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.


Anonymous said...

Thank you for an excellent post which I support wholeheartedly. I am appalled at the briefing - even today against Hazel Blears. I thought that with the removal of Damian McBride that such nasty briefing would cease. However, it seems apparent that even today it remains rife - look at the Telegraph's article and compare it with Hazel Blear's website.

I never wanted GB as leader - he constantly undermined TB.

I am most unhappy after supporting the party for over 40 years. Until they remove GB, I will not vote for them again.

Well done Hazel! she ahs more intellect and backbone in her than many of her contemporaries!

M said...

Well done Hazel! I too support a brave, brave woman.

Mike said...

What a load of total tosh. Did the Tory party pay you to write this shite?

Matt said...

Mike is out of touch. The people of Britain have given up on Gordon Brown. They have not given up on Labour, or our values. It is those values that Hazel Blears seeks to promote, even though her own actions have sadly, undermined, our case for fairness, equality and transparency (amongst many other values). However, despite individual weakness, the values hold true, are still strong and will endure. Those who want Brown out want to ensure that, despite an inevitable Tory victory at the next election, Labour lives to fight another day. And that is the point.

ThomasFairfax said...

Matt said Mike is out of touch !
It seems to me that it is the Labour Party that has lost touch with reality. People in Britain have given up on politics generally.The public perception of "they are all the same when they get elected" has never been more true than it is today. This is part of the "Blair" legacy. Tony Blair, who did not even join the Labour Party until 1975, supported by Brown, and indeed Blears, Smith, Mandelson,et al have done great damage to the Labour movement and this country. Most (but fortunatly not all) Labour MP's have been tainted with the "New Labour" nameplate and thereby have exposed themselves to the criticism of being nothing other than SDP leftovers from the 80's, more interested in popularity and retention (at any cost) of power, than of any semblance of principle.
Hazel Blears, Jacqui Smith and the others now standing down from cabinet and those who will not serve or move from their current positions, remind me of a phrase to do with sinking ships and rats, rather than "intellect and backbone" . The arguments in favour of a General election to be held in or before October of this year is compelling. Yet we have the dismal picture of Gordon Brown clinging to the last residue of power and office as members of Parliament from all parties announce their intention to stand down at the next General Election

Tom said...

I'm not sure where Mr Fairfax is going with this. We all want Labour to win don't we? We have no chance with Brown in charge. Johnson, for example, would stand a good chance of minimising the scale of the defeat.

ThomasFairfax said...

Good morning Tom.
“I’m not sure where Mr Fairfax is going with this”.
Perhaps I could be allowed to elaborate.

After last nights procession of MP’s, Media Pundits, commentators et al appearing on Sky or News 24, and claiming that Purnell had done the right thing or as Flint argued, Gordon Brown is the greatest thing since sliced bread, is it any wonder that Labour is in a state of meltdown, and has lost all credibility with the public? “We all want Labour to win don’t we?”
The short answer is of course yes, but it is not that simple. The Labour Party of today, otherwise known as New Labour, is in reality the product of Blair, Mandelson and yes, Gordon Brown. But the “Nu Labour” Party of Blair and Brown (The “Granita Deal” is not a fairy tale.), is not the Labour Party which I supported for many years.
The continuing spread of privatisation, financial support for the Banking system without any public control, the ever increasing state restrictions and controls on civil liberties, and numerous other examples, have more in common with the right of the political spectrum than with any policies which I, and may others, would support.
We have already seen the grotesque spectacle of a Leadership Coronation. As in the “Bad Old Days” prior to the CLPD amendments to party rules, influence seems to have reverted to the PLP rather than the Constituencies, Trade Unions and Party Conference generally. Another “Coronation” would not (and should not) be tolerated by the British people.
No matter who the new leader is to be, Johnson, Harman, Purnell, Milliband or any other name to be thrown into the ring, they all share the same flaw; they are all Nu Labour.
The only way, in my opinion, for Labour to gain any semblance of credibility as a political movement, and restore some confidence in the political system in this country, is for the rank and file of the Labour movement, the members, the trade unionists, Party Conference and other activists, is to regain control of the party and it’s policies offering a clearly defined alternative to the discredited, populist promises of the right.