Friday, September 19, 2008

The Fight Back Must Begin Now!

Sometimes I wonder what is going on in the minds of some Labour MP's. Right now the goverment is working flat out to help try and regulate the financial markets and protect it from further damaging speculation, only to find we have some speculators amongst us!
Not only that but sometimes they can be quite facile and hypocritical as well, such as George Howarth's comment about Gordon Brown being the worst PM in office since Neville Chamberlain! On what evidence comparable to other succesive PM's does he base that? Does he honestly think Eden was better, and as a Labour MP, Margaret Thatcher?
Then some complain that they are barred from having nomination forms sent out before the Party Conference, hence scuppering a leadership challenge. Now that may well be a fair point and hold some water, but then Siobhain McDonagh's sister tended to block nomination papers when she was General Secretary. One suspects that some of these rebels only like to challenge certain practices when it suits them!
One hopes that they will see some sense eventually, one hopes! But rest assured, the PM will not go down without a fight and some MP's ought to consider the damage to the Party that they will cause if they launch one, particually during such times as we are in now


Anonymous said...


I understand that you are a loyal Labour (and Gordon) supporter, but it's important not to let very loyalty blind us to the facts.

And one of the key facts is that all the available polling evidence suggests that the electorate, perhaps unfairly, doesn’t want Gordon as PM.

You have misheard the comments that George Howarth was saying about Gordon Brown. All the Labour rebels have been clear in their statements that the reason why they are taking action now is that the country can't afford another Tory government.

The point George Howarth made was about public perceptions of Prime Ministers not about how his performance compared with Chamberlain. You asked about the evidence – well actually, the situation is even worse than George Howarth said on Newsnight. When Gordon took office just over a year ago he had satisfaction ratings of plus 48 and they went to minus 37 by April this year – a bigger fall than Neville Chamberlain suffered when Hitler invaded Norway. Also, George wasn't the first person to make the observation:

I don't think any Labour MPs really want to have a leadership election now, but if Gordon's ratings continue to go ever more South, we really are looking at electoral oblivion in 2010.

We still have time to do something about it now, but all the evidence is that if Gordon stays, Labour will be out of power for a generation.

labourparty said...

To be fair Paul, the chinless wonder that is George Howarth actually said that GB was the most unpopular PM since NC. There's some debate about that, but he's not far wrong even if Thatcher actually interjects in the timeline.

Painting the rebels as, well, unprincipled shits is predictable but dumb. The notion that "it's the economy, stupid" is not believed by many, although we all know that in part this is true. There's another problem and it's name is Gordon.

Here are a few quotes for you, let's see if they make sense:

1. "This is not a mechanistic way of getting rid of Gordon Brown - I wish. This is just me saying to the party, you can't make this issue go away by not sending out the papers."

2. "When you look at the Conservatives, everything they do is a reaction to an agenda that we set, and yet suddenly, recently, we've been reacting to their issues. We don't need to."

3. "Above all, where is the vision? What has happened to the big picture that the prime minister wanted to set before the nation only a year ago? Was this it – the temporary reduction of stamp duty on properties up to £175,000? Was this it – a raising of the threshold for inheritance tax? Has politics really become so small?"

4. "Rather than seizing the opportunity to open out to the broader party membership a discussion that is being held in private, our response as a government has been to suggest that these were the actions of a tiny number of disaffected people who have taken leave of their senses, are part of some larger plot and are entirely unrepresentative of the PLP.

"These were among the more charitable responses.

"I do not believe any of these things to be the case, though I understand the frustration of those good comrades who hold a different point of view.

"In any event the debate is now on.

"The issue of leadership and direction are being discussed and argued over, and to go on denying it is hardly credible. I wish it were otherwise.

"To that end I believe that the time has come to take the bull by the horns and allow a leadership debate to run its course."

Whether we like it or not, they're right aren't they?