Wednesday, November 15, 2006
Rebels could Stymie Brown's Premiership
The piece by declared leadership hopeful(pictured), John McDonnell MP, in the Guardian today begins with the lapidary statement- 'Governments running out of steam do not shape events, they react to them.'. He goes on to detail his own Queens Speech wish list of measures which would make the dour Chancellor even gloomier as he anticipates how his time in Number 10 might consist of reacting to events caused by his party's dissenting leftwing. We learn from my fellow political scientists Phil Cowley and Mark Stuart today a number of things about rebellions in the PLP. Firstly that at 28 percent of votes in the Commons from May 2005 until now Labour MPs have clocked up a record percentage of rebellions, with McDonnell, on 63, as champion rebel.
We also learn that the majority of such rebellions have been by the same core group which has been cocking a snook at Blair since the early days of New Labour. Some predicted - though not these cleverly prescient authors- that the smaller post 2005 majority would act a brake on dissent- just as it did when Wilson nursed his 1964 majority of 6 through until the 1966 election. It seems that once learnt, the habit of rebellion becomes a habit which, like smoking or heroin, is desperately hard to lose .
It is highly unlikely to fade away under a Brown premiership. McDonnell, the working class (but university educated) chairman of the Campaign Group and the Labour Representation Committee (formed in 2004 and now boasting 800 members), presents a manifesto which would cause a committee room full of whips months of sleepless nights. After waiting ten long years to achieve the pinnacle of his ambition, poor Gordon is going to inherit a bed of nails designed by the Hayes and Harlington MP and his confreres which will limit his chances of adding to the 114,366 pages of legislation passed by his neighbour since 1997.
And if he cannot make his mark as PM is he likely to lead his divided party to victory in 2009? He must be praying McDonnell fails to garner the 44 signatures needed to validate his leadership bid; it wouldn't stop the rebellions but it would prevent the dawn of his reign being clouded by a blizzard of media publicity for leftwing ideas.
Our new PM could then be presented both as having seen off the loonie left but also as lefter than his predecessor. If I were a betting type my money would be on him to win in 2009 with a larger-than-Wilson-ever-got sized majority...
Almeria Villas Spain and Almeria property
Confused with all the publicity and advertising surrounding Almeria Property? Prefer some refreshing honesty? .......then welcome to Almeria Villas Spain , a family run company where our 20 years experience of living and working in Spain combine to bring you a hand picked selection of Almeria property for sale including villas, townhouses and apartments at prices that other companies find difficult to beat.
Links to this post: