coterie of media hangers-on is its pathetic internecine squabble.

Meanwhile, the electorate does not care a flying f..k for the Blairites v Brownites handbag fight, being unable to draw a distinction between any two of them that extends beyond what Polly said to Wally about Molly behind the bike-shed.

Those who never could or no longer can face the prospect of voting Labour (congrats on getting 15% of the vote on a 40% turnout - that's 6% of the eligible electorate guys) would just like somebody to make some pretence of running the country, until they give us the chance to boot them out for good.


Iain please read carefully, as it has become clear to me that you either don't know now what a conservative is, or indeed you never really did.

Our problem as conservatives is The Conservative Party , not the soon to be non existent Labour Party.

What we badly need chaps such as yourself to be doing, is making as sure as you can that Cameron does not end up doing to Conservative voters, and their Party, what Blair and Brown have clearly done to their voters and Party.

Which is destroy everything that they thought their own Party stood for.

Please be reminded Iain, that corporate capitalism and conservatism are not the same thing. In fact they can be, and often are, completely incompatible with each other.

Conservatism is about the following.

Practical libertarianism.
Freedom of the individual.
Not fixing or attempting to fix that which is not broken.
Changing or repairing ASAP, that which clearly is broken.
Using Common Sense at all times, instead of a set ideological dogma.
Doing what is popular with the vast majority.
Protecting and respecting national traditions.
Generally keeping the government out of places it has no right or justification being.
Telling the truth, at all times.
Protecting the rights of all people, regardless of country, state, colour, political affiliation, sex or religion.

What conservatism has NEVER been is corporatism is any way shape or form. The same of course can not be said for The Conservative Party.

Corporatism is FASCISM, which is the blood relative of INTERNATIONAL SOCIALISM, or what is more commonly known as World Communism.

Conservatives should have nothing to do with either.

As conservatives we put up with Thatcher privatizing things, because at the time it seemed like a practical answer to the counties bankrupted and seemingly hopeless state of affairs.

We are now in an even larger mess then we were back in the seventies, yet I can assure you that Cameron is not going to find his voters so forgiving or understanding, as Thatcher or Major did.

We are angry and not just with Labour. After all was it not Cameron and others within the Conservative Party which basically sat on there collective manicured hands while Brown and his PR man Blair systematically carried out there EVIL FASCIST PLAN?

There is more to opposition then simply waiting for the government to literally or otherwise bugger-up everything and everybody.

I like Cameron. He is a likable chap, who talks a reasonable talk. Your job Iain is to not only make him walk the walk. But to convince us he actually intends to do anything of the sort.

We must have a vote on the Lisbon Treaty, as soon as practically possible, after the next general election. NO IFS, NO BUTS, AND NO PRECONDITIONS.

I can assure you of this. I will not be voting Conservative for the first time in 31 years. Unless I become 100% certain that Cameron will give us a vote, given any circumstances whatsoever, foreseeable or otherwise.

Atlas shrugged

The Grim Reaper said...

Anonymous said "...if [Gordon Brown] had any balls (apart from Ed) he would: 3. Organise a leadershop contest."

A leaderSHOP? Is that how Labour chooses its leaders nowadays? Perhaps the current one could be returned on the grounds it's clearly defective - did Harriet Harman keep the receipt?

gustavus said...

Next time a LibDem starts going on about PR...

Gongdonkey said...

It's a good result for David Cameron - I don't think, for all the noise he makes for an immediate election, that he really wants one yet.
Firstly, after the hurricanes of the last 4 months on finance, borrowing, banking and expenses, he's not ready.
Secondly, there's a lot more mileage to be had from Gordon's inner demons - he's not finished damaging the New Labour Project because, regardless of his speech to the PLP, he is congenitally incapable of changing from a micro-managing control freak bully to a caring, sharing, listening, empathetic type of Leader.

Anonymous said...

If Cameron doesn't want an election now, then he deserves to lose whenever it may be. The electorate have very short memories. Suppose there is some kind of upswing and is Brown made out to be the man who wouldn't surrender, etc. Or a war ...

Gongdonkey said...

Re : Anonymous - june 09 1;39 a.m..
I fear you will not be voting for Cameron because of his stance on the European referendum. He has already demonstrated the use of sophistry by moving from "a referendum on the Lisbon Treaty (a.k.a. Euro Constitution according to its main author Valerie Giscard Destang) within days of a Conservative government" to "a referendum on the Lisbon Treaty if it has not been ratified by all member states".
Me likewise - but also because that sophistry shows him to be another version of Blair and who needs another one of those when honesty would be a refreshing change in a politician.

David Hughes said...

Re : Thatsnews June 08 10:34p.m.

I followed the link regarding the English Democrats and their win in Doncaster thinking," amazing result for this area given they would vote for a garden gnome if it wore a red rosette".
So I 'googled' them. Bugger me ! Their parliamentary candidate is one Garry Bushell who makes the most right wing Tory look like a dangerous left wing loony !
Even more amazing - until you realise that the two most right wing parties (Nazi/Fascism) started out so far to the left that they were bedfellows of communism and took the "workers" with them. That may explain the success of the above and the B.N.P. in socialist areas - the far right and far left appeal to the same voter base. Curious.

Growser said...

I guess that Cameron, like any other politician nay human being, would like to grasp the prize now. He may even feel that the economy is likely to move up from now on...after all the coalition govt of MacDonald and Baldwin was very durable.

He will be shooting himself in the foot at the outset if he tries to stick to the Lisbon Treaty. Too many of your followers are unshakably against it. Betray them Dave and you will be spiking your own future with an act you can never live down. Ignore the German threats and blandishments no doubt raining down on you behind the scenes

Meanwhile, what about Labour's future? Can it really be a good thing to have one of the country's major parties rotten to the core with cowardice and subservience? Predictions in life and politics are risky, but surely Brown is never going to be a respected effective leader again. He is indeed a bit of political carrion twisting on a gibbet. But those who did not stand up for principle and party -- Johnson, Harman, Miliband, and Darling -- are never going to live down their association with this man and these times either. Their failure to force Brown to do the decent thing and resign will hang round their necks for ever. So in the longer term someone else is likely to emerge as leader, even if it takes a year or two. (Gordon will no doubt work hard with Mandy at installing a chosen successor to come on stream this time next year.) Balls might make a comeback one day--it might even be that his qualities will make him a plausible leadership candidate eventually. Perhaps he and Gordon and even Mandy think along those lines. Even if he is not the first post-Brown Labour leader, perhaps some day Balls will be Labour's David Cameron.

But ten or eleven months of government with these people -- I wonder if they can really make it? They are idiots to try. But each month less in government is one pay cheque fewer for people who know they are soon going to be unemployed. So perhaps they can at least as far as keeping a majority in Parliament goes. How deeply shameful and damaging for our country.

Charles said...


I wouldn't believe what the media says the Conservatives believe. Most of the Conservatives are deeply conflicted about Brown remaining in place. From the purely tribal/political game perspective there are tactical advantages in him remaining in place. However, most conservatives are hugely patriotic (in the low key, love of country way) adna re desperately worried about the damage Brown can do in the next 12 months. Personally I try to reconcile this by thinking that the longer Brown remains in place the most likely that the main opposition party going forward will be a social democratic party that isn't in hock to the unions & that the sacrifice of the next 12 months is worth the long term gain. Difficult call though.

@David Hughes: "two two most right wing parties (Nazi/Fascism) started out so far to the left..." What makes you think that the Nazis/Fascists are at all right wing? Except that the media says that they are? As you correctly identify, both have much more in common with the Left than with the traditional right which is more about free trade/freedom of the individual than the state-centred solution of the Nazis/Facists/Socialists/Labour Party. And to assume that 'racism' is a phenomenon of the right is also mistaken - the tendency of the left to assign individuals to groups/classes is much more invidious and leads to racism than the individual approach of the right (eg the Tory poster from the 1980s with a photo of a black man with the slogan: "Labour says I'm black. The Tories say I'm British"). Moreover, the BNP's support largely comes from former Labour voters & if you listen to Griffin's policies (beyond the obvious) they all have a pretty strong left wing slant

Marian said...

Hooray!!!!!! - New Labour's turkeys have just voted for Christmas!!!!!!!!

Anonymous said...

It's quite simple really.
They have no where else to go.
They keep their salary and expenses for a year more. It's as simple as saying turkeys don't vote for Christmas.

They are hated by the majority of the public. The worst set of elections for Labour in their history. Bankrupted the nation. Mass unfettered immigration.

This is only about self survival. The carefully orchestrated, table thumping entrance of Brown at last nigh't meeting shows you what they are really about. Happening on the day that 850 workers at LDV lose their jobs and along with their worst elections in history, they CONGRATULATE THEIR prime minister. He's not mine.
With Mandelson now controlling events, there is much more to this than meets the eye as you will discover over the coming months.
Brown has promised to change, he says, like they do with the criminals as they are about to be released them from their open prisons, and the moment they get out, they murder straight away.

Truly a dreadful party now Brown controls it.Pure leaded Poison.

They don't truly give a fig about the little man. Only self survival and what they can continue to bleed from the tax payer. Most of them have never ever had wealth creating job in their lives. Happy to live off the tax payer and let every one else take the risks.
Pure unadulterated EVIL.

50 Calibre said...

With a record of failure to address the real issues the People of the UK want fixed, the delusional, dysfunctional bully who surrounds himself with 'enforcers' who smear and brief against their colleagues is still in No 10.

It says all you need to know about the gutless, self-serving, talentless and easily led bunch of morons who will doubtless continue to extract every taxpayer's penny they can out of the rubbish system until the next general election. Well I suppose they would, wouldn't they. They are all basically unemployable and will need all the money they can lay their hands on because they won't be able to live on what they expect the rest to live on off the dole.

If you want to be a leader, just find out which way the mob is going and get in front of them. Simples...

Unknown said...

Iain, the Tories have been attacked by Alan Sugar. So please tell me that the Tories are going to highlight the huge Government deals with Viglen to supply computers? For those that don't know, Viglen is an Alan Sugar company.

Could you imagine if we had a Tory Government and a Tory Peer got a huge order for equipment? The BBC wouldn't let it go.

haddock said...

anon 11:36
"the UKIP vote will go to the Tories in the GE "

as UKIP will be fielding candidates I would imagine a great many UKIP voters voting UKIP.
Not a difficult concept to understand.

Conservatives should consider changing their leader and their policies..... to many of us, rule from the EU is as unappealing with Cameron as its puppet as it has been with Brown in that position.

Weygand said...

Let's have a bit more recognition of the joys of deferred gratification.

Brown's indecisiveness, cowardice, bullying, smearing and faulty moral compass mean further confrontations are inevitable, and his loss of authority mean they will occur even more frequently than before.

Meanwhile, enjoy the humiliation of the likes of McFaul and Tony Lloyd with their metaphysical explanations of the mysteries of Gordon.

There are 2 bye-elections to come, never mind the string of further surprise events we have to look forward to.

Lay back and enjoy.

Catosays said...

Apart from the self-serving hypocrites in the Labour Party who voted to preserve their wage packets rather than think of the country, Cameron HAS to move the Conservatives to the right of their present position.

He HAS to give an unequivocal lead on the Lisbon Treaty and promise a referendum no matter whether it has been ratified or not.

Do those simple things and the Conservatives will grind Labour into the dust.

Anonymous said...

Brown has again proved that he's a master of Labour internal politics. There remains no real evidence to show he understands the nature of the new Conservative party (and, to be fair, do a substantial number of the irredentists on Conservative Home). As others have said, I am, at best, doubtful, that a sixty(ish) year old can change the habits of a lifetime.

strapworld said...



Sums the coward up!

Sadly for us all! for Brown the only way is UP and Cameron the road is going to be tough.

I do hope Cameron invites Frank Field and co to cross the floor and join the Tories. All the Blairites may come across and bring with them their experience.

Wouldn't it be sweet to have Frank Field on the Tory front bench taking on
Mrs Balls!! and Charles Clarke taking on Johnson!

I think Harriet would make a good Tory- she is from the right family!

John M Ward said...

Although I agree entirely with Lord Elvis @ 1211, and I am pleased that he has reminded us all of the true agenda here, I am also convinced that the EU/Common Purpose (et al) puppet-masters have at least a "Plan B", just in case Brown doesn't survive.

Whether that would be Johnson, Mandelson, Harman or anyone else, it is certain that they wouldn't allow anyone who was not sure to push through that agenda to replace Brown.

The timing would have to be such that a General Election could be avoided in the interim — and then, as Lord Elvis says, a way would be found to suspend elections (and probably Parliament) indefinitely.

johnse18 said...

Cameron doesn't want a GE until aftr the Lisbon Treaty is stitched up.

He will then say as new PM - "Damn, I really really really wanted to have a referendum but I'm sorry it has been ratified so we are in a different situation. But - we will not let matters rest there. Oh my goodness me no! To quote King Lear, `I shall do such things ... What they are yet I know not, but they shall be the terrors of the earth! In Europe but no run by Europe .. fighting for British interests ... blah blah blah...".

And so it goes on.

Treble exes all round said...

All Gordon Brown needs now is his own Falklands War.

I remember when Thatcher was elected in 1979. She was absolutely despised by the public initially, and her poor communicative skills and hectoring and bossy manner were putting off even Tories. There were also many in the cabinet, previous Heathites mostly but also worried monetarists, who would happily have dropped her in a thrice.

Anyway, she manufactured a war with Argentina and the inevitable pulling together coupled with a rebranded Margaret ensured her dominance over cabinet, party and country for the next ten years.

So, no matter how bad it seems there's always an encouraging precedent.

David Hughes said...

Re. Charles : June 09 - 7:16 a.m.
Charles, I do not think they are Right wing - that's just the perception of other people formed over the years from the information pushed at them. A good way for people to realise exactly what these odious sods are like would be to read "Liberal Fascism" by Jonah Goldberg published by Penguin. I also agree with your last point about the Left and racism.
Also, whilst it is mainly the actions of New Labour since 1997 pursuing the middle ground and not only ignoring but vilifying the hopes and fears of a lot of British ( note, British - colour, race, religion not a factor) people - and this can also now be levelled at Cameron's idea of Conservatism to a lesser degree - it is the E.U. that has contributed towards the rise of the extremist parties.
The silly voting system ( a version of P.R.) allowed the B.N.P. to win two seats. A first past the post system, as imperfect as it is, would have meant that they wouldn't have got a seat and therefore access to all those funds. However, it is in the interest of the E.U. to keep it because it fractures any potential power base build up that may harm The Project. Therefore it will not change. As it has been said ( and I wish there was a less amusing way of pointing out the greed and voracious pursuit of power and control) about the New Labour politicians, "Turkeys don't vote for Christmas" - this also applies to the European Union.

Dungeekin said...

The toughness of Gollum Brown's carapace is quite amazing.

It seems impervious to any and all assaults - we should be using it as body armour for the British Army!


Raedwald said...

I really couldn't give a stuff about what's good for Dave or good for the Conservative Party; I'm far more concerned about what's good for our nation. And getting this corrupt, failed Labour administration out of power as soon as possible is imperative.

Pogo said...

@Raedwald... Too damned true bro'.

As to the rest of you "Conservatives" rubbing your hands in expectation of Labour catastrophe next May, may I remind you of the words of one of the greatest and most nimble "politicians" of the 20th Century, Harold Wilson - "A week is a long time in politics".

Gongdonkey said...

Trebleexesallround (9:29)
The first seven words of your paragraph three was either total cobblers or an attempt to stimulate discussion.
I suspect the former as the first sentence of your second paragraph shows that you haven't understood fully the difference between the two situations. Margaret Thatcher was indeed elected and given a mandate to govern. I must have slept through the election that legitimized Incapability Brown.

Rexel No 56 said...


For what it's worth.... I suspect that Brown has survived because he has convinced enough around him that he can still win..

Laughable many would think, but there are two factors that I'm sure Brown believes will get him back into no 10:

1) control of the economic levers - £150bn of quantitive easing and £175bn of borrowed money pumped into the economy this year will engineer a window of apparent recovery

2) the exposure of second jobs and income is going to be used to bring most of the Tory front bench into contempt

"We took the important decisions to beat the worst recession ever whilst the do nothing Tories were earning millions doing their 56 other jobs"

It's crude, it'll be a lie, but said consistently and often enough and with the BBC and SKY (bought off with media deregulation) onside it will sound plausible to wavering members of the Brown cabinet.

Brown as PM leading a Labour, DUP, Plaid coalition is worth a bet.

Will said...

"He's swinging from the gibbet but there is no one courageous enough at the top of the Labour Party to pull the rope tight around his neck."

Is anyone else disappointed on reading this gobbledegook that a prospective Conservative candidate should be so woefully ignorant about the technology of the death penalty?

More research needed, Iain.

Anonymous said...

The ineptitude of Labour even runs to it's rebellion. Why on earth did they bolt at 10pm on Thursday? Gordon, or rather Mandy had locked loyality into the cabinet before the full extent of the locals was known. The Saturday between results let the wind out of the sails so that by the time a Labour collapse had led to a 3rd place behind UKIP and 2nd place in Wales and the vulgarity of a smug Griffin proclaiming the birth of a new working class party there was no momentum. My guess is that if the rebels had held fire until around midnight Sunday, Brown would now be on the way out.

The only crumb of comfort, for Labour must be that the results seems to be because Labour voters didn't show up rather than any great transferring of votes to other parties and that the Conservatives therefore shouldn't get to complacent in thinking it is job done

Dimoto said...

Loads of arrogance and complacency on here.
The Lisbon treaty is a big problem for Cameron. If he decides to go ahead with a referendum, it will become the biggest deal of his first year in office, and if he wins, he will have to do something big and difficult, because expectations would be high. Then he'll face an arm-wrestle with the EU which will grind him down for years. If he continues to fudge, Labour will have an open goal, especially after ratification.

Then there's the "Democratic Forum", God knows what gerrymandering Brown, Mandelson and Balls (and the LibDems) can manipulate with this nonsense and an ignorant public baying for "change".

Then there is Brown/Mandelson's "Star chamber", which will try to judge Tory MPs and embarrass Cameron.
I see Malik is back in the government, the Labour "exile" these days, lasts about three weeks.

Sleaze, manipulation and low politics are not just epithets for an election campaign, they are what Labour is and does.
Expect even more dirty-tricks from here on in.

Anonymous said...

You can already see Brownites and Lord Sleaze's minions in action here by comparing Brown's unpopularity with Thatcher. There is one important difference-Thather won her elections unlike El Gordo, and Argentines did attack Falklands a British territory unlike Saddam who
did nothing to Britain. The only comparison which is legitimate is Callaghan reduced Britain to be ruled by union thugs and made it dysfunctional and El Gordo by his deluded handling of economy has made our country dysfunctional. Every one knows that he is the pricipal architect of the finance sector fiasco.

" A week is a long time in plitics", amy be,but Wilson did not have to rely on an odious character like Lord Sleaze for pathetic survival and who is universally despised. He is the unelected poison snake who is running the country. Brown is his prisoner. Hence Brown + Lord Sleaze + " sexing up" Campbell, the troika will deliver the votes to the HM opposition whenever the election is called. The Labourites had a chance to get rid of these despicable characters and they blew it.

Robert said...

Lord Elvis of Paisley has it about right. If Brown stays in power to the general election with Lisbon ratified, Cameron's promise of a referendum is worthless.

Look closely at the Euro lections. The 'minor' parties in total polled more than than Cameron's Tories. Do not assume that the UKIP vote will go to the Conservatives at a general election. If they abstain or vote UKIP, or for other candidates then Cameron may not get the majority of seats in the Commons to form a government. The political mould is breaking. Having once voted for another party the voters will think more before casting their votes in the traditional way.

I will not vote for Cameron or any Conservative unless we get a promise that we get a referendum on Lisbon ratified or not. There are many others who think the same way.

Anonymous said...

Darling, Miliband, Johnson and Mandy and other Labour MPs who support this circus show - we must make sure that these MPs end up on the street after the general election.

Sky reporters should ask them "what time did you go to the bench last night?"

seebag said...

towing the line?
chinese water torcher?
Education, education, education - good to see Labour policies working.

Anonymous said...

There is no point on having a referendum on the Lisbon Treaty if it has already gone in to effect by the time there is a Conservative Government.

The question then that needs to be posed to the public on membership of the EU is multiple choice. What is it?

Answers on the back of a postcard, please.

Anonymous said...

"Gordons Got Talent"

The Jock must stay!


Anonymous said...

It would be foolish indeed if the Tories assumed that because Brown remains, they're a shoo-in for the next election. They have direct experience of how a single policy announcement (inheritance tax) can transform the political landscape. As David Miliband said on the Today programme this AM that ' a week in power is worth a year in opposition'. While Labour remain in power, there's a lot they can do to transform their own fortunes.

As many commentators have said, DC has yet to 'seal the deal' with the electorate. If he's not going to give us detailed and credible policies until nearer the election, then at least he could start by offering a rigorous and authoritative critique of government policy (cf Vince Cable) and end the shrill and shallow phrasemaking ('fixing the roof' etc.) of recent months. Why is it, for instance, that the most damning assault on Browns economic record has come from Daniel Hannan in the European parliament and not from the Tory front bench?

The battle is now on Dave - get a grip and start showing that you have the vision, mettle and gravitas to win the election on a positive vote, rather than by default through voter apathy towards a discredited and exhausted but still dangerous Labour government.

Treble exes all round said...

To Gongdonkey:

I'll Leave aside for the moment the genesis of the Falklands war. I think you'll have difficulty with it, since you don't even have a basic grasp of the British Constitution.

To put it simply: Prime minsters are elected by parliament not by the public, so Brown is no less elected than Thatcher or indeed Blair or any of the rest of them. So no difference there.

You are probably one of those who gets their political understanding from American telly, but I can assure you our system is rather different however much it may now seem the same.

Anyway, my main point was about how Thatcher overcame her presentational problems. If she can do it, anyone can do it!

Not only was she a poor communicator, she was very very bossy, annoying and hectoring. She pissed off nearly everyone in her first two years as PM. She also pissed people off when she was in opposition 75/79 but no one took her seriously then so it didn't matter so much.

Browned off said...

'Gordon Brown is a coward and a bully, surrounded by liars and toadies' says a nameless Labour MP, according to Adam Boulton. A fair summary I would say.

Vienna Woods said...

I saw this in the DT's letters today. (hope it's not old hat and that I missed it somehow!)

Treble exes all round said...

Just in case a pedant happens this way.

Technically of course the PM is elected by the Monarch, but the reality is that he or she is elected by parliament.

Anonymous said...

Is anyone running a book as to how long McBroon can hang on for?

I'm tempted to invest some money.

Treble exes all round said...

That would be a cowardly and nameless MP then

Treble exes all round said...

You can lose your money on Betfair should you choose.

All the permutations are there

Anonymous said...

The only poll on this subject shows taht any other leader would only improve the labour position by 2%. So why the focus on Gordon - I think you fear him more tahn you let on.

Stuart said...

I'm a Tory party member, but for me the EU question is far bigger than the GE. The EU is for life, not just for Christmas.

All hell will break out, sooner or later, if we find our sovereignty donated to the EU against the public's will.

We allow ourselves to be governed with our consent. What happens if we don't consent will be very messy!

I was at a wedding in Eire two weekends ago and there was a big blue plaque telling me that my money had been used to renovate the castle so that I could be invited to spend more of my money there. This way lies madness...

Lasteddie said...

I saw TOM on Newsnight and thought it was a somewhat resigned performance. He seemed to have accepted the die is cast. Why is it that Labour cannot see the abyss; it is there. They cannot even resign properly:

Caroline Flint played her hand so badly, not backing Purnell then backing Brown on the off chance she would get a Cabinet post and then belatedly putting the knife in to Brown. She has probably excluded herself from any future government (but there won't be one) given her faltering performance but a 10% swing sees her out anyway (based on same turnout in her constituency and no change in Lib Dem vote).

Given that most of those in government know they are going to lose and are playing for the least worst result to prevent them being excluded for a generation, one can only presume that either they have concluded;

A:Brown is best left in place to take the fall which will be less catastrophic than a full blown civil war.

B:No one is capable of wielding the dagger.

C:No one cares (most are out in 12 months anyway) and simply want to take the money on offer and exit at the last possible moment.

None are an entirely positive outcome for the country but that would be too much to hope for from such a rabble. The cabinet has probably proved so supine that they are mostly irrelevant unless they find the courage to exercise their new found power which is unlikely on past track record. My guess is Labour is out for a generation and we will all witness a fight for the 'soul' of the Labour party. Although whether it exists at all is a good question given the squalid tactics deployed by the Labour hierarchy.

Purnell will do well out of this, better than Miliband who is proving to be the Portillo of the Labour party. It was bizarre watching 'A Week in politics' just after the news had broken about Purnell and seeing Michael Portillo implore Milliband 'don't answer the phone' and 'it doesn't take much' to come out against. But like Portillo Milliband showed no backbone and that in an instant was the end of his credibility and possibly career. However, Milliband will survive an election slaughter (his opposition in his constituency is evenly split between Lib Dem & Con)but Purnell will be ousted in a slaughter (12% swing approx). So we can see the Milliband has done the maths. Darling is out at the next election (MAJORITY-7,242) and so are;

Bradshaw, B.P.J.* Byrne, L.D.* Darling, A.* Denham, J.Y.* Jowell, T.J. Ms.* Murphy, J.* Purnell, J.M.D.* Straw, J.W.*

The remains of the day are a motley bunch;

Ainsworth, R.W.* Alexander, D.G.* Balls, E.M. Benn, H.J.* Burnham, A.M.* Cooper, Y. Ms.* Hain, P.G.* Harman, H. Ms.* Johnson, A.A.* Miliband, D.W.* Miliband, E.S. Woodward, S.A.* Brown, G.*

So I guess the real point about the PM's position is who cares? He is irrelevant. I see no one who has demonstrated the independence of mind in the names above but then Geoffrey Howe eventually delivered the speech ( ) that cynics suggested had taken his wife 15 years to write. And now perhaps a man with a limited shelf life, following a career in the shadow of Brown will unseat his master in the dying days. Or will he? Has Alistair Darling's wife penned a similar speech? Alea iacta est.... But who is Julius and who will cross the Rubicon.

Hawkeye said...

One of the many "Anonymous"es said:

"Conservatism is about the following.

Practical libertarianism.
Freedom of the individual.
Not fixing or attempting to fix that which is not broken.
Changing or repairing ASAP, that which clearly is broken.
Using Common Sense at all times, instead of a set ideological dogma.
Doing what is popular with the vast majority.
Protecting and respecting national traditions.
Generally keeping the government out of places it has no right or justification being.
Telling the truth, at all times.
Protecting the rights of all people, regardless of country, state, colour, political affiliation, sex or religion."

I agree 100%. Your words should be stapled to the bedroom ceiling of every Tory MP and PPC so it is their bedtime reading and the first thing the see each morning.

I'd have it tattooed on the inside of their eyelids if I imagined they could read it....

Shamik Das said...

Maybe this is just wishful thinking, but I don't think he's entirely off the hook just yet.

There's still one last chance.

After a summer spent in their constituencies, Labour MPs will head to the party conference knowing they must, absolutely must, get rid of him.

Bloodbath in Brighton, Johnson takes the reins, calls a general election early next year, maybe Feb.

Cameron's worst nightmare, forces him to detail some of his policies, he's unsure how to deal with Johnson... possible Hung Parliament?

Simon Cooke said...

More Rasputin than Houdini I think!

Anonymous said...

I think Cameron is holding his cards close to his chest and not allowing Brown to have any idea of what he is up to. It was a good result for the Tories the EU elections especially after the expense scaldels. I think though the one to watch is Mandelson ask yourself why does he want Brown to stay in power what has he got up his sleeve for the country and is he telling Brown what he wants and Brown is daft enough to do his bidding. Has anyone thought that Mandelson might want the Presidentcy of the EU

Anna said...

Iain, I don't wish to be critical of you personally, I enjoy reading your blog, and others, for the points that are made. But the comments, on yours and others, are seriously useless. There's no discussion, no debate, just people stating their opinions. Occasionally someone posts a response to some other person's post, but there's no thread, no continuity, no discussion that you can join in. I'm going back to the newsgroups... never left them, in fact, just divided my time. But they're a lot more worthwhile for anyone who actually wants to discuss anything. I've made good friends on newsgroups, relationships developed over years, had good debates and impassioned arguments that sometimes changed the way I thought about things. I have even occasionally persuaded someone to my own point of view. Blogs just don't do that, as a forum for discussion they're fundamentally lacking. But I will continue to enjoy your posts :)

WinterStorm said...

Anna - You're completely right. I gave up on Guido's site because it seemed to consist mostly of middle-aged men writing their masturbatory fantasies down.

Anonymous said...

There's a lot of assumption flying about that there will be a General Election in the next 12 months.
Once the Irish have come up with the 'right' answer and the EU Constitreaty kicks in on Jan 1st 2010, Westminster will become redundant.
Don't you people understand what the New World Order actually means for democracy as we knew it?
The one-eyed Scottish idiot will stay in place as there are still things left undone, which his Bilderberg masters need in place for their project to be complete.
Their place-man, Mandelson, will ensure their wishes are implemented. He's already had his 30 pieces of EU silver to do their bidding.
Watch out for the adoption of the €uro (read rEUble) without the promised referendum - no surprise, there, then - they have form in that department... and watch out for a manipulated terror attack so that the Civil Contingencies Act can be invoked, which will allow for curfews to be imposed, troops (possibly foreign) on our streets and elections cancelled.
We are all being set up to be their slaves on their global plantation or to be their cannon-fodder to fight their wars.
Now if only I could find the scalpel so I can dig that microchip out of my neck and do a runner?

Paul Halsall said...


I still, especially for Medieval and Byzantine history - still on old ex-BITNET maillists, do maintain real online conversations.

There needs to be both diversity and some degree of intelligent respect for real discussion to take place.

These days I often find that on various facebook threads, although I have to admit many of the people are the same people I have been arguing with since 1994.

A big problem in the UK blogosphere is that most bloggers comment on news sources. If you read US bloggers such as Andrew Sullivan, Glenn Greenwald, Drum (on the right), you will find interesting debate taking place between bloggers.

You can also find real debate on CIF/Guardian, and on the Telegraph and The Time's blog comments (given my interests I always read Mary Beard, Damian Thompson and Ruth Gledhill for example).

Overall, you have to seek out those areas where people disagree but don't foam at the mouth.

I find reading Iain's blog rewarding because I can imagine having a conversation with him, reaching different conclusions, and still being friendly.

anne riddle said...

If there are to be no outside jobs,will this apply to House of Lords? Will Sir Alan Sugar still be allowed to work for the BBC?

strapworld said...

Why do you have to pin a name, which all politicians love,

Iron Chancellor. Teflon Tony now Houdini Brown.

He doesn't deserve it. He is a bully and therefore a coward. I am convinced that McBride is still working for him, albeit not in Downing Street!

Read what Ruth Lee wrote yesterday on Conservative Home on this bully and over promoted junior manager.

Brown is not a leader, he is not a man manager, he is just a bully who gets his way by threats.

For goodness sake do not give him any credence whatsoever. He is where he is because Mandleson wants him there. Mandleson is the winner and now can make or break Brown.

Vienna Woods said...

Believe me when I tell you that the shameful frightened Labourites that voted for Brown will all return in a future life telling that they were bullied and threatened - all will be forgiven!

I've seen this before with East European Communists who, after the velvet revolution, came out of the woodwork to tell the world that they were never real communists but towed the line because of their families, careers etc. They were quickly repatriated and most hold prominent government positions today.

Leopards can change their spots!

Anna said...

@ Winter Storm

You do seem to get my point.

A few others did, too.

Then I get to Paul Halsall... omg, who apparently thinks that Andrew Sullivan, CIF, et al, constitute real debate. Presumably has never seen a newsgroup. Probably not his fault, too wet behind the ears to know about them.

Anyway, this is my final post here. If anyone wants to pursue the issue of real discussion, maybe swap appropriate forums, I can be reached at This is, of course, a throwaway address... those who know will understand... I do look occasionally :)

Alcuin Bramerton said...

It could be that there is a much bigger reason to keep Gordon Brown in power than any parochial considerations of British or European politics.

In the larger, global picture, the worldwide release of a massive gold-backed programme of national, corporate and personal debt forgiveness is being unlawfully prevented by the Obama White House. The programme's coordination has therefore recently been moved from Washington to London. The Queen, Gordon Brown and Alistair Darling are centrally involved in administering this very complex nexus of financial procedures.

Indeed, on Wednesday 1st April 2009, at Buckingham Palace, in the personal presence of the Queen, US President Barack Obama was formally served with a Writ for Contempt of the World Court in connection with his administration's ongoing blocking of the global financial settlements.

In more recent, but related, action in the US, a top-level civil war has broken out inside the US administration. Between Sunday 31st May 2009 and Friday 5th June 2009, a number of senior US Army and Air Force personnel were arrested on the orders of US President Barack Obama. These officers had been opposing Obama's continued illegal blocking of the international financial settlement deliveries.

Acting for international law enforcement agencies including the World Court and Interpol, the US Military retrieved the delivery packs from the US Treasury vaults where Obama had been holding them. US Secretary of Defense, Robert Gates, who now appears to be working lawfully with and on behalf of the international financial authorities, ordered the packs back out immediately for delivery by the Military. Gates demanded the release of the senior US Military personnel and warned Obama that if he interfered in the delivery process again, the US President would be arrested by the US Provost Marshal.

Several of Barack Obama's personal slush fund accounts, some dating back to Chicago days, and one containing many $ billions of Bush/Clinton-linked bribes, have now been zeroed out by the international financial authorities. Similar accounts in the name of President George Bush Snr have also been emptied in Germany.

The senior US Military personnel were set free on or around Sunday 7th - Tuesday 9th June 2009 and are now back in post and active.

Most of this is probably unknown to Labour's Privy Counsellors, but several of the Rothschild-connected Tory PCs will be well aware of it.

Gordon Brown's focus is elsewhere at the moment, and rightly so.

Lasteddie said...

@ Alcuin Bramerton

A tour de force in paranoia, piffle and prattle. I have read many insane conspiracy theories but you are definetly in contention for the most bizarre, enjoy the 'post-religious world'... that you apparently inhabit with Flutterby...

Paul Halsall said...


I am quite aware of Usenet, and in fact used to engage there quite a lot in the early 1990s. There was a certain complexity to using Usenet that limited the number of trolls.

But it was ruined when AOL users poured in, and ever since wingnuts, etc., have swarmed over comment sites.

The best debate now, as far as I am concerned goes on between blogs.