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, January 06, 2010

How bizzare

I like Geoff Hoon and think he was a great Minister but have to say I have always found Pat Hewitt deeply irritating and patronising.

I can't see their joint letter calling for a leadership ballot as anything less than bizarre, weirdly timed and destructive.

Maybe the PLP are still agitated about the issue of Gordon's leadership.

The wider party isn't though and nor are Labour voters. For most Labour people this issue was settled by the reaction to the June ministerial resignations.

Out in the grassroots we have been getting on with fighting a General Election campaign. And with some success. Maybe Geoff and Pat don't read opinion polls and haven't seen us eroding the Tory lead. Maybe they don't look at council or parliamentary by-election results and haven't seen the Labour landslide in Glasgow North East or the string of council wins in December. Maybe they don't watch TV and didn't see Labour dissecting the Tory spending plans on Monday.

As it is this is another slap in the face for hard-working Labour activists from MPs who seem wrapped up in the plotting and gossiping of the Westminster hot house when they should be out selling Labour to ordinary voters. I assume the PLP plotters think they can oust Gordon then bounce in another candidate without ordinary party members and trade unionists getting a vote, seeing as that process takes months.

To propose a leadership ballot without naming a replacement candidate is politics at its most negative.

If the PLP carry on behaving like this they are just repeating the Tory behaviour of 1992 to 1997. And they will deserve a similar result.


Anonymous Alan Laing said...

Completely agree.

I hope members across the country email both of them and tell them what they think.

Shameful behaviour by two has-beens. And after a barn-storming PMQs by Gordon.

Just as well they're standing down. I hope that the NEC move to force full reselections on any MPs who support this, or any other nonsense.

1:04 pm, January 06, 2010

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Didn't your oncologist point out the recurring shadow on the corner of your cat scan?

It's Banquo's bleedin' ghost or the big issue of that useless talentless bully whose absence from your blog comment only serves to emphasise his relevance to Labour's electoral chances.

There's only one response to a bully: punch the fuck out of him.
Let MPs vote.

1:31 pm, January 06, 2010

Blogger Jimmy said...

The most annoying aspect is the call for a secret ballot, the implication being that there may be a majority who want to ditch the PM but are too spineless to say so. I'd like to see someone ask them why they believe ordinary members have no right to know if their MP is undermining their efforts. Let them go around with a petition and see if they can get a majority of MPs to sign it, if not STFU.

1:35 pm, January 06, 2010

Blogger Jessica Asato said...

Totally agree with you Luke.

1:35 pm, January 06, 2010

Blogger Gus Baker said...

Not used to agreeing with you but right on the money here.

1:50 pm, January 06, 2010

Anonymous ben said...

the continued leadership of a compulsive fuck up is a slap in the face for labour activists, and im one of em, we shouldnt have to deal with cock ups like the gurkhas and be left near answerless over afghanistan

i could go on, but to assume unanimity in the party over browns leadership is seriously misjudged, even more so in the PLP where theres a clear problem with the man

2:05 pm, January 06, 2010

OpenID quietzapple said...

If the Chief Whip can say he's only received 20 such requests then it is dead and buried, Thank God!

If its 30 I am not sure.

Unity only policy today, NO recriminations.


2:09 pm, January 06, 2010

Anonymous Julian Ware-Lane said...

I thought Hewitt and Hoon were effective ministers, and I find their behaviour puzzling. For me there should have been a proper leadership contest when Tony Blair stood down. There wasn't, and for me this has undermined the credibility of every attempted coup since.

I am an unashamed loyalist (who occasionally reserves the right to disagree) who thinks that aside from putting us in the headlines these coups are an unnecessary distraction.

2:50 pm, January 06, 2010

Anonymous G. Brown, SW1 said...

The fightback starts here!

2:55 pm, January 06, 2010

Blogger Jackson Jeffrey Jackson said...

Not much of a Brown fan but if there's anything worse than him in charge it's the thought of any of the cabinet replacing him.

Or, indeed, the thought of leaving the choice of leader up to the PLP (in secret or not). Urgh.

4:24 pm, January 06, 2010

Anonymous Anonymous said...

You can't bounce a party and a nation into choosing two leaders without a say.

I think the actions of Hoon, Hewitt and Blears last year are a total disgrace - at least these two haven't done it the day before an election.

Have they ever heard of the electoral college?

5:10 pm, January 06, 2010

Anonymous Anonymous said...

So, the kamikaze faction in New Labour (if that's not tautologous) is alive and throwing their toys out of the pram

5:12 pm, January 06, 2010

Blogger E10 Rifle said...

"I assume the PLP plotters think they can oust Gordon then bounce in another candidate without ordinary party members and trade unionists getting a vote."

Well that was how Gordon got the gig himself in 2007, so live by the sword...

But flippancy aside, I agree with you Luke. Vain, self-aggrandising and parochial, all this.

5:31 pm, January 06, 2010

Anonymous red star over london said...

I hope that they have done their home work – a botched job will not help any of us.

There is a genuine difference of opinion as to whether a new leader is a game changer.

What gets me is the ostridge tendency in the PLP – those who wish the problem would go away or do not care as they are not re standing.

6:27 pm, January 06, 2010

Anonymous Skippy said...

Patricia Hewitt one of the richest MP's claimed £920 in leagl fees when moving home. She has also cashed in her time as Health Sec with some tasty consultancies.

She is paid between £45,000and £50,000 a year as a consultant to the Boots chain of pharmacies, according to the House of Commons Register of Members' Interests.

She also pockets between £55,000 and £60,000 as an adviser to Cinven, which paid £1.4billion for Bupa's UK hospitals and runs 25 private care facilities in Britain.

Good ridance and pi$$ off back to Australia

9:47 am, January 07, 2010

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hoon the buffoon ' good minister' - you're having a laugh! He was a disastrous defence secretary, biggin up the WMD to stage an illegal war in Iraq. What a bunch of useless clowns - Blairite ministers you are still loyal to!

12:07 pm, January 07, 2010

Blogger Merseymike said...

Buff-Hoon was , along with Purnell and Hutton, one of the reasons not to vote Labour. An unmitigated disaster.

You have a bit of a problem with middle-class women , don't you, Luke?

That said, I'm suspicious of the putsch and the motivations of those pursuing it

6:48 pm, January 07, 2010

Anonymous Anon E Mouse said...

If members of the PLP are too spineless to get rid of this unelected thug of a bully then the public will.

Brown will cost Labour the election - he's absolutely useless and if he can't convince 350 Labour Party members he's right for the job then 60 million voters in the country won't be either.

Julian you only support him because you want to be an MP - you're not fooling anyone dude!

11:22 pm, January 07, 2010

Blogger Red72 said...

Their behaviour is disgraceful. Not what is needed in an election year.

4:39 pm, January 09, 2010


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