Saturday, August 02, 2008


Yet Another Guardian Article Marks a Watershed has Passed

For several years Polly Toynbee has been pilloried as an uber-loyal Labour apologist, regularly ridiculed and abused by the awful brainless and bile-filled people who comment on the rightwing blogs of Iain Dale and Guido Fawkes. For the last few weeks she has valiantly tried to find excuses for Gordon and offer ways out of his predicament to the extent that she made me feel a little guilty for indulging my own defeatism on the subject of our hapless Labour PM. But it seems that Wednesday Miliband article provided an epiphany of sorts for her: 'Suddenly everything changed'. Like Jackie Ashley a few days back, she seems now has joined the 'Gordon Must Go' group of loyalists.

In her piece today she refers to it being 'all over for the old leader'; that the anticipated Cabinet personnel changes will the 'reshuffle of death'; and on the economic recovery plan asks 'will anyone listen now'? According to her:

Eight or nine cabinet ministers are in theory ready to knock on Brown's door, supported by a fleet of junior ministers and more than enough MPs to trigger a challenge...

She recognises that what is still lacking is the political will as otherwise doomed Labour MPs look for excuses to cling on to their seats 'until the last hour of the last day!' Yet, writes Polly,

'it was exactly that dejected fatalism David Miliband punctured with his adrenaline shot of optimism. Suddenly, winning looked possible.

I share her relief that someone-like Collingwood yesterday my cricket oriented mind interjects- has stood up to the plate and expressed some self belief. But others- like that wise old Labour blogger, Bob Piper, dismisses such talk of a contest as 'garbage' and 'crap'. He is right that there are formidable rational obstacles to such a contest: the summer break which scatters potential plotters; the divisive effect of such a contest; the probable need to hold an election very soon after it; the current bankruptcy of the party; and the untested nature of the emergent candidate.

Reason says Bob is probably right, but, even if it is fuelled by lashings of unreason, the momentum behind such a move is growing and sometimes, as in cricket, unlikely escapes from disaster follow from determined acts of leadership. It remains to be seen if Miliband performed one on 29th July. Bagohot in the Economist points out that Miliband might be thinking it's better to sustain a forgivable defeat now and hope to come back in, say, 2015 rather than carry on to 'Arma-Gordon' as is presently the case. He concludes:

'Mr Brown has only an evens chance of leading Labour into the next election.'

The only thing is, Polly's saying the same things about how Miliband will be the Party saviour that she said about Brown this time last year.

Let's face it. Unless "something turns up" or Cameron's frontbench are charged with gang rape, Labour are doomed at the next election - and there's no-one on the Labour front benches capable of much better then the present incumbent. I can't stand her, but Harriet might actually be the next best bet.

The good news for Labour is that people voted for them because they actually had hope in them in 1997 - hence the disappointment and anger now. The coming Labour disaster will be because of that hatred and anger - not because of illusions about a Cameron administration. There won't eb that many 'a new future with Cameron voters'. It'll be a 'give Labour a kicking' vote.
Snowflake has a rather good post explaining how difficult it is to get shot of a Labour leader. If he doesn't resign he'll be there for the next election...
Mrs Toynbee has been calling for the PM to go for ages. She is wrong We are up to 29% in mori. Not bad considering all the difficult issues.
The tories did not recover for 97 because of infighting i do not think Blair's memo is a good sign. Surely you can see most of the infighting is caused by blair's vindictive desire to get back at the presenter leader for taking his office. The media should stop listneing to him.
I fear you may be right about Gordon if he doesn't resign. Odds must be against it but, like Vaughan, there must be a limit to what anyone can take in terms of ridicule and criticism.
Agree it'll be the government which will ose the next election but after a decade that's not too surprising in a democracy. I suspect Cameron will be working hard on new policies to unfold over the next two years too. At the vedry least he's decontaminated the Conserrvative brand.
The PM is mentally strong. He recovred form the loss of an eye and from the death of a child. He can take it. If you can take it you should not go for the job anyway.
You're all doomed, doomed!
She gets pilloried on the Guardian. Did you fail to notice that or are you just being your usual biased self.
I never conceal my allegiances in the same way you do your name. She does occasionally gat some flak in the Guardian but that just goes to show how open and liberal the blessed organ is. She gets lots more flak from tossers in the rightwing press though and that was my main point.
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