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.

Monday, March 26, 2007

C'est magnifique, mais ce n'est pas le politique

The misquoted title is based on what General Bosquet said as he watched the Light Brigade charge to its death in the Crimean War.

Which is roughly how I feel watching Charles Clarke limber up to throw his substantial frame under the wheels of the Gordon Brown steamroller.

Does Charles really think that being a born-again breaker of 3-line whips and CND-er is going to help him collect nominations to mount a challenge - from the right - to Brown?

At least the Light Brigade got past the starting line before getting mowed down.

And there were 600 of them...


Anonymous Anonymous said...

I like Charles Clarke and feel he has contributed significantly to the party. Further, when in cabinet, he was the only intellectual heavy weight to challenge Gordon Brown and will not be bullied by anyone. Many of his comments on Gordon Brown (not as reported in the press) seem accurate to me. I also share his view that Gordon Brown will not make a good PM and his wish to have an alternate candidate.

6:13 pm, March 26, 2007

Anonymous susan calder valley said...

well anonymous if you're such a fan then perhaps you could tell us who you are?

11:43 pm, March 26, 2007

Anonymous darren said...

Look Luke, Charles Clarke has started contributing to your blog!

There's already one embittered ex-minister standing - surely there's no room for another?

Anyway, what is exactly the Clarkster's supposed advantage over Brown? More electable? More presentable? More charismatic?

The guy's a bitter, twisted, eccentric loser who cocked up the departments that had the misfortune to be under his command; he's prone to same-insane outbursts; he's been on a kamikaze mission ever since he cocked up the Home Department; and his politics appeal to no-one.

Charles, go away, no-one likes you!!!

10:20 am, March 27, 2007

Anonymous Ted Harvey said...

On the Crimea front, I prefer to look at the heroic role of the Scottish regiments :)

But maybe there is another lesson from your example Luke. The disaster of the Light Brigade (that some revisionist hiistorians now claim "wasn't like that at all")was allegedly caused by rifts between the senior officers just below the senior commander level.

But what magnified the whole affair thereafter to historical proportions was the subsequent accusations, amorality, denials of responsibility etc. among the reponsible officers.

Maybe Charles, and a few others, should ponder all this - after all no point in winning battles only to lose the war... but on this one, I tend to agree with you Luke that Charles is likely to be humiliated never mind defeated.

Charles's behaviour reminds me of how Frank Dobson went strange and bitter following what he too thought was an 'honourable gentlemens agreement'with Blair, only to find that Blair dumped him and his senior politician credibility soon afterwards(in Frank's case, over the London Mayor candidature)

11:24 am, March 27, 2007

Anonymous Gregg said...

Being the good Blairite that he is, presumably Clarke is trying to triangulate Brown - win the support of both Nouveau and Traditional Labour against the old New.

It's faintly reminiscent of when George Brown staggered out of the Cabinet for the final time and announced that the Left had a new leader. State he was in, he saw the left responding with four fingers rather than two.

12:23 pm, March 27, 2007

Anonymous hebetrayed theminers said...

"There's already one embittered ex-Minister standing."
Yes, and the real Left wants nothing to do with him thanks.

12:59 pm, March 27, 2007

Anonymous darren said...

Yes - why is Meacher standing, everyone? Now I'm not on that particular wing of the party, but it seems as though the Left regard him as the devil incarnate. Which begs the question - who is his support base?!?!

1:23 pm, March 27, 2007

Anonymous groundzeroformeacher said...

There were two MPs at his launch, Kelvin Hopkins and Ian Gibson. Gibson said publicly to the media only minutes after the launch that he he would not be voting for him.Still Meacher ploughs his lonely furrow.
The devil incarnate? Maybe going a bit far.....But close.

1:44 pm, March 27, 2007

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Have just checked out Meacher's "campaign" website....there is not one MP publicly on board.

2:08 pm, March 27, 2007

Anonymous compare and contrast said...

John McDonnell:

Michael Meacher:

You know you're in trouble when your star supporter is Gaye Johnston (personal capacity).

2:24 pm, March 27, 2007

Blogger Chris Paul said...

Good spot from Darren. Textual analysis proves that actually IS CHARLES CLARKE at 6:13pm.

Light Brigade:

118 men killed, 127 wounded, and 362 horses lost. After regrouping, only 195 men were still with horses.

Bad but not at less than 20% dead and less than 40% dead or wounded quite as bad a debacle as is often inferred or stated.

And yes some petty intranecene motivations involved in that event also ...

I had thought that embittered ex-Minister was Brown until someone mentioned Mad Mike later on. Not enough use of my whizz bang graphic for my liking and sadly Observer didn't run it after much interest ...

Will Clarke get 44? Would Milburn? Is there anyone else? There must be a contest!!! And more than just ordering McDonnell's 671 into the Valley of Death.

3:57 pm, March 27, 2007

Anonymous jez said...

Does anyone else find reading anything written by Chris Paul a bit like listening to fingernails going down a blackboard?

4:09 pm, March 27, 2007

Anonymous couldn'tpossiblycomment said...

Guadian Diary should be running something on the Meacher farrago.Watch this space

5:57 pm, March 27, 2007


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