Saturday, June 13, 2009

Loyalty, Miliband style as Blairites Plot and Blears Blubs

It can't really be much fun being in the Labour party at the moment - it's almost as bad as Formula 1 for high political drama!

I really don't know how David "the Ditherer" Miliband does it. He's let a few more drops of poison drop from his tongue in an interview with the Guardian today.

He may well have had to wrestle with his conscience about whether to stay in Gordon Brown's government, but did he really need to share his inner turmoil with us, a week after the event? It's a sign of Gordon Brown's weakness that he can't sack him for continuing to undermine his leadership and effectively saying that he's only in the Government because of Peter Mandelson.

His insights into current ministerial thinking do little to allay assertions that the Government is finished.

"Labour first needs a period of competent, effective, stable government; secondly, we need to reset our political compass so ministers are no longer locked in their departments, but link their policies to their values; and thirdly, the government has to be at the cutting edge of policy."

So, what he's effectively saying is that the Government in which he occupies one of the main offices of state has been ineffective, incompetent and unstable - and that Government policy has no basis in their values. That's pretty damning! I suppose it was so obvious, but even still, for a minister to actually admit that the Government has lost the plot is quite something.

At the same time, we have Peter Mandelson warning of further leadership challenges. I guess this is a message to plotting Blairites, that, like Sting in the song, he's watching every breath they take."

I was amused by one point in his interview where he outlined his 3 pieces of advice to Gordon Brown:

"I believe in leadership and in being decisive.

"Secondly, in listening to people and respecting official advice you receive.

"And thirdly, introducing a bit of humour and jollity to your work."

The mental image that that has conjured up, of Brown leading Downing Street staff in a conga on Friday afternoons, is not entirely pleasing.

And finally, in a move that's I'm sure is completely unrelated to a planned motion of no confidence in her as MP by her local constituency party, Hazel Blears has said sorry cos she didn't realise that resigning as local government secretary on the day before local government elections might be harmful to the Government, that she'd somehow get lost in the crowd of departing ministers. I suspect the real reason for her tears is that she's not being hailed as the woman who brought down Gordon Brown. His survival was clearly as unexpected to her as Glenn Close jumping out of the bath at the end of Fatal Attraction.

No doubt we will continue to be served up such delights in the press. How nice would it be if they all stopped bitching and got on with governing? Way too much to hope for!

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