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  • Senior ministers urged: tell battered PM it’s time to go

    by Leon
    26th July, 2008 at 6:55 pm    

    Brown Out?

    “The show is over”. That’s what someone (a seasoned political watcher) told me yesterday while we were talking about the recent by-election and the prospect of Brown remaining leader.

    I can’t help but agree; it’s time for the party to plan for a post Brown Labour party and possible huge losses at the next election; time for them to finally face up to the reality of their situation.

    The Guardian has a string of articles here, here, here, here and here (the last is where the following quote is from) worth reading:

    Discussions are underway at cabinet level on whether to seek an orderly resignation by Gordon Brown as prime minister, in the wake of the disastrous Labour defeat at the hands of a resurgent SNP in the Glasgow East byelection.

    Talks between cabinet ministers took place on the phone yesterday to coordinate a response to the defeat, with renewed pressure being placed on the chief whip, Geoff Hoon, and the justice secretary, Jack Straw, to urge Brown to stand aside. One source said: “The onus is now on Brown to prove that he should stay.”

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    21 Comments below   |  

    Reactions: Twitter, blogs

    1. Rumbold — on 26th July, 2008 at 8:35 pm  

      Who do you think should take over?

    2. El Cid — on 26th July, 2008 at 8:49 pm  

      He should stay until at least Christmas. The successor should not be tainted with the coming recession or near-recession. It’s Labour’s only hope.

      P.S. There is something wrong with the forced marriages thread. The video switches on automatically on my laptop every time I pass the site, which is very irritating. Or, in the case of my work computer, it freezes up.

    3. persephone — on 26th July, 2008 at 9:56 pm  

      can we do an on-line vote on this site as to likely candidates & winner - can this be set up??

    4. JuggyD — on 27th July, 2008 at 1:43 am  

      Famous Michael Heseltine quote about, which i can’t off hand at the moment, about the person who puts himself up first to take on Brown, never wins it.

      Most may view the challace, that Labour have lost, and why lead a party into a general election. But this time last year, the Conservatives were a mile behind, yet within a year look at the difference. Still a good time away from an election, it’s not too late for Labour, if they can change the leader, new set of reforms, new SPIN.

    5. davebones — on 27th July, 2008 at 4:03 am  

      Yeah Brown is gone. Totally sick of him. Everyone switches off when he speaks he is boring. Put out to grass.

    6. Andrew — on 27th July, 2008 at 4:15 am  

      Labour is still in with a chance if they ditch Brown, get a young, dynamic leader and do some sensible stuff very quickly - like a big cut in fuel duty. Then call the Election for May/June next year while he’s still fresh and before the economy gets even worse!

    7. Guano — on 27th July, 2008 at 3:42 pm  

      A big cut in fuel duty would not be sensible; it would be highly irresponsible. And who would this young, dynamic leader be?

    8. Leon — on 27th July, 2008 at 4:56 pm  

      Guano, that’s the critical question. There are few possibilities but are any really wanting to take on the throne and inherit this mess? I can’t think of anyone I’ve heard of coming up through the ranks who’d make an great future leader…

    9. JuggyD — on 28th July, 2008 at 1:50 am  

      Guano … let me guess, you don’t drive?

    10. Sunny — on 28th July, 2008 at 6:10 am  

      He’s not going anywhere. Not until the party conference in Sept anyway.

    11. douglas clark — on 28th July, 2008 at 8:50 am  

      Leon @ 8,

      Perhaps we should have a poll? Personally, I can’t think of a name to put forward. Which leaves Labour between a rock and a hard place, I think. Brown is a disaster, and a bloody Raith Rovers fan to boot, but frankly Labour haven’t got a better potential leader.

      Correct me if I am wrong.

    12. Refresh — on 28th July, 2008 at 11:10 am  

      There is this alternative headline - “A battered PM tells his senior ministers: Its time they went”.

      Everyone has been telling Brown to be bold, and do what Labour should really be doing. Work with Labour’s natural allies, work with the Unions, work with the working class, get back to progressive taxation.

      Hang the spin and hang the polls. Smite the rich and smite the media classes.

      Be bold, sack the pillocks.

      And indict Blair for war crimes.

    13. Leon — on 28th July, 2008 at 11:40 am  

      He’s not going anywhere. Not until the party conference in Sept anyway.

      Yep that’s my assessment also.

      Perhaps we should have a poll?

      Great idea but don’t really have the time at the mo to put one together…that aside when are you going to write another guest piece for us??

      And indict Blair for war crimes.

      If Brown or Labour ever did that I’d actually vote for them at every election for the rest of my life! Imagine the shock waves in the corridors of power (the world over) as TV screens around the globe flicker to life with images of Blair in the dock??

    14. Avi Cohen — on 28th July, 2008 at 11:45 am  

      The electorate were getting sick of Blair and Labour in general and Brown didn’t change course enough to bring the electorate back on board.

      Unless Labour itself is willing to change then a simple leadership change isn’t enough.

      I don’t think it is Brown’s fault but he needs to show people he is up to the task and so far he hasn’t done that. He needs to change the party from a Blairite course.

      Labour is where the Conservatives were after Thatcher. Att ghe time the Conservatives couldn’t let go of Thatcherism and it cost them dearly. Labour can’t seem to let go of Blair even though the country has and that is what is costing them.

      Brown is trying the same tired rhetoric about Security, Safe pair of hands etc.

      As regards candidates there aren’t any. Miliband possibly but unlikely. Alexander - not really.

    15. soru — on 28th July, 2008 at 12:56 pm  

      Brown Labour is in the same position as an ice dancer standing on one leg - stopped spinning, so fell over.

      Some positions are inherently unstable: trying to balance everything on a tiny fraction of the middle class in marginal constituencies is one of them. The cartoon draws itself, with Brown in a tutu and ‘Worcester Woman’ the tiny tip of the skate touching the ice.

      You can’t fix that by standing on the other leg instead, you need to move to a position where all limbs are firmly on the ground, nothing left dangling. Give everyone who should be supporting Labour at least one reason to do so, and nothing that prevents them from doing so.

    16. douglas clark — on 28th July, 2008 at 1:30 pm  

      Must say, Avi and Soru ought to expect calls from Labour Central Office. Each analysis is right on the button.

      Can I just say that Soru’s analysis seems to me about getting back to basics? It seems to me that Labour has been dragged, kicking and screaming, into a centre right position that is actually alien to it’s core constituents. Death by triangulation, if you like. And the problem then being, how do you drop these policies when you have lost the electorate?

      I have been surprised, let us say, how closely I have allied myself to the campaigns on Liberal Conspiracy. These ideas should not be foreign to the Labour Party, they ought to be it’s life blood. And yet left of centre folk like us are required to argue for them? It strikes me that, as a party, it has lost it’s soul.

      Avi is quite correct to highlight the politics of fear that Brown indulges in. It does neither him, nor his electoral chances, any good whatsoever.

    17. douglas clark — on 28th July, 2008 at 1:37 pm  


      Thanks for the invite. If I come up with something as stunning as VAT on fruit juice - my previously acclaimed piece (heh) - I’ll certainly let you know!

    18. El Cid — on 28th July, 2008 at 1:51 pm  

      the election will be won or lost on the economy (no shit sherlock!)
      and credibility lost is very difficult to regain.

      That said, I like your analogy a lot Soru and your reasoning.

    19. Leon — on 28th July, 2008 at 2:17 pm  

      Doug, please do have a think, you’re one of the most respected regulars on here by me and you have an interesting take on English politics. ;)

    20. Refresh — on 28th July, 2008 at 4:59 pm  

      This could look like Brown’s clawback plan:

      1. Windfall tax on energy companies.
      2. US company hired to mark SATS papers relieved of its duties.
      3. Obama and Brown to end war in Iraq.
      4. Brown to call for Guantanamo to be closed.
      5. Brown to call on Blair to explain what he’s achieved in the Middle East.
      5. Afghanistan policy to shift to more dialogue between the insurgents and Kharzai.
      6. Hazel Blears finally to be strapped to the ducking stool
      7. Daniel Pipes to be refused entry visa
      8. Ken Livingstone to be brought in as consultant to the general election team.
      9. Brown to demand value for money from PFI beneficiaries or contracts cancelled.
      10. Industry Regulators to be given a good hiding
      11. Govt. consultancy culture middle class beneficiaries to be audited against tougher targets
      12. Bankers and City folk to forfeit past bonuses by way of windfall taxes.
      13. Non-doms to explain source(s)of income, and where tax avoidance is proven to collect taxes for other countries.
      14. Cancel the plans for Mrs T’s state funeral.

      I could go on, but if Gordon Brown was to start on just those few items - he would at least be leaving behind a credible legacy for the Labour party. And who knows, he might even win.

    21. Guano — on 28th July, 2008 at 11:52 pm  

      15. Make a clear declaration that the UK Government will in future respect international law and the UN Charter.

      It ought to be self-evident but would appear to be a tricky one.

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