Britain, gordon brown, Labour Party, Politics

Is there still something that would make Labour rid itself of Gordon?

Mike Smithson asks an interesting and legitimate question: what kind of result today in Crewe would mean that Gordon Brown will not lead Labour into the next general election?

What about coming more than twenty percentage points behind the Conservatives or coming third behind the LibDems? Can Brown really survive either or both these humiliations? No, but then again neither scenario is likely. Much more likely that Labour contain their defeat within single digits, and that the LibDems suffer the kind of squeeze suggested in recent polling.

In a way that’s Labour’s problem: having already installed a Leader and a PM without voting, they need a really loud and clear excuse for doing it again. The near certainty of losing the next general election would be one such excuse, but the public doesn’t really think that far in advance. So that doesn’t seem to be big enough. Boris Johnson was a loud enough excuse alright, but Labour did its best to downplay it, and they seem to have convinced themselves that they can live with that.

So now they have set the bar real high for the kind of circumstances that will justify ousting their leader: certain defeat won’t do; Boris won’t do; what must happen so that Labour find the courage to help themselves?

Britain, donorgate, Politics

Blairites must be loving it

Last night, while I was watching John Denham being interviewed on Newsnight, I came to think of this: out of the six deputy leadership candidates, Harman took an illegal donation; Hain failed to declare multiple donations; and Benn took a donation from David Abrahams at a time when Abrahams was illegally funding the Labour Party. Who’s left? Leaving aside Cruddas, who just the other day signed an appeal supporting Hugo ‘porque no te callas’ Chavez, only Blears and Johnson: that is, the two blairite candidates are the only ones who, at this stage, are untouched by the scandal. It does sound odd, doesn’t it? Blairite and clean in the same sentence… still, maybe that’s really what Donorgate’s doing: shifting our frame of reference.

Britain, Chris Leslie, David Abrahams, donations row, gordon brown, Labour Party, Mrs Kidd, Politics

It really takes guts to be Chris Leslie

This is yeasterday’s statement by Chris Leslie, who was Brown’s campaign manager:

“In late May I received a phone call from a man calling himself David Abrahams referring me to a woman called Janet Kidd who said that she wanted to be a donor to the campaign. I did not know who Mr Abrahams or Mrs Kidd were. I contacted Mrs Kidd, and unprompted, she sent a cheque for £5,000.” (*)

So, says Leslie, he got in touch with Mrs Kidd about making a donation, and then Mrs Kidd made a donation, unprompted. Unbelievable! And fuckin disrespectful of anybody, anybody who’ll have read the statement.