This is a sometimes 'cheesey' blog about British and American politics and anything else which tickles my fancy!
Wednesday, 3 June 2009
Hazel Blears Is Right
Hazel Blears decision to resign is brave and politically astute.
Constantly underestimated, Blears has shown her steel. Rather than knifing the Prime Minister in the back, she has looked him square in the eyes and done it.
Fed up with being briefed against, she must hope that her decision to leave government and pre-empt a ministerial reshuffle will fatally undermine the Prime Minister.
I don’t believe she would have done it if she thought Labour had any chance of winning the next election with Brown as its leader. Like many of us, she has concluded that as long as he stays, we are headed for defeat. And she cares too much about the Labour Party to do nothing and let that happen.
She owes him no loyalty. He has shown her none. Her loyalty is to the people of Salford and elsewhere who depend on a Labour Government and would suffer under a Tory one. She resigned for them.
Like Jacqui Smith (and maybe others) why would she want anything to do with a Government that was drifting to defeat? Better to get out and disassociate yourself from it and him. And campaign for Labour on your own strengths and values.
It is interesting that it is the women in the Government who seem to be leading this charge. They obviously don’t like Brown’s brand of politics. I don’t blame them. I agree.
Without her, the Cabinet will be a worse place. She was doing good work as Communities Secretary and her political instinct is better than most of her colleagues. She speaks to a wider audience than just the party or the trade unions and she is a great campaigner.
A personal consideration must be at work here too. She was badly damaged by the expenses scandal and I am sure she is the first to admit that she needs to win back some trust starting in Salford and then elsewhere. She can do it – this is retrievable for her but she will have to work hard to win over Salford’s sceptical voters. She is one of the best campaigners the party have and I have every faith she will.
Blears will relish the opportunity of taking on the Tories from opposition and she will be good at it. No, she shouldn’t be counted out. This is not the last we have heard from her.
Anyone who thinks the Labour Party and progressive politics needs saving from fifteen years of opposition to a Tory Government should applaud Hazel’s actions.
If only more were braver.