Thoughts on politics and life from a liberal perspective

Monday, 12 July 2010

Those plunging the knife into Brown now lack credibility

Both Peter Mandelson and David Miliband have made comments recently which are clearly critical of Gordon Brown. In Mandy's case it is in order to help shift copies of his new book. In Mili_D's case it is part of his positioning for the Labour leadership contest.

Miliband's comments are particularly strident. He accuses him of lacking "moral seriousness". That will particularly hurt Brown given all his talk about his moral compass. He also claimed that spin and high-handedness intensified. There are other criticisms about failure to renew the party in office.

Well in response to this all I can say is no shit Sherlock.

It was blindingly obvious to political watchers from Autumn 2007 onwards that Brown was a busted flush. Miliband and Mandelson had several opportunities to do something about his leadership and force his hand. The three most obvious ones were summer 2008 when Miliband clearly went on manoeuvres but then the incident with the banana occurred and he felt compelled to back off. Then there was the resignation of James Purnell in June 2009. I am certain that Purnell expected Miliband to follow him over the top. If he had have done he could have been Prime Minister but he bottled it. Mandelson was probably the only other person in the cabinet who could have forced Brown's hand in that situation. Instead he actually did the opposite and rang around ministers persuading them to stay their hands. Then finally there was the "Snow plot" in January this year where Geoff Hoon and Patricia Hewitt tried to leverage Brown out of office. This fizzled out almost immediately but if either of the two heavyweights who now insist Brown was such a disaster had moved it could have been much more serious and again have led to a different outcome.

And if Labour had had a different leader they may well still be in office. They would only have needed another twenty or thirty seats (and the Tories to not have gained as many) before they could have been in serious contention in a hung parliament with a legitimate claim to remain in office. With a new leader, the "Brown" problem would not have been there in the negotiations. I think many within Labour know this as well. As I stated many times on this blog before the election, Brown was staying in power for his own personal reasons to the detriment of his party.

So both Mandelson and Miliband are utterly complicit in Brown remaining in office right up until the election. They are about the only figures who could have done something about it. If they thought Brown was such a disaster, why did they not do something about it when they had their chance?

I am afraid it seems pretty obvious that both of them chose not to for their own political positioning reasons. That means they completely lack credibility on this question now.

1 comment:

Bill Quango MP said...

Good post.

Mandelson particularly was the man holding Brown up. Without him Brown would probably have gone in the Purnell coup.

Brown was so obviously the wrong man, evidenced by his Mexican style, tottering, premiership undergoing palace revolution every few months and his need to surround himself with a Republican Guard of loyal, but unexceptional, ministers.
How Miliband D. has escaped answering for his inactivity is a mystery. I can only assume that like some major celebrity he insists on the removal of certain questions or he won't appear on the show. He then threatens to never appear in the future, or any of his cabinet either, when he does eventually become leader.