Browned off

September 16, 2008 at 8:32 am | Posted in British Politics | 1 Comment
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It’s unlikely that anyone’s going to escape from the scrap over Brown’s leadership with too much dignity. Not the dozen-or-so conspirators who, for reasons passing understanding, believe that a time of unprecedented economic turmoil is the perfect occasion to worry who could best apply the lipstick to the pig that is the Labour Party.* Perhaps it is just an unfortunate coincidence of conference season, but in the unlikely event that these insurgents were to get their way, Britain would remember the cravenness of backbenchers who put their constituency seats before the stablity of the country, and would be right to punish them for it. Nor will Gordon Brown emerge from this with much respectability – what little he has left. As others have noted, he seems to have spent the past week doing as much bullying, posturing and briefing as he has governing, and the brutishness with which he’s trying to bolt the door shut on intraparty debate makes a mockery of all his past promises (barely a year ago!) for a new style of leadership. A plague on both their houses if ever there was one.

Maybe there will be a day when all those ‘Proud to be Labour’ emails I keep receiving will stop ringing quite so hollow, but I don’t see it happening anytime soon. I was ashamed of the party over Iraq, over the way they treated David Kelly, over the abolition of the 10p rate. Now, there’s not much left but deep, deep embarrassment.

*In case you were wondering, no, this wasn’t a sexist jibe against Sarah Palin.


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  1. It is the end game for Gordon Brown, the Labour party and the vision that was New Labour. It is a pity that they insist on hanging on by their fingertips rather than accepting the inevitable and above all, the wishes of the majority in this country.

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