Gordon Must Go?

It was distinctly odd that a “Brown must go” movement was sparked by the annoucement of Jacqui Smith quitting the cabinet and a few others retiring from the Commons. . On the face of it, Smith’s departure can only strengthen the government, not weaken it further; the job of Home Secretary was clearly beyond her, leaving bath plugs and porn videos aside. The other quiitters wanted to get their notice in quick, to avoid the impression of being sacked over expenses. But in the spasm of panic that swept Westminster within minutes of her news, it was as if her departure was a cue for a coup, coming at the worst possible time for any government, 48 hours before an election As a tactic, it resembles the coup of the Brownites which persuaded Tony Blair to see the writing on the wall. Ironically the leader of that mini- coup of the juniors way back in 2006 Tom Watson, is among those whose departure from government was leaked yesterday. If the Blairites are getting their own back at last, it really is implosion, given the dire straits Labour is in. I see Nick Robinson also scents a possible conspiracy. And yet – what coup? Nobody has emerged to lead it. Whether this turns out to be more than a spasm will become clearer after Thursday’s poll – or maybe, just maybe, just before it. Meanwhile the Guardian, the nearest the press comes to a Brown supporter apart from the Mirror, has crossed a Rubicon.

GUARDIAN EDITORIAL

“The tragedy for Mr Brown and his party is that his chance to change it has gone. The truth is that there is no vision from him, no plan, no argument for the future and no support. The public see it. His party sees it. The cabinet must see it too, although they are not yet bold enough to say so. He is only secure in the economic comfort zone he built up as chancellor, and in the company of his closest allies, such as Ed Balls, now being tipped as chancellor. The prime minister shines at the IMF or the G20, but the job involves much more than that. The blunt reality is that, even if he set out a grand programme of reform now, his association with it would doom its prospects. Proportional representation would transform parliament, but if Mr Brown put a referendum on the ballot, it would be defeated because he backed it..”

That sinewy Blairite John Rentoul says with no great enthusiasm: I still think, though, that what we are witnessing is the pre-convulsion that will depose Brown, rather than the beginnings of the coup itself. I suppose that Alan Johnson – for it is most likely to be him – could say that he needs nine months to set out his stall of renewal and cheerful one-liners. (He came up with another good one last weekend, calling David Cameron and Nick Clegg the “self-righteous brothers”.) But I don’t think that would cut much ice with the tricoteuses of the talent-show democracy that are demanding instant gratification.

Whoever takes over from Brown would have to promise to go to the country within six months .

  • Itwas SammyMcNally whatdoneit

    Dont see the logic of “Whoever takes over from Brown would have to promise to go to the country within six months ”

    Whoever takes over – and hopefully that will be straight after the Euros, presuming the polls are accurate, should hold out for the MAXIMUM time before a general election to get whatever improved image/policies/spin they have in place.

    The reality may be that the prime ministerial contenders may well think the next election is lost and bide their time until after the general election to avoid getting the blame.

  • The Impartial Observer

    Wasn’t it Conor Cruise O’Brien who said that he would not believe that Charlie Haughey had been deposed until he saw him “at the crossroads staked through the heart and smothered in garlic?” So it is with Brown, Labour are traditionally hopeless at regicide, unlike The Tories Lib Dems or FF. I think Brown will manage to cling on like a malignant limpet until May 6th next year when he’ll lead Labour to a defeat which will make 1997 look like a drive by shooting. I reckon BIFFO will be out long before Brown.

  • The Daily Mirrow says

    “There is now a real possibility that a story which began in March with Jacqui Smith’s husband watching a couple of porn movies will end with the collapse of a government.”
    http://www.mirror.co.uk/news/top-stories/2009/06/03/gordon-brown-in-crisis-as-home-secretary-and-two-ministers-to-quit-115875-21410266/
    This is pretty strong stuff.

    If there is a coup, there has to be an election within the Labour Party. The scenario would therefore be Brown to step down – Labour leadership election over (say) an 8 week period followed by a General Election in October.

    We could be about to see one of the longest General Election campaigns in history.

  • The Impartial Observer

    Hazel Blears has just resigned!

    The tanks are rolling!!!

  • DC

    Good riddence, hope she gets debarred from standing.

    Didn’t I say the Statue of Liberty is kaput.

  • sj1

    The end of the week will see Brown gone. I bet blair is laughing up his sleeve.

  • oracle

    Are the DUP and Labour having a competition as to see which one can have the highest number of resignations in a week???

  • DC

    Of course I would wager too that after an atrocious election the PLP will ensure that no one comes forward as replacements thus making Brown stepdown, if he refuses.

    Check your odds at the Bookies for an election this year as you might still get good returns, well worth a flutter given the circumstances…

  • Itwas SammyMcNally whatdoneit

    sj1,

    re. the end of the week will see Brown gone. I bet blair is laughing up his sleeve.

    That is the last thing PoshBoyDC wants.

    The Impartial Observer,

    re. Tanks. Tallyho chaps – you can imagine the squirearchy lowering their drawbridges as we speak.

  • sj1

    sj1,

    re. the end of the week will see Brown gone. I bet blair is laughing up his sleeve.

    That is the last thing PoshBoyDC wants.

    Why not? If Brown goes it doesn’t mean an election, it means they’ll catapult someone else in and this shows Labour in disarray, so enlighten me sammy as to why he wouldn’t want it?

  • New Blue

    Sammy

    I think the last thing that 90% of the current MP’s want now is an election. Much better to wait until next year when the latest reality TV trend will have distracted the electorate away from expenses issues.

    I think Brown will hang on, let’s face it there are very few candidates who would be keen to take on the position of LabourPrime Minister at the moment.

  • DC

    Remember, the last election was 2005 during which Labour put it to the people as: forward, not back. After the crash we have gone back, Brown should have had a vision back in 2007, he bottled that election call then.

    So that 2005 manifesto is well past its sell buy date, if there is a new leader election over the summer a new leader will have about 2 months to pull something together. I would be amazed if the public and press allowed Labour the full 9 months, regardless.

    There needs to be a new manifesto, new MPs and election, as just like the manifesto the MPs are well past their sell buy date and have gone bad, they stink!

  • DC

    *Sell-by.

    All this fly-posting in work, my mind’s gone febrile…

    Election this year, election this year…..malfunction…election…malfunction 😉

  • Itwas SammyMcNally whatdoneit

    sj1,

    well to put it at its kindest El Gordo is not an electoral asset almost ANYONE at the moment would be more threat to the Tories.

    The majority of people dont want an election and PosbBoyDC sounds quite (spoiled) childlike with his I must,I must, I simply must have an election NOW or I shall be very, very upset – as if he always had everything he has always wanted handed to him on a plate – which may not be the case – but thats the way he’s starting to sound.

    A new leader probably wont save Labour’s arse but it might make the Tories earn their living in opposition instead of simply benefitting from the good fortune to be in the right place at the right time.

  • Dave

    If a push does come against Brown (and who would want the job?), then he always has the Doomsday option of threatening the insurgents with an immediate general election. That should do the trick.

  • DC

    Dave it isn’t a push, there’s no pull.

  • sj1

    mmy that may be so, but you’re moving the goal posts.

    re. the end of the week will see Brown gone. I bet blair is laughing up his sleeve.

    That is the last thing PoshBoyDC wants.

    Why would PBDC not want Brown gone? Unless you are saying if Brown going by the end of the week = an election. It doesn’t.

  • Itwas SammyMcNally whatdoneit

    El Gordo may have a couple of only-use-in-an-emergency-handgrenades in his pocket – one is electoral reform – coupled with a deal with the Libdems and the other is Europe if he can get that on the agenda the moat-cleaners will point their recently ‘rolling’ tanks at each other.

  • sj1

    The majority of people dont want an election

    Sammy, I think most people do want an election now, but those that are inside the westminister village don’t, I think there is a distinction there, but we don’t really know as no poll on the subject has been done, but the public are angry enough to want one.

    I agree with you, a new leader won’t save labour, but neither will a few emergency handgrenades. It’ll be very interesting to see if they can salvage anything from this.

  • DC

    Sammy it’s over for Brown, deal with it.

  • Itwas SammyMcNally whatdoneit

    sj1,

    re. Why would PBDC not want Brown gone?

    Becuase he is an electoral asset to the Tories.

    re. I think most people do want an election now

    Recent Torygraph poll showed majority dont want an election now.

  • kensei

    Who’d want it though? Anyone who takes up the reins will be beat, and very badly at that. It might be best for Brown to take the hit and then start afresh.

  • DC

    Sammy, deal with it.

    The Indo, the Guardian, his cabinet have all moved against him, with an election tomorrow!!! There will be no one in his fabour except Balls.

    And that is Balls!!

    If Brown goes I will be amazed if a new leader is allowed till the end of the year to go to the polls.

    Not to mention the fact that the activists are being burnt on the streets like matchsticks while Brown plays fantasy government with cabinet members who have made phantom expense claims etc.

  • Itwas SammyMcNally whatdoneit

    DC,

    re. Dealing with the demise of El Gordo

    thats not what PBDC wants, but for me, nice chap he may be, but take him away and throw him in the Tory moat if you wish. (You gotta just love that moat story).

  • sj1

    re. Why would PBDC not want Brown gone?

    Becuase he is an electoral asset to the Tories.

    Sammy the labour party as it is now is a tory’s wet dream, theres just so much wreckage there it would be hard to chose who is the biggest asset to the tories….

    Recent Torygraph poll showed majority dont want an election now.

    Don’t know how recent, I didn’t see it, hardly matters as labour disintegrates in front of our eyes that could change pretty rapidly..

  • Itwas SammyMcNally whatdoneit

    re. tory’s wet dream

    talking of such matters there is a bit of premature celebration going on here. The best thing for Labour is to ditch El Gordo and let PBDC squeal for an election whilst tidying up parliament and of course keep mentioning the word moat.

    Labour should then have a referendum on electoral reform and we will see then how much PBDC wants reform and change – or simply just power.

  • Dave

    Sammy just peeved because he can’t have a moat around his terraced council house. 😉

  • sj1

    The best thing for Labour is to ditch El Gordo

    They have no choice Sammy, Blears has effectively triggered a leadership contest.

    let PBDC squeal for an election

    Because no one in Westministers village wants one, they all feel personally villified. There are local elections as well as European elections tomorrow, ought to be interesting and then we’ll know whether or not

    re. tory’s wet dream

    talking of such matters there is a bit of premature celebration going on here

  • Latest news is that labour backbenchers have circulated a letter to Labour PLP members seeking support by email for Brown to resign

    http://www.labourlist.org/backbencher_letter_gordon_brown_to_resign