Friday, May 23, 2008


Crewe Voters Call Time on Gordon

Returning from a rather damp visit to the centre of Western European culture, I find Crewe, which is anything but, at the centre of political interest. Yet another disaster for Labour, but in what particular ways?

1. The massive swing will increase pressure on Brown to go before the election. I note that Jenni Russell, a perfectly sensible Guardian journalist, was calling for him to go as soon as posible only yesterday. Expect the chorus to rise in intensity.

2. More old friends will fall by the wayside. I note that Charlie Falconer, admittedly in outer darkness since last June, shafted the Constitutional Renewal Bill and other of Gordon's works yesterday in the FT. I also note blogger Mike Ion, suggested Alan Milburn might be prepared to run against Gordon before the next election. Expect much more of same.

3. More pressure will focus on Labour's preparedness for an election. I note today that Labour is very heavily in debt, compared to the Tories' buoyant finances, and that the workers party will have to rely on those politically embarrassing unions to fund them for the next election.

4. The 'toff-attack' ploy used by Labour in the by-election bombed pathetically. I suspect it was not the reason why the vote was lost but it certainly did not help. If, as we are told, it was a dry run for how to take on Cameron in the election, Labour planners will be gloomily contemplating their drawing boards this morning.

5. The reason why Labour lost, I fear to say, is that voters have now had enough. We have been inching our way towards the Major analogy for months now: Crewe indicates that it has at last fully arrived. Once this stage has been reached, I suspect it means the end of Brown's hopes for a second term. Nick Robinson this morning noted that no prime minister has ever come back to win after suffering such a sustained collapse in personal standing.

Does this mean Labour will ose the next election? One would be a fool to say that it looks like anything else at the present stage. Gordon's role is akin to a Shakespearean tragedy. All that ambition, all that plotting, all that desperate, angry energy to displace Blair and seize the crown, and he's ended up with a fag-end premiership, apparently ending in tired failure after less than a year. All the doors have been closing; I think he has only until the autumn conference to turn it around.

The party just doesn’t get it! It has perpetuated failed Thatcherite and free-market policies when radical change should have been introduced. As a result it has continued where the Tories left off and ‘shafted’ its own support. Everything wrong in this country stems from the 1980s. This government was given a mandate for change three times, with overwhelming parliamentary majorities, and it has ‘blown it’. The only thing it has truly achieved is undermining our national identity by uncontrolled immigration. It then has the cheek to parachute in a candidate at Crewe to play on the sentiments and traditions of its support. Tamsin Dunwoodie may be a descendant of Labour movement aristocracy but the days of unswerving loyalty to the party are over. The basis of the party’s support comes from what it was and what it stood for, not from what it is now. It is completely out of touch from the requirements of the people. It no-longer deserves our support. The bitter irony though is that its failings are driving the support of a party which will accelerate the country’s downward spiral.
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