Wednesday, September 06, 2006

The pipsqueaks revolt

What a day. Yesterday the news channels were buzzing with talk of petitions and the turning of previously staunch Blairites. The speculation culminated late last night with the Sun going to print with its prediction that Blair would resign on the 31 May 2007. This followed leaks of a supposed blue print for his final months in charge whose aim was to ensure TB bows out with the crowd demanding more.

Should Blair see out his current predicament to continue into the new year, it seems incredible that those close to him could suggest a 31 May exit date. It is expected that Labour will suffer losses in both the Welsh Assembly and Scottish Parliamentary elections. Assuming Blair was to announce his departure on the date the Sun expects, he would have approximately two further months in the top job while the leadership contest plays out. Enough time to banish the memory of more losses and ensure he goes out on a high? I'm not convinced.

But what of today's capers. I'm not certain as to the motives of the seven involved, particularly given their positions in government. Blair, however, was quick to denounce Tom Watson, the junior defence minister, as "disloyal, discourteous and wrong". Watson and Co's leaking of their letter to Blair seems ill-judged; these party members are not going to be remembered as the men who did for Blair. Indeed Blair was just choosing the font for Watson's letter of dismissal when the renegade MP chose to save him the ink.

The seven are entitled to make representations to Blair. Undoubtedly, they chose the wrong method. Their actions are more damaging to the party than to Blair. It plays into the hands of 'A la carte' Dave. Cameron has already moved into hyperbole overdrive, exclaiming that the government is 'divided and in meltdown'. Cameron is mistaken, this will be no 'Black Wednesday' for Blair. Perhaps Cameron could be more sure of himself were he streaking ahead in the polls. But he knows his current lead in various and fatuous polls will be pegged back markedly when a new Labour leader is in place.

While I believe Blair should go I cite again reasons already elucidated on these pages. Electorates simply lose interest when one person has been there too long. It's likely that a July 2007 succession will leave the new leader around two years to prepare for a general election. Time enough. We'll (possibly) know more about Cameron by then. Even by next summer he may, to quote that odious bigmouth, Gordon Ramsey, have "grown some bollocks" and committed to cutting taxes (surely only a matter of time) and further reveal himself as the Old Etonian we know him to be. Modelling himself in the image of the very man he currently derides will see him one day reflect with horror. But perhaps not with as much anguish as Messers Mahmood, David, Lucas, Tami, Wright and Mole.


At 11:04 pm , Anonymous Percy Gorringe said...

Hear hear FC! Bit of a cock up with the Castro felicitations but you're on the money with this one.

Like you say, it's perfectly reasonable to want Blair to go soon and Brown to take over, but it's madness to try to force the issue in this bloody-minded way. We all know Blair's going so why risk open warfare for the sake of a few months? And given Brown's suspect appeal to the voters, a general election closer to his honeymoon period, which will be brief, is hardly a disaster for Labour or the country.

This has never been about the interests of the country anyway. There's a fair bit of disillusionment, certainly. There always is. But don't forget that this is the electorate that voted Blair in with a comfortable majority barely more than a year ago - those that felt strongly enough to vote at all, that is. And that was after Iraq.

This is all about Brownite malcontents, their unrealistic expectations of a Brown premiership, and their once simmering, now boiling, anger that their man isn't in charge yet.

If an ego-driven coup d'etat is the chosen medium for change, everyone loses. Brown inherits a divided party, Labour MPs lose their seats, and the country gets the Tories.

Might have gone a bit further than you did, FC, but what the hell... I'm full of righteous indignation!

At 1:04 pm , Anonymous Paul Sturrock said...

I just wonder who the government are going to wheel out onto Newsnight or any other politics programme to defend their policy on terrorism and its affect on relations on minoirty communities now that "I am only on this cause I am of ethnic descent" Mahmood has gone...

At 8:57 pm , Blogger Finnieston Crane said...

We truly are honoured here at the Pamphleteer. First Tom Cruise pays a visit then Paul Sturrock.

However, Paul I think you're being a little harsh there. It's true; Mahmood was, I believe, the only Muslim in the Labour party who didn't put his or her name to the open letter to the PM some weeks ago. Nor did he criticise the war in Iraq.

I'm certain he did so because he believed he was, rightly or wrongly, correct. Arguably, he risked much more with the stance he opted for.


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