Have just written a long piece for this Friday’s Tribune which you’ll be able to pick up at Labour Party conference if you are not a subscriber. It’s about the Labour so-called rebels; you know Gordon Brown’s envoy on forrestry and the like. Here’s a snippet:
At a time when all families are feeling these pinch of the credit crunching times it feels frankly arrogant of the drip-drip lot to be hogging the headlines by ostentatiously airing their grievances of internal Labour affairs that matter not a jot to the Bloggs or Patels of Acacia Avenue or Clem Atlee Close. Gordon Brown is not trailing the Tories in the polls because he is less smiley than his telegenic predecessor; it is due to what Harold MacMillan called “events dear boy events”. A global economic downturn will not evaporate away if Brown is replaced. Indeed the man who steered the economy through 10 years of unprecedented growth is the best placed to deal with the choppier waters that now beckon. Polling evidence amply demonstrates that any replacement will not fare any better. It’s the economy (stupid) that explains current government unpopularity. Incumbent adminstrations everywhere are getting a kicking.
I always thought that, for all his faults, Tony Blair should have been able to leave at a time and manner of his own choosing – the letter calling for his exit in late 06 was a serious error. The same goes for the current shenanigans vis-a-vis Brown. With no alternative candidate for Prime Minister all the rebels in the PLP will do is wound the PM without replacing him costing us even more seats at the general election. Let’s not make the same mistake twice or the consequences could be fatal.