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Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Self Liquidating Party

Back in Stokie and pleased to be back in the fray. After all, there's only so much sun, sand and sangria a chap can take!

Guido - political morons often mislabel him "a Tory"Tory bloggers like Iain Dale are being surprisingly restrained in their post-Crewe analysis, suggesting that Labour needs to effect the transition from Gordon Brown to a new leader in a cautious and measured way if the Labour Party is not to suffer badly at the next General Election. There are plenty of wind-up merchants out there, of course, and I did laugh especially loudly when I read the fantasy scenarios put about by non-aligned libertarian Guido, who argued that Labour will "lose catastrophically" and "the party could swing to the left after a general election to Cruddas or McDonnell - condemning them to decades of opposition."

Now I'm not complacent about the possibility of us losing badly. Obviously a political half-wit can see that we won't lose "catastrophically", but then Guido doesn't believe that either. Like my impersonator, he just likes to make fatuous arguments for the hell of it. Some people are simply PR mad!

Barrack Obama - "Change We Can Believe In"I think there's a real risk of a left-wing putsch if we don't get our act together and the second part of Guido's prediction could definitely be possible, because both of the left-wing MPs he suggests as possible leaders are relatively safe even under a disaster scenario - Jon Cruddas has a majority of 7,605 votes (188th largest in parliament) and in any event is extremely popular amongst that section of the electorate most likely to desert Labour, while John McDonnell has a massive majority of 10,847 votes, making him the 87th safest MP in the House. Both of these contenders would require a swing far greater than occurred in Crewe in order to dislodge them - in the case of Cruddas nearly 50% and for McDonnell over 60%. The hard left know this, but I must confess that in their reactions so far I cannot detect any narrow sectarian reaction or attempt to get factional advantage from the Party's current troubles - they are just as horrified by the prospect of a Tory victory as I am, and know there will be no winners inside the Labour Party if we head into another long period in opposition.

Bill Rammell - a safe pair of handsIt's clear what the Party needs to do right now. Gordon must reshuffle the Cabinet to get rid of the less successful and less popular faces and introduce some new blood.

Regular readers will know that the cabinet minister I'd like to see leading the regeneration of Party fortunes on behalf of Gordon is Hazel Blears, MP for Salford. But she came bottom of the poll in the recent Deputy Leadership contest and controversies such as Hope Hospital, Bangladeshi sweatshop workers and collapsing offices being a sign from above have effectively sealed her fate.

Current cabinet ministers I think Gordon should retain include John Hutton, Jack Straw, Ed Balls, John Denham, Andy Burnham and Geoff Hoon. And as candidates for promotion to the Cabinet I suggest ardent and unwavering loyalists Bill Rammell (Harlow), Claire Ward (Watford), Laura Moffatt (Crawley), Celia Barlow (Hove), Martin Linton (Battersea), Phyllis Starkey (Milton Keynes SW), plus Howard Stoate (Dartford) and Islington's Emily Thornberry (despite the email farrago!).

With the exception of Trident replacement, on which Stoate wavered and Thornberry voted against, all of these MPs represent the kind of sensible, centrist political position within the Labour Party to which I subscribe. With a team like that, we'll have absolutely nothing to worry about after the next General Election. Based on the swing in the Crewe and Nantwich by-election, the entire Cabinet will be wiped out, leaving Gordon, with the 26th largest majority in the House, free to get on with the important business of running the country.

1 comment:

Antonia Fitzwalter said...

It all rather reminds me of a radio spoof of The Archers by Tony Hancock I heard many years ago. In "The Bowmans", everyone in the village marches angrily across a field, waving pitchforks at him. But - satirising the dramatic write-outs of actors in those days - Hancock is fortuitously saved when the entire cast falls down a mine shaft. I think that's where the Labour Cabinet is heading.