A blog by Luke Akehurst about politics, elections, and the Labour Party - With subtitles for the Hard of Left. Just for the record: all the views expressed here are entirely personal and do not necessarily represent the positions of any organisations I am a member of.

Wednesday, September 06, 2006

Apocalypse now

So far the resignation letters have been less than straight up about the motives of the resigners.

Tom's one says: "Your leadership has been visionary and remarkable" but "I no longer believe that your remaining in office is in the interest of either the party or the country.
How and why this situation has arisen no longer matters."

My view is the "how and why" is exactly what matters.

We need to know what the Brownite critique is.

If it is for subjective reasons - e.g. they just like Gordon more, or personal ambition, then it reflects on them as resigners rather badly.

If it is for objective policy reasons then we need to know what those are because they will help Labour members determine who to back in any future leadership election.

For instance, if the Brown critique is limited to wanting different or less public service reform (i.e. abandoning or diluting the choice agenda) then despite the recent mess I would be reasonably enthusiastic about Brown being given a clear run against the Hard Left.

But if the Brown critique of Blair includes his foreign policy then I reserve the right to go and campaign for John Reid on principle because I will not vote for any leadership candidate who wants to change the current line on the Middle East.

Tom can get away with saying "How and why this situation has arisen no longer matters. " His candidate for the leadership of the Labour Party can't.

Similarly, the "deal" as outlined very sensibly by Ed Balls in the Observer on Sunday, has always been an orderly transition. What is going on now is not orderly. If Brown doesn't act to put a stop to this then my take is he has broken that deal and a) Blair would be jusified in saying "forget it, I'm staying until the next election, you're already fighting me so you'll have to finish the job if you want rid of me" and b) Reid or Johnson would be justified in throwing their hats in the ring for the succession.

The ball is in Brown's court.


Anonymous Andrea said...

actually are you sure that GB started it? or maybe has he lost the control of events?

3:36 pm, September 06, 2006

Anonymous Anonymous said...

It certainly looks to me like Brown started. I am disgusted at the behaviour of Tom Watson and his cronies.

We will regret this treatment of Blair when he has gone.

My hope is that someone who is loyal to the membership of this party and who is not so self indulgent to stab Labour's greatest leader in the back will stand in the Labour leadership race. I would certainly both campaign and vote for AJ or John Reid over Brown.

4:11 pm, September 06, 2006

Blogger noel said...

oh the irony…

"Reasons to be cheerful number one: The utter misery some of the commenters on this site must feel when they wake up in the morning and realise Tony Blair is still Prime Minister."

So bye, bye Tony, thanks for…

Privatising the NHS
Foundation Trusts
Student Fees and top-up fees
Pensions for nurses and other workers "cut" working longer for less
Labour MPs vote themselves massive pension and expenses increases
Gas Trains Electricity and Water Companies ripping us of whilst Nu Labour regulator sits on their hands and Government says only 2% for public sector pay
Tax evasion for the rich and self employed higher NI and Taxes if your PAYE
Social Inequality at greater levels than ever before
Pensioners still in poverty
Refusing to renationalise the railways even when people die from PFI driven mistakes
Public sector attacked and derided at every opprtunity
Murdoch controlling the Economic and Foriegn Policy of the Nu Labour Government
Civil Liberties constantly attacked
Identity Cards costing Billions
Casinos for Deputy Prime ministers bareback riding pals
Domes full of junk
Throwing 80 yrs old out of conferences for shouting out
David Kelly
Formula One smoking donations
Loans from Privatising pirates
Ministers who go into the private sector as consultants to privatise more of the NHS
Working with and meeting Rupert Murdoch and Margaret Thatcher secretly
Three Wars
Nuclear Power
Nuclear Weapons
Selling Peerages
45 Minutes
Not calling for ceasefire in Lebanon
Being Rupert Murdochs representative on Earth
Terrorist attacks in the UK
Losing Labour Half Membership
Mital Hinduja Jowett Patel Blunkett Mandelson Levy?
Bush Berlusconi Putin
Taking Loans from Privatisers
Privatising NHS Logistics selling it to DHL
Academies run by secondhand creationists
Faith Schools
Privatising the public sector
Prisons at 80,000 and rising
Suicides every day in prisons
Buying Computer systems that dont work from fraudsters
Nurses being sacked and mental health services cut

So yes, I can't wait for the tour…ahhh the begining of the end of Nu Labour…better forget about that MP's job Luke, you ain't got a chance…

5:07 pm, September 06, 2006

Anonymous Andrea said...

"It certainly looks to me like Brown started. I am disgusted at the behaviour of Tom Watson and his cronies."

but not all people involved are/were close Brownites...Sion Simon and Chris Bryant weren't usually associated with Brown.

"I would certainly both campaign and vote for AJ or John Reid over Brown. "

I almost prefer the LDs to John Reid....

5:21 pm, September 06, 2006

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Brown's aim is to avoid any sort of leadership election and for that he wants Balir to resign asap. It's a coup, pure and simple and the vitims are us - the ordinary members of the party who are supposed to have a say.

Brown says he was present at the founding of New Labour - well what is less New Labour than this disgraceful attempt to cut us out and leave this to a parliamentary clique.

The fact is, though, that Gordon hasd all but destoyed his premiership before he's even begun it. The electorate will not forgive this behaviour.

I feel very bitter about all this, not because of Tony personally (though we owe him more than this) but because people have so quickly forgotten the lessons we all had to learn so painfully between 1979 and 1997.

5:58 pm, September 06, 2006

Anonymous Anonymous said...

"but not all people involved are/were close Brownites...Sion Simon and Chris Bryant weren't usually associated with Brown."

But they didn't get jobs in Government they thought they deserved.

5:59 pm, September 06, 2006

Anonymous Andrea said...

"The fact is, though, that Gordon hasd all but destoyed his premiership before he's even begun it. The electorate will not forgive this behaviour"

Funny that tories and Libdems usually say the opposite of Gordon: that he has no balls (apart Ed) to knife Blair.
But as you said voters usually don't like assassins, so that's why he can't knife him

6:07 pm, September 06, 2006

Anonymous Duncan said...

I think it's all rather sad. I don't know what I blame more: the self-delusion and self-importance of Blair, or the aimless ambition and personality politics of Brown? Luke, I fear you are optimistic in your quest for a policy basis to this farce: I fear it has nothing to do with policy and everything to do with personalities and ambition.

As someone from the Left of the party, I hope we keep out of this (other than to try and knock some heads together) - an open leadership election some time next year with a proper discussion about the policies of the candidates was on the cards without this messy business which reflects no credit on the Chancellor or the Prime Minister.

6:30 pm, September 06, 2006

Blogger Zahav said...

You are a legend, and apart from accepting the dilution of our need for public service reform, you are bang on. I cannot help but feel this is the week Brown lost his cool and the plot. Pscychophantic at the best of times, the man has given every reason for an alternative to come forward.

As for Mr.Watson surely his governmnent days are over. It would be sheer treachery to allow someone who had been so nakedly divisive and sectarian to be allowed to be part of any future cabinet - Brown or otherwise. What a waste?? Or maybe not.

6:50 pm, September 06, 2006

Anonymous Andrea said...

well, I take back what I said.....it now seems there has been an involvement from the Brownites.
Brown can pay for it in the end...it depends on how things develop.

7:14 pm, September 06, 2006

Anonymous Stuart Bruce said...

Luke, your post is a good illustration of the factors that we'll need to consider when voting for a new leader. You're right when you say we need to look at policy but that means we'll all need to make comprimises as no one candidate will reflect what we believe.

For example I support Blair, despite his Middle East policy. I support the Iraq war but thought Blair got it very wrong over Israel's invasion of Lebanon. But one policy, one issue is not a reason to lose faith.

9:50 am, September 07, 2006


Post a Comment

Links to this post:

Create a Link

<< Home

Free Hit Counters
OfficeDepot Discount