15 March 2010

Danger ahead for the New Labour project

It remains to be seen what the political battleground will look like on 7 May.  In the meantime, the comrades at Unite are quietly planning Labour's future.  Secret little meetings are taking place to parachute into safe seats candidates that will take the party in the wrong direction.

This not-so-small matter is picked up by Jackie Ashley:

It may be symbolised in a fight for the leadership between David Miliband and Ed Balls if the left wins. And if the central political agenda is all about public-sector cuts, then it's a final goodbye to New Labour and perhaps a return to a more traditional left-right divide in the Commons. That would be a Labour party far less likely to do some kind of deal with the Lib Dems; the centre-left could remain split. These may be really important arguments. The people who should be worried about Whelan and Unite aren't the Tories so much as Mandelson, Miliband and co.

She has got that right.  As the Sunday Times report suggests, there is little Mandelson can do about this march down the left-wing road.

To complete this beautiful symmetrical puzzle, ‘ministers’ have conveniently leaked to The Times that no matter the election result, Brown will stay on.  For the sake of simplicity, let’s leave aside what the voters will make of all this and concentrate on the Labour leadership.

After the election a coach load of union sponsored left-leaning Labour MPs arrive in Commons.  They need time to settle down before they start throwing their weight round.  For this to be achieved, Brown has to remain in post.  Meanwhile, Charlie Whelan is carefully orchestrating matters behind the scenes to ensure, with the support of these newbie MPs and his union mates, that his best buddy, Ed Balls, becomes Labour leader.

If Labour lose the election, then this cunning plan gets rolled out at the Labour party conference later this year.  If they hold onto power, then Whelan and his chums achieve the same result when Brown eventually stands down.

We don’t yet know what David Miliband is up to behind the scenes to stop this happening.  But Whelan, presumably with a thumbs up form his old boss, Gordon Brown, is sowing the seeds for Labour to ‘democratically’ elect the wrong leader and kill off the New Labour project.

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1 comment:

  1. Bad things, like good things, come in multiples of three (or more)*

    Cameron has had his bad three, or more. Ashcroft most recent, probably not really bad but certainly not good. Some gaffes earlier in the year as well. The Tories suffered in the polls.

    Now it's Brown's turn. Labour will suffer in the polls and this is the worst possible time, now that the sand has nearly run out.

    The issue is uncertainty over economic strategy. The Tory agenda was more convincing three months ago, but current opinion is 50/50 split on cuts now or later. Any impact on credibility will shift opinion either way.

    * a German saying: alle gute Dinge sind drei.