Friday, January 01, 2010

The Audacity of Pope

Greg Pope MP is rather braver than his Labour colleagues. I've just seen a blogpost he put on his appropriately named Audacity of Pope blog yesterday afternoon. He's far from being one of the usual suspects. I still can't see enough Labour MPs having the courage of their convictions, but you never know, I suppose.

New Labour, New Year, New Leader

It's that time of year I guess where people give their predictions for the year to come. My colleague Tom Harris (Mystic Tom?) has stared into the crystal ball and predicted that Labour can and will win a fourth term with a reduced majority.

He's right - we can win but in order to do so we need a change of leader. As Labour MP Barry Sheerman writes cogently in today's Indy, we have a leader who is disastrously more unpopular than our party. Labour has been appallingly ill-served by a cabal surrounding Gordon Brown. First they destabilised Tony Blair's leadership, an act of shocking disloyalty to someone who had won us an unprecedented three election victories in a row; then they ensured that Gordon was crowned leader rather than elected (along with others I spent some time in early 2007 seeing if we could get enough Labour MPs to nominate any serious contender to take on Gordon. We got just about the requisite number of names but we couldn't find a member of the cabinet who dared take on Gordon's people for fear of what they would do - is that the kind of leadership that we really want?); which leads us to the next dirty trick of Gordon's cabal: the smearing of opponents. As one Minister said at the time, the really shocking thing about the McBride fiasco wasn't that they were attempting to trash the personality of an opponent but that it was someone of a different party for a change. We deserve better.

The people that I represent need a Labour Government and I am desperate to see one returned in 2010. I've written before that we need a change of strategy but more than that we need a change of leader. The Tories are still, rightly, mistrusted by a large section of the electorate and the result of the next election is not a foregone conclusion. There is a sizeable section of the electorate which has not decided how to vote yet but they have, sad to say, decided not to vote for us if Gordon is still our leader come polling day. I realise that this may be an uncomfortable truth but it is a truth nonetheless, and one which every Labour MP knows from talking to constituents. I hold no brief to support any alternative leader and, in truth, almost any of the senior figures in our party would seriously narrow the gap with the Tories if they took over in January. Gordon loves the Labour party but the best thing that he could do now to help it stay in office would be to leave its leadership. If not, we look to the de facto Deputy Prime Minister to tell him the harsh truths. Carpe diem, Lord Mandelson.

Well you couldn't get much clearer than that, could you? So, Lord Mandelson, are you prepared to do your final service to your Party?


Colin said...

"The people that I represent need a Labour Government."

Yes, like a hole in the head...

He's obviously been at the Bristol Cream. If he really feels that strongly, he should do the decent thing and resign the whip. But deep down, he's part of the regime, so he won't.

Anonymous said...

The problem with these new Labour 'change the leader' types is that they think it can be done by consensus. It can't.

Gordon Brown would have to be carried out of office screaming rather than relinquish being PM. It would be a very ugly public spectacle.

Martin S said...

A very interesting post. However, I feel it might be a bit mealy-mouthed to say that 'Gordon loves the Labour Party.'

I think it likely that Gordon loves himself first, then, perhaps, the Labour Party.

Markie M said...

Mystic Tom's predictions are about as accurate as Mystic Meg!

Anonymous said...

They just don't get it, its not just Brown, its all of Labour, Blair and Brown did not do this on their own but the fall in line, do as they are told mp's did also.

Brown is as much to blame as Labour itself and no amount of trying to hock it all on Blair and Brown gets away with it.

Whats Pope smoking?

Mitch said...

Gordon has a funny way of showing his love for the party, by ensuring they are unelectable for a generation!, bankrupting the country,killing all talent in his party and being utterly useless.
Where is this "vision" he promised? commenting on X factor and photo ops with the troops(who hate him immensely)seem to be it.

James Higham said...

The Dark Lord has richer pastures to graze on this year.

Submariner said...


In case you hadn't noticed, the Lord of Darkness has been deposed from the bunker for backing the Chancellor over the budget, and is now completely invisible. The present de facto deputy PM is Blinky Balls.

Osama the Nazarene said...

Pope writes "The people that I represent need a Labour Government...".

I have news for Mr Pope and you Iain (though I'm sure you don't need telling), no electors in this country NEED a Labour Government. As usual Labour has been an absolute disaster for ALL electors of this country over the past 12 years apart from a few Cabinet and ex Cabinet ministers who have managed to accumulate nice property portfolios from expenses funded by us.

He is, of course, correct to point out that the Brown cabal has been a particularly virulent cancer on the Labour party but this party needs to be consigned to the dustbin of history.

Newmania said...

I have seen no evidence that new leader would help now so I am bit mystified .This sort opf thing at this point is just an invitation ot vote Conservative surely


Anonymous said...

The Pope smokes dope.

Wishing everyone apart from those who wish to keep the Labour Government in power a very Happy New Year.

And also now to those who do but not in any political sense, as one cannot be uncharitable in the New Year.

Tapestry said...

Why worry about a new leader.

Just tell the truth about how big the debts really are, and the losses on the share deals from the privatisations.

The losses appear but nowhere in the 2009 Treasury Spending Outturn accounts.

Bob said...

so his party is spineless, teh cabinet is spineless, and stuffed full of c@nts.

the only hope is a twice forced to resign gravy train merchant who has an inability to fill in form correctly.

what a party they have become.

sounds like they have based their mantra around north korea of libya.

Don Collier said...

An interesting post but Pope just doesn't get it.

Labour keep telling people "The Tories are still, rightly, mistrusted by a large section of the electorate" to reinforce the anti Tory message. Its like a bit of spin that keeps being trotted out to damage us. The point they miss is that the majority of the electorate certainly don't trust them and may never trust them again.

They have done the credibility of Politicians more damage than Wilson and Callaghan did by breaking promises and blatantly misleading people. Their constant repeating of we are the only party to trust, don't trust them while proving themselves totally untrustworthy has just disillusioned everyone.

Once again the public are saying a plague on all your houses rather than voting for a particular party. The only thing that can bring back faith in politics is honesty in ALL major parties but then that would need to include the Lib Dems [sigh].

Anonymous said...

Mandelson probably wants to lead the Party.
He can't do that if a new Leader is chosen in January

Unknown said...

Greg Pope

He is one of those who has had the gravy train and now see that at 5000+ he might loose it, and it worried about it.

Greg is worried about his seat, as with no registered interested he has not gotten anyone to show enough interest in him to set himself up for when he retires.

Greg knows which side his toast is buttered and figured by showing hate for Gordo he can keep his seat because the people will think he is a good guy because he spoke out.

Thats what Greg is all about.

Dave S said...

Quote from Gordon Brown’s New Year address.

“ … but we can be incredibly proud that Britain’s dynamic entrepreneurs have defied the recession to start up nearly half a million new businesses … “

I guess if you are going to tell a lie make it a big one, thought there were fifty a week going bust.

Unknown said...

After 12 years of Blair duplicity and Brown's totally disastrous hubris and, I would say, deranged policies, Pope can say we need another Labour Govt. Doesn't he know we are utterly fed up to the back teeth with Labour. Of course, they will maintain mostly the core vote [Brown has shamelessly nurtured their's and Scotland's votes] but not much else - nor do they deserve to. It is a lamentable party - they have cowered from Brown without the slightest thought for this country. A party of cowards and venal knaves, mostly.

Man in a Shed said...

All Labour MPs are just as guilty as Brown of destroying our economy and crippling us for a generation so we will struggle to look after our children.

Changing leader should make no difference to the electorate's revenge.

We were once the 4th biggest economy in the World - before Labour. We are now a basket case and Labour are directly responsible for that the the misery that will follow.

David Lindsay said...

Greg Pope is a Red-Brown, a Molotov-Ribbentrop, a signatory both to the Euston Manifesto (unrepentant old Stalinists and Trotskyists for never-ending global war) and to the Henry Jackson Society (unrepentant old apartheid and Pinochet supporters for never-ending global war).

If you want an argument for Brown, it is that they are against him. And if you want an argument against Cameron, it is that they, three out of the four of whom are sitting Labour MPs, are in favour of him.

Unsworth said...

Delusional tosh. This is a graphic illustration as to how far out of touch these people are.

"we have a leader who is disastrously more unpopular than our party"
Well, you guys put him where he is, and you've now been tarred with the same brush. But let's be clear, most people in Britain are deeply unimpressed by all of Brown's colleagues, too. Name one popular Minister. Name one popular Labour MP.

"Labour has been appallingly ill-served by a cabal surrounding Gordon Brown"
Right. But never mind Labour, what do you think these monsters have done to the nation? I know it's difficult for many MPs (including yourself, it seems) to understand this, but actually good government is about doing what's best for the country rather than petty political advantages.

"an act of shocking disloyalty to someone who had won us an unprecedented three election victories in a row"
Politics is a rough old game, ain't it? You lie down with dogs and you get fleas. But are you actually suggesting that we should place our trust in a political party which has shown such duplicity? Why? Would you deal with us any differently? What on earth would make us believe you?

"is that the kind of leadership that we really want?"
Well it certainly looks that way. After all, Brown didn't suddenly manifest himself overnight, did he? And the whole McBride thing was just confirmation for the voting public of the scumbag machinations of your party.

"We deserve better."
No, I'm sorry, it's we, the British people who deserve better - much, much better.

"The people that I represent need a Labour Government and I am desperate to see one returned in 2010."
Patronising piffle. Your constituents will make their own minds up just as soon as your clown of a Prime Minister has the guts to call an election. 'Desperate' you certainly are, but no more desperate than the rest of us are to vote your people out of office.

As to changes in 'strategy' and 'leadership', well it's way, way too late for that. If the Labour Party had any sense (and that's open to conjecture) it would have turfed Brown out - months if not years ago - held an immediate reshuffle and fired the majority of these 'Ministers'. Name a single Minister who's respected for his/her competence, integrity etc. And, if you can do that, explain why that person is not leading your party and, God help us, this country.

"it is a truth nonetheless, and one which every Labour MP knows from talking to constituents."
So, The Silence of the Lambs, then. Do you honestly believe that this has only just come about? Do you genuinely believe that your constituents can now be persuaded of a sea change in the attitudes and competences of your party? After all this time, after all this pain?

"Gordon loves the Labour party"
Any evidence for this blinding assertion? Most people recognise that Gordon loathes the Labour Party and most other things - including himself.

"So, Lord Mandelson, are you prepared to do your final service to your Party?
Don't look to Mandelson for salvation. He's got so much bigger fish to fry. He's never been interested in anything which would not lead to his personal advancement. Your party has been his chosen vehicle, it has long outrun any vestige of usefulness to him. No, just consider what benefits your party could possibly offer him which might remotely compare with, say, a nice little sinecure at the EU (or the UN, for example), whilst doing a bit of light freelancing for various 'oligarchs'.

'Final service'?
You bet, baby. And the cremation will follow very shortly - followed by the ceremonial casting of the ashes of the NuLab Project to the four winds.

Houdini said...

It goes to show what we knew about Labour for the past...well, the past!

Electability and spin is worth more than policy and ethics.

Should we be listening to delusional morons like this though?