Monday, December 03, 2007


In a conversation I had with my Dad this morning he likened the ignorance some Labour Party members had with regards to the donor scandal as being akin to someone caught speeding and telling the Police that they didn't spot the speed limit signs.

I think for many of us in the Labour Party, this has to be one of the worst weeks we have faced in politics since joining the Party. For the first time I am looking at David Cameron and feel queasy at the very real possibility that he could be leading a Conservative government in the not too-distant future, there comes a time when our credit with the electorate is no longer good and their paitence is wafer thin and I believe that we are in those times and possibly facing the awful sceneario of a Conservative government at the next general election.

But all is not lost. Gordon Brown still has a clean slate and he can turn this around if he acts now. First of all he needs to have a Macmillan-style Night of the Long Knives, which will mean seeing the sacking of two cabinet ministers, Harriet Harman and Peter Hain. He must also persuade the National Executive Committee of the Labour Party (who are extremely unhappy with Harman), to open nominations for a new Deputy leader and thereby using every available pressure to get her to resign. I don't care if she is paying the donation back, the mistake should never have been made in the first place and having been elected with 50.4% of the vote, she is hardly in a position to expect Party support.

Then he will , regrettably, have to have Jack Dromey removed for his sheer carelessness as Treasurer and then he will need to get rid of Mendelsohn as Chief Fundraiser.

After which there will need to be a Multi-Party Committee that will need to look at how to reform Party funding, because one of the disturbing things about the Conservatives crowing is that their own stables aren't exactly clean, and nor are the Liberal Democrats. This is not just an issue that damages those of us in the Labour Party, it affects all political parties and if Labour is to survive in government, if the trust in politicians of all parties needs to continue, then those are the actions that I think need to be taken. I wouldn't normally be so vocal against a senior figure like Harriet Harman, but then these are unique times where we need to be somewhat ruthless in order to survive.


Praguetory said...

What you suggest is the principled course of action. I doubt Brown will have the guts to do that.

Paul Linford said...


The trouble with Nights of the Long Knives is, firstly, that they involve getting rid of people who know where too many of the bodies are buried, and secondly, that you call your own judgement into question by sacking people you have only recently appointed.

On the first point, the Blairite version of history holds that when Dromey blew the whistle on the cash for honours affair, he was acting under direct orders from Brown. If this is true, then Dromey would be in a position to prove beyond doubt that Brown conspired to bring down Blair. Ergo, he is almost certainly unsackable.

Letters From A Tory said...

"Gordon Brown still has a clean slate"

Do you honestly think that he had no idea about any of this? How can so many people around him spot the dubious nature of these donations and yet Gordon Brown stays in the dark?

No mention of Wendy Alexander resigning, I notice...

Praguetory said...

Realpolitik from Paul L. Depressing isn't it?

Womble On Tour said...

You can't be sacking my Harriet ! She's too divine to be sacked.

Daily Referendum said...


Great post. Gordon should follow your advice, it's the sensible and honourable action to take. Now for the bad news: why hasn't he done just that? Is our PM open to blackmail? If he is, then the country is in a dangerous position.