Wednesday, May 30, 2007
Peter Tatchell stood for Labour in the infamous Bermondsey by-election in 1983. It may be that they lost more then they knew when he was defeated.
Tuesday, May 29, 2007
The Telegraph piece was right as far as it goes, but it totally missed the point when it comes to
Or maybe they just screwed up.
Monday, May 28, 2007
Saturday, May 26, 2007
Anyway, to change to a Borough there has to be a two thirds majority for the motion at a Council meeting and then a petition is sent to the Queen. Pretty straightforward you would think, but no. The local Labour Party had the idea, pure genius this, of having a local referendum on the subject, and when that was refused their Councillors voted against becoming a borough. At once they decried the expenditure, wanted to spend a tens of thousands of pounds on a referendum, declared the matter unimportant, and put their opposition to it in their election material. Consistent they are not. Still, they like Gordon Brown.
Friday, May 25, 2007
The problem is that the Labour government took education backwards in scrapping the Conservative grant-maintained system that was starting to work very well indeed. Then they had an epiphany on school independence, gifting us academies and foundation schools. Willetts is right to seek to build on that, but it is poor politics to stir up opposition by ineptly articulating a position that nearly everyone agrees with anyway.
Sunday, May 20, 2007
Labour Party rules required that the MPs nominate candidates for the subsequent election. It did not require that they support the nominee, just that they nominate. However the PLP decided that getting in with the new boss was more important that little things like allowing the ordinary membership a voice, and it is inconceivable that they would have come to this conclusion unless it was also the view of Brown's campaign team. So, no election, which has a corollary of reduced legitimacy when the going gets tough, and the going is already pretty tough if you are a Labour MP in a southern marginal seat.
Democracy may be inconvenient for candidates to high office, but the alternatives can be far worse. Ask Nicolae Ceauşescu.
Sunday, February 12, 2006
The problem for the government is two fold. In the short term bad by-elections make MPs nervous for their own electoral prospects. Now couple that with crunch votes in the commons on ID Cards and Terrorism this week and there is at least a small chance of a crisis. The longer term problem is Brown as Labour’s Plan A after Blair. Dunfermline might mean they need a Plan B.
Saturday, January 14, 2006
Amid all of this Gordon Brown wraps himself in the Union Flag. His motives, at least, are clear. He is Scottish, very Scottish in fact. He is going to have an electoral problem in England, especially now that there is a Scottish parliament. The Saltaire and the Cross of St. George are no good to him. He needs the Union Jack.
Thursday, January 05, 2006
Will it all work? Kennedy calculates that he will win a ballot of the entire membership, as opposed to the MPs where the result would be in doubt. He also calculates that his admission will elicit sympathy from many people. I am not so sure about his mathematics. Many of his MPs will be furious, and he had major problems there already. His serial dishonesty about drinking will wreck his credibility with the media and the press will probably not be kind. Both pressures could yet force him out. The nightmare for the Liberal Democrats though might be that he is right. Suppose he wins a ballot of Liberal Democrat members? Much of the parliamentary party does not support him. Ask the Tories what it is like if the members pick a leader the MPs cannot work with.
Wednesday, January 04, 2006
If not Brown, then who? This is the question. Blair’s cabinet are a pretty undistinguished bunch or at least cabinet discipline had prevented members distinguishing themselves. If any one of them is serious about succeeding Blair they will have to start organising at some point, and standing out from their colleagues. More likely Blair’s successor isn’t in the Cabinet, but in the junior ministerial ranks, today a comparative unknown. After all, there is a recent precedent for a younger, lesser-known candidate unexpectedly getting the top job.