This is a sometimes 'cheesey' blog about British and American politics and anything else which tickles my fancy!
Saturday, 6 June 2009
Like shuffling the deck chairs about on the Titanic
Another tumultuous day in Westminster.
Another awful day for the Labour Party.
We have become a laughing stock.
Gordon Brown’s reshuffle is a bit like shuffling the deck chairs around on the Titanic. It ain’t gonna solve anything.
It is window dressing – something which the Prime Minister knows all about, according to Caroline Flint.
Her brave and direct attack on Brown is very serious because we all know it is true. By the way it is not just women he treats like that, its men too.
However, she weakened her case by professing such loyalty only twenty four hours before. In the end, at least she had the courage to eventually say what she thought, unlike some of her colleagues. It was a stinging rebuke to a Prime Minister who treats his colleagues with utter contempt and sanctions the poisonous briefings against them which have sadly become the norm in the Brown Government. Flint has done the right thing.
What a pusillanimous Cabinet. They have tied their fortunes in with Brown and they’ll go down with him. After the next election, James Purnell will be in a very strong position indeed.
I can understand the disappointment of many MPs that not a single other Cabinet Minister was prepared to support Purnell, even though many of them privately agree with him. If Miliband ever hoped to be leader, his chances have surely now gone for good.
The fact is Labour has never had such a disastrous local election result. We are no longer in charge of any county councils. We have lost in places like Lancashire and Derbyshire which should be the backbone of Labour Party support. They have gone – perhaps for good. Responsibility for this rests with Brown.
I am an instinctive Party loyalist and I have defended this Government until I am blue in the face. But Brown has tested my loyalty to the limits and I can no longer support him. He is dreadful. I do not want anything to do with him.
In nailing my colours to the mast, I know I will be criticised. I still believe in the Labour Party and its values. I still believe that a Labour Government is always preferable to a Tory one and I still believe that our Party can go on to achieve great things for the British people. I am Labour through and through and prepared to accept it if people think I am wrong. But I can’t be loyal to a Prime Minister I have no confidence in. I have no faith in him and no belief.
If he thinks that bringing Alan Sugar into the Government (who, incidentally I do admire) as Enterprise Tsar is suddenly going to provide us with the vision and direction we need, he is very fickle. What next, ‘Casualty actor’ for Cancer Captain? Please.
To lose half a dozen Cabinet Ministers within four days makes his position look untenable and yet he clings to power with a desperation that makes him look pathetic.
And yet, cling he does. The rebels are divided and unsure. They may even cock this up – which would make it all pointless. I urge them not to.
Purnell, Milburn, Clarke and those on the Progress wing of the Party have to find a way of working with the impressive Jon Cruddas and his Compass band of supporters. It is nothing to do with being Blairite or Brownite, on the left or on the right of the Party. It is about character and values. The Prime Minister lacks both. He is an electoral liability. A change of leader would be a damage limitation exercise which might mitigate our loss at the next General Election.
If we change leader, we can find a way of uniting behind a centre left agenda – starting with huge reform of Parliament in an attempt to regain voters’ trust – that could recapture the political initiative and lead us into the next election in a stronger position. Remember, the Conservatives didn't have the brilliant night they had been hoping for on Thursday. Their vote was down, hardly a ringing endorsement for Cameron.
But Brown is an obstacle to any chance of reform. He does not have the trust or credibility to see it through.
The Euro election results are going to be equally as bad for the Party and powerful because they are proportional. MPs should seriously consider them on Sunday night, weigh up how this would look in a General Election and act decisively on Monday when they return to Westminster.
The British public would never forgive us if we gave up on them. But if we stick with Brown, we seal our fate and theirs. We leave them to the rot of a Tory Government.
The pressure on him must be maintained. More ministers must resign. More senior figures on the backbenches need to speak out. There should be a secret PLP vote on Monday night. Time is running out to get rid of him. Go he must and go now.
*I was very angry when I wrote this, apologies.