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.

Friday, October 03, 2008

More on the reshuffle

The more I'm hearing about the reshuffle the more I'm liking it.

My partner Linda's boss, John Spellar, has just called to say that the 3 year hiatus in his ministerial career is over and he is back in Government as number 3 in the Whips' Office under Nick Brown and Tommy McAvoy.

I'm particularly pleased that Jim Murphy - NUS President the year I was NOLS National Secretary - has made it into the Cabinet. If anyone can see off the threat from the SNP he can.

Lord Drayson's return is great news - he was a very effective minister when he was at MoD and radically reformed the procurement process.

The comeback by Margaret Beckett is also good sense - we needed some more experienced heavyweight politicians on the frontbench.

The base of the Government has been broadened with people from Mandelson to Jon Trickett on the political spectrum getting jobs so that the whole Party is lining up to take the fight to the Tories.

The more I think about the Mandelson appointment the more I think it was a stroke of political genius by Brown. It's brought on board someone with a unique ability to strategise, understand the electorate and win elections, but also someone with a great grasp of economic policy at a time when we need to tackle a hugely complex economic situation. The Tories are terrified of him because his presence will reassure both business and swing voters that Labour remains well and truly camped on the centre ground of British politics.

All in all a good days work by Mr Brown.

66 Comments:

Blogger Mark Still News said...

Mandelson is hated-He is a liability!

10:00 pm, October 03, 2008

 
Anonymous Rich said...

Luke you are far too loyal....almost brain washed....no matter what Labour do it is obviously right. Even if it means betraying the real loyalty on the left of the party.

Mandelson is a liar and a fraud....and that's his good points. Brown must have lost his marbles.

I know two labour supporters that are syaing they are not going to vote....I'm sure there are millions tonight saying just the same thing.

Talk about jobs for the boys.

10:05 pm, October 03, 2008

 
Blogger Mark Still News said...

I am only going to vote, as J Corbyn is my MP and is a decent one who has been a thorn in Blair's side and will continue being one for Brown-If this were not the case I probably would vote for Respect or the CPCG

10:11 pm, October 03, 2008

 
Blogger Democratic-Centre said...

The economy is a liability, blame Brown as much as any other leader across the world today.

Will Hutton journalist was on This Week saying the Tories response to the problem would have frozen the whole system up re Bank of England-led intervention.

Make no doubt about it whatsoever, Labour are going into the electoral melting pot but it's about ideological structure and coherence now that will protect it from all out collapse.

America is haemorrhaging jobs and it wont be long until UK is same. Any political points perceivably scored or not will soon be lost to the necessity of pragmatic politics underpinned by a coherent and consistent line to rebuild and get out of mess.

Plus Labour will need that purpose and vision. It will also need to re-connect with state-community-individuals for whenever the dole queues form and get back to making sure people can do something constructive - important to engage these voluntary and community partners.

It's no time for a novice, but no time for any gaffes or media muck-ups either. The shit is about to hit the fan and Tories can still only throw this one away, such are the seriousness of the global problems.

10:18 pm, October 03, 2008

 
Anonymous Rich said...

Mr Democratic Centre, I'm not saying your wrong but Browns response to pouring billions into the toxic loan market is also a big gamble. If this goes wrong then the result will be the bankruptcy of the state...far worse than letting our financial system cook.

Yes we are going to see a return to the huge dole numbers, but more importantly what is being done to protect workers from redundancy in the UK. Very little since Labour has been in power. A European country looking at cutting pan European jobs will pick Britain as our settle laws are the worst in Europe.

Also those who have paid into the national insurance scheme will only receive the same as someone who has spent a lifetime on benefits.

They will probably have their home repossessed by a bank that has been bailed out with their taxes.

I don't think the conservatives have all the answers but I do think by kicking Labour out will force the party to change. Labour are hooked on power now and they will do anything now to keep it.

10:30 pm, October 03, 2008

 
Anonymous alexander said...

Come on Luke, you can really believe half of what you've just written?

Without exception, and I include non tories in this, the reaction of people I have spoken to about Mandelson's appointment has ranged from horror to sympathy that Brown has been forced to plumb such depths.

So far he's managed 4 months (resigned) and then 15 months (resigned). Only 19 months to the next election so I suppose there's a chance he can last out.

10:39 pm, October 03, 2008

 
Anonymous alexander said...

Sorry, me again. Luke as a Tory can I also add how delighted I am at this appointment. A stroke of tactical genius for us.

Look at the reaction from Labour MPs tonight. I'm watching him being slagged off on Newsnight.

Brilliant.

10:43 pm, October 03, 2008

 
Blogger Mark Still News said...

Brown, Now he's back- don't bend down to pick up that 9 bob note-or you could have a sore what's the name?

10:46 pm, October 03, 2008

 
Anonymous Rich said...

Do you want him to last out.....I agree he is a political heavy weight but oh my god.....him.

The man is a slime ball. I think the electorate view him as a fraud.

10:46 pm, October 03, 2008

 
Blogger Democratic-Centre said...

@ Rich. Ok here's what I think should happen.

I think Mandelson should be portrayed as the guy who can work for and on behalf of business yet work with business too to get some of that socialised debt back.

A quid pro quo. I wouldn’t rule out a New Labour lurch to European values and correction of the Atlanticist approach that Blair embarked upon after 9/11 etc, America has discredited itself enough after Bush and the public opinion might be there to shore up European-leaning ideals (think better social attitudes to sensible drinking and drug taking, multi-lateral approaches via EU over important issues energy, environment, foreign policy). This approach would swerve Labour away from Tory ground. I know there is resilience towards Europe, however, how much more resentment is there towards USA now? The country that brought us the McDonald’s, franchises, hard-marketing towards consumers was always prone to blow as shit all over our faces.

For once New Labour can look the business sector and business community in the face straight and say we backed you on capitalism and across America, now it’s time for that nick of a few more bob in higher taxes from the higher earners when the lowlands are approaching.

Did you notice too that on Question Time the guy from the CBI said that 97% of UK people are covered by 50k deposits in banks. Typical then that it is the 3% earning or holding the excessive amounts (notice too Heseltine was arguing in the favour to offer more protection in that % bracket).

Time for the wealthier to pay that bit more as New Labour has fought their cause with a friendlier face and look what has happened now with the socialising of financial debt (obviosuly different sector but it is business people than earn and create wealth which is where Labour need to get the mix right).

There is no better Shylock than Mandelson to do that scratch my back your back move and to come out with the aim to get a few bob more and lessen the blow on the British taxpayer, overall.

10:49 pm, October 03, 2008

 
Blogger Mark Still News said...

Democratic centre!

Europe is now moving to neo Conservatism. Brussels enforces liberalisation on Countries, France has to privatise the Railways against the wishes of the people. The 35 hour a week is being attacked. Europe is no longer democratic mixed economy.

10:58 pm, October 03, 2008

 
Anonymous Rich said...

But Mandelson has been a disaster for trade and industry. His attempts to relax European trade laws has resulted in millions of job losses across Europe.

Mandelson is good at one thing....and that is talking. He is a communicator a master of spin and these days that gets you elected.

If you tax business now then I can tell you straight in the face....the UK will go deep into recession. Business can not handle any more cost at the moment.

You talk about the wealthier to pay, but thats not happening with the toxic loan bailout scheme devised by the government this week. This is costing us all and will continue to do so for years to come.

10:58 pm, October 03, 2008

 
Anonymous Rich said...

Europe is part of the New World Order, a dictatorship that puts limits on how much we can spend on public services.

You are correct, France is being forced to change against the wishes of it's people. Demands from Brussels will mean the great dream of French socialism will eventually be destroyed.

France is one of the most productive countries in Europe but is having to abandon its 35 hour week for join the us muppets who work night and day to remain competitive.

This is bollocks, it really is. What a waste of time....complete waste of time.

11:06 pm, October 03, 2008

 
Anonymous Rich said...

"Brown, Now he's back- don't bend down to pick up that 9 bob note-or you could have a sore what's the name?"

I'm getting visions of those back rooms in Brussels....Yack. Wasn't Mandelson caught hunting for young boys on the common.

11:18 pm, October 03, 2008

 
Blogger Democratic-Centre said...

@Rich, but let's be serious looking back over the 11 years the inexperience of Blair was a downside. Blair had to sit on his landslide laurels and took him a while before he began to dictate his policy deep into the system; Cameron and Osbourne have proven together to have little consistency, even 2 years before an election. At least Blair's charisma and drive allowed him to make the most of the economic good times to work on peace in Northern Ireland and Kosovo etc from 1998. Of course 9/11 changed everything. However, with the cupboard bare there will be no good times for the policy-blank but blushing face Cameron-led Tories to mess around with. We need ideas!

What you have is a Tory party spinning an image of Cameron and the 37yo Osborne, but the reality is that they have no ideas themselves and might be prone to act rashly.

Cameron is all image and little substance and he cant do seriousness convincingly well; he and Hague can crack good jokes alright, but also conservative America is on the back foot, a Democrat election win will change things.

Here's a snippet off BBC website:

“The world today looks more like that of the 19th Century than like that of the late 20th.

“Those who imagine this is good news should recall that the 19th Century order did not end as well as the Cold War did.”

“To avoid such a fate, the United States and other democratic nations will need to take a more enlightened and generous view of their interests than they did even during the Cold War. The United States, as the strongest democracy, should not oppose but welcome a world of pooled and diminished national sovereignty.


The Tories are up shit creek when it comes to Europe with no partners and no one wishing to give them a paddle!

...Oh Rich FRANCE ahem who has just invested in British energy WAKE UP!

11:23 pm, October 03, 2008

 
Anonymous Albert Shanker said...

Agree with you Luke

Mandelson versus Alan Duncan/Philip Hammond - PM wins every day.

Beckett versus Grant (who he) Shapps. Game Beckett.

The Tories look more and more lightweight after these announcements. Gove is there only player, but hunkered down in educattion - he's fine where he is.

A very good tactical move - helps build Labour's South East strategy, so the Tories should be worried.

11:25 pm, October 03, 2008

 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I can find nothing about Jon Trickett getting a job. Luke, where did you get that info from?

11:28 pm, October 03, 2008

 
Anonymous Rich said...

The conservatives have more potential partners in Europe than they ever have done.

Europe is moving to the right and you talk about the French buying a stake in Nuclear energy......what has that got to do with selling off national railways and giving up workers rights. The French people have had to sell most of their stake in energy at the demands of Brussels....reinforces my point.

In general Europe is in trouble....big trouble. There are several large states that are now debating whether to go back to their currencies. The Euro could be dead in less than 5 years and there is more than enough evidence to support this.

Not to mention the Irish vote on the treaty.

Europe will work with any party that is in power and you can't have partnets until you have that power.

11:34 pm, October 03, 2008

 
Blogger Democratic-Centre said...

Well Rich sit down and eat your Big Mac, put on weight, have little culture, don't cook properly, work 9-5 with only a sandwich and coke at your desk. And let the thrills of American consumerism drive you on till the bang for the buck runs out once again.

The reason why the energy market is liberalising is to try and save money via competition; however the social partnership approach throughout Europe and France retains a degree of knowing who we are and where we are, that is why the Champs Elysée has only so mainly western shops along its boulevard.

Time to re-connect with society and community and less so with out and out American consumerism and 4x4 gas gussling capitalism.

11:52 pm, October 03, 2008

 
Blogger Democratic-Centre said...

Oh and Rich, in lieu of any workable Tory policy, let's just seriously hope Cameron doesn't have any character flaws as most of us do!

I mean, if we are to go into power on character alone, then fingers crossed.

11:58 pm, October 03, 2008

 
Anonymous Rich said...

But Labour have promoted consumerism....Brown has pumped us all full of consumerism powered by debt. Don't blame America for that,,,,that's our fault.

I don't eat fasy food, nor do I work 9-5...more 7am to 10pm and I don't work at a desk.

Building a super state will only destroy society and culture.....we are building the United States but in Europe.

The only way to keep our identity and reconnect with what we are is to remain constitutionally isolated but economically connected with the world.

12:02 am, October 04, 2008

 
Anonymous Rich said...

You knowledge of how the French do business is poor. I've had a home out in the Auvergne for nearly 20 years now and the French keep their boulevards independent because they don't suck up to the big chains.

Under Labour the high street has turned into a chain blue print that can be seen in every city. Just look at Tescos, another Labour creation....a monster.

12:07 am, October 04, 2008

 
Anonymous Andy said...

Signal the fleet. Peter's back. Rejoice!!!!

12:11 am, October 04, 2008

 
Anonymous rich said...

Did I ever mention I was in the army?

12:28 am, October 04, 2008

 
Anonymous rich said...

I love talking crap about the first thing that comes into my head!!!

12:31 am, October 04, 2008

 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

You you haven't gathered I'm a twat!

12:32 am, October 04, 2008

 
Blogger Mark Still News said...

Washington Dictates to Brussels, who then dictate Imperialist policies to European Countries. If only we had an ideal independent Europe? Every where in Europe has now it's High streets dominated by KFC, McDonnell's, Burger King and all other imperialist crap-Even countries that resisted this non-sense have now got it. Every Country is being cloned./ Europe is no longer the European dream, it's under the Multi national Globalisation Tyrants. George Orwell got it wrong, its not 1984 but 2008 and under Capitalism.

12:41 am, October 04, 2008

 
Anonymous T_i_B said...

Well all I can say is that the reshuffle has shown that Labour has not and will not change from it's bad habits. Some people in Labour obviously still think it's 1997.

Bringing in Mandelson is a bad idea. I guess the hope must be that he's been so busy feathering his best in Brussels that he no longer needs to get involved in dodgy deals.

9:09 am, October 04, 2008

 
Anonymous Ted Harvey said...

Luke you gently chided me quite some time ago on this blog about worrying about a Mandelson return – now you celebrate it. It is a disaster, an utter disaster that smacks once again of moving the deck chairs around. Much of the following I have said elsewhere.

Mandelson’s grinning (leering?) pompous and, well let’s just say oleaginous, personality oozed out all over the media screens on Friday. It’s a hugely negative own score, with the electorate reminded (and this mornings media making sure of it) of Lord Sleeze and Prince of Darkness.

Brown has brought back to the Cabinet a New Labourite who celebrated in saying that Labour was ‘very comfortable about people getting filthy rich’ – just at the point of huge anger and anxiety among the voters over fat cats and market failure to deliver. And on a sad little note, a Labour Government enobles him as a Lord to get him into Cabinet; at least being a Lord will suit his persona.

I suspect that the reality here is that what is crudely called the Blairtite wing of the Party cannot stand Brown, believes he has turned out as they predicted and that he seems to be out of favour with the electorate – but even these ‘Blairities’ believe that to change Leader again before the election is not on.

Consequently they have carried out a subtle palace coup. The offer-not-to-be-refused is that Brown stays as a neutered Leader whilst the Old Guard ‘Blairities’ like Mandleson must be brought back.. and meantime we have Campbell and Blair back on board albeit off-stage.

The final catalyst in this unfoldong coup was the hamfisted (or great clunking fist?) handling of the ‘Iwant to spend more time with my family’ Ruth Kelly fiasco.

If Mandelson’s return were all down to Brown it would anyway represent yet another sorry illustration of his faulted decision-making and lack of determination. First he ‘signals’ and signs that he is going one way and then he dithers, and then he comes up with a decision that is a bit of this and a bit of that.

All speculation? Well what else do you do with the Blaire/Brown Labour Government whereby the Party now lacks internal democracy on leadership appointments and other vital issues. Let’s not forget that Mandelson said he did not want a Party of members, he wanted a part of supporters… it’s when I last said that Luke that you told me that he would not be returning.

Oh and on a final note, I winced at your citing Scotland. Jim Murphy as the guy to ‘sort out the SNP?’ That utterly misreads the situation – bringing in another true New Labour, Westminster-based MP whose (at-the-time admirable) success was in taking and holding what was the most Tory seat in Scotland – that is no basis for attending effectively to the new and changing Scottish scenario so far driven by the SNP.

9:52 am, October 04, 2008

 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"I'm getting visions of those back rooms in Brussels....Yack. Wasn't Mandelson caught hunting for young boys on the common."

No - Try Ron "I was only watching Badgers" Davies.

GW

11:20 am, October 04, 2008

 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Two cut and pastes from Rich's inanane coments in this thread.

"Yes we are going to see a return to the huge dole numbers, but more importantly what is being done to protect workers from redundancy in the UK. Very little since Labour has been in power. A European country looking at cutting pan European jobs will pick Britain as our settle laws are the worst in Europe,">

"But Mandelson has been a disaster for trade and industry. His attempts to relax European trade laws has resulted in millions of job losses across Europe."


Rich - The test of a good liar is consistancy. You are not a good liar.

GW

11:24 am, October 04, 2008

 
Blogger E10 Rifle said...

Aside from the catastrophic political misjudgement in appointing a figure reviled across the spectrum back into government, there is the issue of its legitimacy.

Mandelson is no longer an elected politician. He has no mandate to be in the government. Even were his reputation not so drenched in impropriety and sleaze and power-worship (it's a good time to be 'intensely relaxed' about the filthy rich isn't it?), this appointment shows more contempt for democracy.

And naively, I still believe in that, within and without the party.

1:28 pm, October 04, 2008

 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Rat scuttles back to Titanic.

2:24 pm, October 04, 2008

 
Blogger Duncan Hall said...

e10rifles - I completely agree. That is the most significant aspect of this, and of course it's a bigger appointment than that of Digby Jones or Malloch Brown which were similarly dubious because it's a seat in Cabinet.

Of course I don't support an appointed second chamber at all, but to use such a flawed system (and essentially to bypass the few checks and balances that exist in that flawed system - i.e. the independent appointments commission) in order to furnish the government with unelected politicians is just completely unacceptable.

Brown should signal his attitude towards the new, clear Labour Party policy on for a fully-elected second chamber in the way that he conducts himself in relation to appointments to that House.

My fear is that that is exactly what he has done.

If we were to create a properly-elected second chamber, Mandelson would have no constitutional basis for his seat in Cabinet.

I don't agree with Mandelson about much, and I don't rate him at all (I think he is one of those politicians who was a much more effective opposition politician than a government one - not that I was a supporter of his in either role) - were he to get himself selected and elected back into Parliament, I could see arguments for Brown bringing him into his Cabinet: they share the same politics, and Mandelson - though gaffe-prone and something of a loose canon - is more able than some of those who have been promoted beyond their abilities from the same broad acres of party thinking.

But this was a dreadful mistake.

2:41 pm, October 04, 2008

 
Anonymous Dirty Euro: said...

Good that Jon Trickett is in the team then. It is good to have some left wingers in the government.
I have no beef with Mandy. He seems loyal to the party.
I still feel taxes should be increased on the rich.

3:10 pm, October 04, 2008

 
Anonymous Rich said...

e10 Rifle, please explain why then it's British jobs that tend to go first when a European company makes cuts. It's very expensive to make someone redundant in France and Germany...not so in the UK.

Cast you mind back to Europe imposing trade restrictions on China. Mandelson was a key person is removing those restrictions....the result millions of people losing their jobs.

Europe is heading down the same path as the UK. Probably about 10 years behind us but they are catching up.

My point was that while the banks are being bailed out there are probably 60,000 people in the UK that are about to lose their homes. These people have worked and paid taxes and will have their homes repossessed by banks which have used these taxes to overt bankruptcy. So while this Labour government is so keen to help those that have caused the problem they are failing to help those who out bailing them out.

They are failing to protect them from redundancy and they are failing to provide financial support for them when they do.

And you wonder why so many people that once voted Labour will not do next time around.

5:37 pm, October 04, 2008

 
Anonymous Rich said...

Mark I think your 100%. America is dictating to Brussels and I can't see this ending anytime soon. The big problem for the USA is Russia as they are starting to stand up against Europe and there are plenty of European states that still sympathize with Russia.

But Russia is no different really, they are pretty much the same but more aggressive.

I still like France and spend every summer there. I have noticed though that fast food chains are spreading quick and traditional French food is slowly vanishing from restaurants and their culture. I think this is very sad as it reminds me of this country and how we ended up.

5:47 pm, October 04, 2008

 
Anonymous Rich said...

Can you be a member of the cabinet without a seat? If not what's stopping Gordon employing whoever he wants to run the country.

5:49 pm, October 04, 2008

 
Blogger fire said...

I will never vote Labour again with or without Mandelson while it thinks it is civilised to socially scapegoat and terrorise those with mental heath problems and physical disabilities.

New Labour is a sickening travesty of the once decent and good party that it was.

6:05 pm, October 04, 2008

 
Blogger Mark Still News said...

Rich you said: I don't think the conservatives have all the answers but I do think by kicking Labour out will force the party to change. Labour are hooked on power now and they will do anything now to keep it.

If we end up booting Labour out-then the Tories get back in, they will do even more damage than the NLP-Look between 1979-1997, the culture of the UK was changed for the worst and communities decimated. I know NLP have not done much better than the Tories-Although saying that the prospect of Mandelson's is like having some one from Maggies Cabinet. Having the Tories back is not the correct answer, as they are a real nasty lot. If the Tories get back they know it will be for a long time and will have the UK workforce as slaves and will be even more cockier.

6:23 pm, October 04, 2008

 
Anonymous Rich said...

John Smith was the man who did the hard work that got Labour elected. Then Labour was infiltrated by the likes of Brown, Blair and Mandelson. The sort of people you would never invite around for dinner.

Blair almost certainly was responsible for an illegal war, the assassination of David Kelly, the sacking of Greg Dyke....so I wouldn't put anything past this lot.

Mandelson is out for himself and thats it. I pitty Brown having to share his cabinet with this vile human being.

6:27 pm, October 04, 2008

 
Anonymous Rich said...

Whats the answer then Mark, who the hell do I vote for. We don't exactly have a lot of choice really do we.

Two parties that have a chance of being elected. Labour is determined to infuriate every working person and the conservatives who are the only party able to remove them. It's a 50/50 choice.

The LibDems appear to be a solid bunch but have zero chance of ever being elected while they are being run by Clegg.

6:31 pm, October 04, 2008

 
Anonymous Rich said...

Vince Gable is about the only politician qualified to be a chancellor.

So if I had a choice I would make my own government based on people I think I can trust.

PM - David Davis
Chancellor - Vince Gable
Foreign Secretary - Kenneth Clarke
Trade & Industry - Beast of Bolsover
Education - Maggie Beckett or Liz Blackman.

6:37 pm, October 04, 2008

 
Blogger E10 Rifle said...

I don't understand why you're directing your comments at me, Rich, I haven't commented on the issues you're talking about.

6:49 pm, October 04, 2008

 
Blogger Andy Howell said...

Spellar back! Watch your knee caps! JS has real ability but needs to connect with his softer side. JS in the whips office - I hope he has mellowed.

6:53 pm, October 04, 2008

 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I post this as a Tory and someone who thinks we need a strong DTI (BERR whatever). With Mandy and Drayson back I think Brown has potentially pulled a materstroke. Mandy was well respected by business and his civil servants for running a good department - probably the only decent SoS there since Heseltine. More importantly, for the first time in ages it shows Brown demonstrating some determination to win and some actual cojones to make decisions that may result in that. Polls in tomorrow's News of the Screws now only indicating a 78 seat majority for Cameron as well, so no doubt Luke will be beside himself with excitement too.

7:52 pm, October 04, 2008

 
Blogger Mark Still News said...

Rich I met Vince Cable before he is a decent chap, but the Liberal party have not run Councils very well, in fact privatising everything they can. The Libs are anti Union-so I rule them out.
Because of what happened 1979-1997 I could never bring myself to Vote Tory-I really hate them. I am pissed off with Labour and now hate NLP and the Cronies. I am only voting for my MP as he is a really good one and has stood up to the government.

8:25 pm, October 04, 2008

 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

News of the World poll puts Labour 15 points behind with the benefit of Mandy.

That's the loss of 160 seats. The Tories will have a majority of 60.

What's the betting the Dysfunctional Misfit will have Tony Blair back in the cabinet by November and is at this very moment disinterring Harold Wilson for a special anniversary appearance in December.

8:31 pm, October 04, 2008

 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

You have got to be joking.

Mandelson - no comment needed really, this unpopular sh*thead hates Brown and is hated by the electorate. He may have masterminded a landslide back in 97 (but wasn't that because of 18 years of 'nightmare' rule?)

Margaret Beckett is experienced. But she's rubbish and has been at every cabinet job thrust at her.

And to say Cameron is 'all talk no substance' is hilariously hypocritical coming from supporters of Blair.

3:52 am, October 05, 2008

 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

GW is an idiot.

11:50 am, October 05, 2008

 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Rich. I do not get why you vote tory. You complain about france going more right wing. Well that is Thactherism going there. Why do you claim one minute to be a left winger and the next to be a right winger. I don't get it.

11:59 am, October 05, 2008

 
Blogger Mark Still News said...

Rich

Voting for the Tories is surely jumping out of the Frying pan into the Fire?

12:47 pm, October 05, 2008

 
Anonymous tim f said...

I like this reshuffle.

To those who are claiming that this is the return of Campbell, Blair and his associates to power and thus a bad thing -

first of all, most people making this claim would say there is little difference politically between Blair and Brown (and I would agree), so what does it matter?

Secondly, I don't get why Alistair Campbell is consistently slammed by these people alongside Mandelson etc. As far as I can make out, his own politics are much more traditionally Labour than Blair or Mandelson but he's savvy enough and loyal enough to want to make a difference where he can bring his own expertise to bear. I think he's more in touch with grassroots opinion than just about any cabinet minister. He's also incredibly gifted at what he does, and whilst it doesn't look as if his role is any greater than it has been since 2005, the more he gets involved the better as far as I'm concerned.

Thirdly, whilst I don't share Peter Mandelson's politics, I don't think he can be any more right-wing than Hutton and he's also a more gifted strategist, better communicator and has a good record in competence at running a department.

Fourthly, if it's true that Trickett as PPS to the PM is balance for Mandelson, it's a win-win situation. Mandelson no worse than Hutton and in Trickett we have someone who - although not consistently left-wing - is very much in touch with the opinions of ordinary working class people in his constituency which is an ex-mining area crammed with the traditional Labour "core" vote.

Fifthly, it's dominated the news for two days, taking the momentum away from the Tories to make sure their conference bounce stays limited and the Tories haven't been able to come up with an attack line that works against it.

Sixthly, together with the attack on the Tories from BA it makes them look lightweight and like they don't know what they're doing (which is true).

Finally, the rest of the reshuffle looks good. I'm glad that Margaret Beckett has been brought back - she's a reassuring presence. And although I'm no fan of Byrne or Flint, it doesn't look as if the positions they're in can do too much damage - less so than the ones they left, I would argue (regardless of the supposed hierarchy of cabinet positions). And of course Digby Jones and Ruth Kelly are gone.

So can someone please explain how either from a left-wing or right-wing Labour supporter's view, this reshuffle is not well-judged and to be welcomed?

2:09 pm, October 05, 2008

 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Well anon that makes two of us - The difference being I am well identifiable - You are not.

No doubt Rich or some of his Friends from storm front acting as trolls.

GW

3:53 pm, October 05, 2008

 
Blogger Shamik said...

It's good news only if it leads to Brown getting the boot. Mandelson will now be able to rally the Blairites more effectively and ensure the Prime Minister is turfed out before Christmas.

From Brown's point of view, it is a catastrophic error, pissing off the far-Left, the so-called "soft"-Left and his very own hard-core Brownites.

The sooner he's kicked into the gutter the better. Cameron can't believe his luck...

7:37 pm, October 05, 2008

 
Anonymous Ted Harvey said...

tim f you seemed to have missed the whole point of the overwhelming reaction here and elsewhere to the Mandelson gamble at the heart of this so-called reshuffle. I liked Andrew Rawnsley's take in todays Observer on what he called Labour wildest ploy yet:

"Lord Mandelson (of Hartlepool? Of the Dome? Of Transylvania?)."

The painful bit is that any one of those titles would tell your a lot about Mandelson and his baleful relationship with, and true contribution to, Labour.

9:54 pm, October 05, 2008

 
Blogger Mark Still News said...

Who is going to accept 9 bob notes?

10:28 pm, October 05, 2008

 
Anonymous tim f said...

"tim f you seemed to have missed the whole point of the overwhelming reaction here and elsewhere to the Mandelson gamble at the heart of this so-called reshuffle."

Well tell me what the point is, then. What is the likely bad outcome of reinstalling Mandelson? Unless you think he's going to implode or attract some kind of scandal I genuinely can't see it. And I don't think he will do either of those.

5:42 am, October 06, 2008

 
Anonymous Dirty Euro said...

He is half jewish and gay. So no wonder tories hate him.

10:13 am, October 06, 2008

 
Anonymous Alexander said...

Mature reponse dirty euro - especially as 6 of the Tory concillors in Hackney are Jewish and one is gay.

11:07 am, October 06, 2008

 
Anonymous Ted Harvey said...

Tim f:

“Well tell me what the point is, then. What is the likely bad outcome of reinstalling Mandelson?”

If you haven’t already got it I’m not going to spend a lot of effort trying to re-say it all, but on a final note you could start by just re-reading my posting i.e. the bits:

"It’s a hugely negative own score, with the electorate reminded (and this mornings media making sure of it) of Lord Sleeze and Prince of Darkness."

And

"Brown has brought back to the Cabinet a New Labourite who celebrated in saying that Labour was ‘very comfortable about people getting filthy rich’ – just at the point of huge anger and anxiety among the voters over fat cats and market failure to deliver."

And

"If Mandelson’s return were all down to Brown it would anyway represent yet another sorry illustration of his faulted decision-making and lack of determination. First he ‘signals’ and signs that he is going one way and then he dithers, and then he comes up with a decision that is a bit of this and a bit of that."

But, somehow, I suspect you will still not get it :)

7:40 pm, October 06, 2008

 
Anonymous Rich said...

Brown is on his last legs and this is an attempt to bring a heavy weight into a very light weight cabinet.

I'm not sure whether you can trust a man like Mandelson. He is out for himself and will take on just about every opportunity as long as it comes with money and power.

This is the problem with the whole labour party, there is a lack of ministers who relate to the people they represent. People often pick on the likes of Cameron and Boris but I honestly think Mandelson is a far bigger toff and even worse a complete snob.

Well at least we get the opportunity to kick Labour out in 2010.

8:12 pm, October 06, 2008

 
Blogger Ravi Gopaul said...

Ted and Luke, the one person that seemed to be pleased at Murphy's appointment was George Galloway.

In his piece in the Labour paper "The Daily Record" he said when he first heard of him he was a trot (who like other former commies moved to the right during the rise of New Labour).

Despite sharing little with Jim's politics he said that Murphy was an excellent campaigner and seems to agree with Luke's analysis regarding taking the fight to the SNP.

I still think appointing him will not pay dividends but we wait and see.

As for Peter's reappointment to government, I'm sure good Ole Barry Manilow would have something to say about that!!!

PS- To "Dirty Euro" (unless he is his doppellganger), the Conservative Party is many things (and normally I would be the last person to rise to its defence), but being intrinsitcally antisemitic is not one of them. There are many promenient Jewish people in the party, Michael Howard, Malcom Rifind are the ones that come to mind. And historically they had Disraeli, who was their leader and PM.

11:15 am, October 07, 2008

 
Blogger Duncan Hall said...

Wasn't Jim a Stalinist?

I find Scottish politics very confusing, but I seem to remember him being introduced to me as such back in the early 90s.

1:23 pm, October 07, 2008

 
Blogger Luke Akehurst said...

Jim certainly wasn't a Trot.

He lived in South Africa for much of his childhood hence when he was younger I think he had a rather idealised view of orthodox Communism because of the positive role of the SACP as part of the triple alliance with the ANC and COSATU. Like Denis Healey and Peter Mandelson, he's got over it.

He was the "left" candidate for NOLS nomination for NUS President against Dermot Kehoe, who was the perceived moderniser.

Ted Harvey's attack on Jim is a bit odd as his political power base in SOLS was working class Glasgow FE students + Strathclyde Uni - i.e. West Coast Catholics versus the mainly middle-class English or East Coast Blairites from the non-NUS affiliated ancient universities.

3:53 pm, October 07, 2008

 
Anonymous Ted Harvey said...

Luke maybe you found my 'attack' on Jim Murphy was 'a bit odd' as you describe it, because it was not an attack. I respect and rather admire Jim Murphy as a politican (but definately not his politics).

I was discounting your suggestion that he was the answer to the SNP.

By the by, if Jim were to invite me up for a coffee in his posh constituency I would definately go - he would be good stimulating company and I rarely have cause to venture into such locales :)

8:26 pm, October 07, 2008

 

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