Friday, August 06, 2010

Labour's Non Fresh Start

It comes as little surprise that Jack Straw is to quit the Labour front bench next month, but the news demonstrates what little 'ballast' there will be among the Labour top team when the new Shadow Cabinet is elected in October. Alistair Darling won't be there either, and it seems it will be packed with thirty and forty somethings. Normally this could be painted as a fresh start for Labour, but the fact is that they will virtually all be associated to one degree or another with the failure of the Brown government.

It will be interesting to see if there are any serious contenders for Shadow Cabinet positions who won't have been tainted with the Brown stain. Tom Harris, for instance?


BrendaC said...

Tom Harris would be an inspired choice. and not tainted as you righty point out

another non tainted possible is Stephen Twigg.

Should Miliband the elder not win He certainly wont be serving in any shadow cabinet. South Sheilds By Election me thinks.

Man in a Shed said...

Well done Dale - that's taken out Tom Harris' web site.

But your right - he seems a decent enough guy. Should be a Tory really ....

The Grim Reaper said...

Our Tom certainly doesn't like Gordon, that's for sure. Understandable enough - I wouldn't be especially fond of a person who'd given me the sack.

Labour - the gift that just keeps on giving.

Cynic said...

Oh err... apparently I don't have permission to access Tom Harris any more

Wrinkled Weasel said...

The "Brown stain". Sounds like shit... Oh.

WV: Hormen

Unknown said...

Tom Harris? Maybe not tainted but Tom Harris is very much of the old New Labour school, an authoritarian Alpha male whoe relished the idea of ID cards, Trident replacement, 90 day detention, and so on.

The political mood has shifted and if Labour want to stay in the wilderness, by all means bring on MR Harris. It won't win them votes.

William said...


I agree with you that Harris is not the wonderful person that ID seems to think he is. Tries to appear deep-thinking, but underneath he's a Labour dinosaur. We know his type in Scotland.

PS Are you a mannie from Doricland?

Houdini said...

Harris is tainted. Just because he saw the writing on the wall and started making the right noises a year or so before Brown became a real liability, doesn't make it otherwise.

Harris put Brown in power, knowing intimately what Brown was like. He also put Blair in power, rhetorically, and kept him in power, knowing he was a shyster...and all for a little bit of power and hope of a heavyweight cabinet position.

Let's not get all rose tinted and bleary eyed over what does amount to a sleazy New Labour apparatchik happy to keep in power the slimey and criminally incompetent Government we had for 13 years.

Daniel said...

Can a party front bench ever be an entirely fresh start? As Humphrey (or was it Hacker?) explained, there are about a hundred ministerial posts but only about a hundred MPs who aren't too silly to fill them. It's impossible to avoid the taint of prior failures. Even our present fresh-faced PM is a veteran of the Treasury's 1992's ERM/interest rate fiasco.

Christopher Jones said...

Houdini - I wouldn't shout so loudly about Labour's supposed criminal incompetence given how this government is acting. If a private company acted this way to spending cuts it would be considered at the least reckless and irresponsible.

Timetables are being made one week and ripped up the next, people are being given 24hrs to make decisions on large cuts to budgets and decide which 50% of their staff to cut. Value for money has been entirely ignored in the pursuit of God knows what.

When the cuts first started I was angry from an ideological point of view, but since then ideology is the least of the problems - competence and business sense would be a nice start.

Still, it can hardly be a bad thing for Labour - I can't see the Coalition blaming Labour for it's own incompetence and making it stick.

And I'm not going to mention this governments approach to foreign diplomacy, other than to say that the approach appears to be heavily influenced by George W Bush's approach.

Unknown said...

If you look at the government benches the star performers tend to be in that 40 year old age bracket.

I think this could be down to opposition weeding out talented older MPs, whereas they stay around more when in government.

I certainly don't see anywhere near as much talent on the Labour front bench team. It takes years of opposition for the shock of losing wears off and heads to turn to understanding the new issues of that face the country.

This is certainly true for the leadership candidates. They should have gone with AJ as interim leader to let the younger generation have some time to think.

wild said...

"When the cuts first started I was angry from an ideological point of view"

As an "ideology" socialism is about as morally and intellectually bankrupt as it is possible to be, this side of idiocy. So step off your tawdry little soapbox and get back to your day job of leeching sanctimoniously off other taxpayers.

Christopher Jones said...

Wild - who said I leeching off other taxpayers? Also, who said I was socialist - just because I don't believe in a small state doesn't make me a socialist.

Christopher Jones said...

Wild - who said I leeching off other taxpayers? Also, who said I was socialist - just because I don't believe in a small state doesn't make me a socialist.

Dave H said...

Fresh starts? After listening to a string of government ministers on the radio this morning I was left with the overwhelming impression that we didn't just have a general election at all and are still stuck with the same ghastly types that have been so busy knocking the stuffing out of the country for the past 13½ years.

The heirs to the Blairs, Browns Prescotts and Harmans indeed.