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Bad night for Labour

Nick Robinson | 04:50 UK time, Friday, 2 May 2008

Bad for Labour. Very bad. And with worse likely to follow. For once there can be no spinning, no rival interpretations, no debate about what local elections results mean.

If - as insiders on both sides now expect - Boris Johnson is elected mayor of London later today David Cameron will be able to herald his party's most successful night since John Major's general election victory in 1992.

This, of course, does not mean that Mr Cameron will follow Mr Major into No 10 but it does mean that something will have to change dramatically for Labour to prevent that happening.

What could that something be? A change of Labour leader? No, for all the discontent with Gordon Brown, hardly any Labour MP believes that's possible, let alone desirable. A change of policy? Certainly, though it's already clear that there is disagreement about the direction in which policy should change.

Thus, Gordon Brown will be left to blame unprecedented economic turbulence for the unprecedently bad political position he's in. He will offer to listen to voters' concerns. He'll promise to steer the country through troubled times as he did as chancellor. He expects that greater scrutiny will expose the opposition for the lightweights he believes they are.

Above all, though, he will simply have to hope that - in the words of the old election song - things can only get better.

Comments

Page 1 of 2

  • Comment number 1.

    Taxes have risen for ten years and still the public sector books don't balance, yet Gordon still expects us to believe the line that he was a prudent chancellor?

  • Comment number 2.

    The turning point was the moment George Osborne said he would raise IHT to £1m. That burst of applause for the Tories has not stopped ringing since on almost everything they have suggested, while all that Brown and Darling touches turns to dust. It's the political karma. In London I find Livingstone epitomises what I dislike about Labour for whom I once voted - he believes he is a charming, cheeky chappie of the people and the disadvantaged. I can only see him as self-serving, arrogant, patronising, untruthful, out of touch with the mainstream while buying cheap friendship from increasingly peculiar minorities, believing London is hiself-justifying s by right. That's missing out the libelous bits. I cannot see Labour recovering from this because they lack the talent, the ideas, the money and the will.

  • Comment number 3.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • Comment number 4.

    I live in a traditional Labour seat; the Lib Dems won it as a result of the war in Iraq in 2004. Since 2004 and before then, each election the Labour party have not issued ANYTHING saying what their policies and intentions are, locally or nationally. the Lib Dems, on the other hand, are very active at a grass roots level- so why are we surprised that Labour does badly? No one has a clue what they do!

  • Comment number 5.

    We still haven't started to count the cost of 10 years as "sub prime" Chancellor by Gordon Brown:
    Off Balance sheet Assets (PFI), continually rising (stealth) taxes, poor expenditure control, increased government control and costly bureaucracy.
    The guy was and is a "sub prime" financial disaster. The great socialist experiment has failed and we the taxpayers will pay the price.

  • Comment number 6.

    My take is the Labour losses are less about policy and more about the Conservative's negative populist propaganda. Labour may have the right policy framework but they’re being undermined by a consistent and persistent guerrilla campaign. My suggestion before Prime Minister Gordon Brown took office was to be more practical, sociable, and low key. I think, that was on the money.

    Before these elections I wrote to my MP and suggested a "simple, clear, and powerful" policy approach for government, and they promote the most depressed local area as "a place people want to visit". Being Liberal Democrat's they swiped those slogans for themselves. They didn't listen and Menzies Campbell has gone and their support softened.

    My suggestion to Labour today is the same as I suggested to the Conservatives and Liberals – they must stop trying to win. This is counter intuitive to the average politician but the strategic advice is sound for two reasons: they will appear less brash and out of touch. Bringing arrogant businesses to heel and investing more in failed communities will help rebalance this.

    Admitting they were wrong and sorry would be a start.

  • Comment number 7.

    Please don't think this result is just about the economy. It's also to do with all the other fiasco's, miscalculations and down right incompetencies.

    Don't forget the general election false start.
    Don't forget his political use of the British troops to steal thunder from the tory conference.
    Don't forget the lost data.
    Don't forget the signing of the EU "reform treaty" (on his own!).
    Don't forget the failure to deliver a referendum.
    Don't forget his 3 line whip on issues that should have been a free vote (the embryology bill).
    Don't forget the 10p tax debacle.
    Don't forget the new attempts to extend detention without trial.

    Anyone care to extend the list?

    Can anyone remember him getting the headlines for doing anything right?

  • Comment number 8.

    I have a feeling almost of relief. Ever since Brown became PM, and probably before that I have felt a weight pushing down on me. More erosion of rights, more legislation, more pressure on net income, a feeling of real dullness. Almost like depression - as much as you push back it keeps you down.

    This morning it seems as if it is coming to an end. Now I'm not a member of any party, I just feel Brown has a very negative personality which makes everyone feel down.

    So in Churchill's words "this may not be the beginning of the end, but perhaps the end of the beginning."

    I just hope Brown is gone soon, to be replaced by ANYONE else.

  • Comment number 9.

    To Charles E H.

    While I generally disagree with you there is a kernal of sense in your last post.

    I believe that life in general should be very simple. You wake up, you work, you relax, you do what you want and you use your salary/wages to "enjoy" your lfe. Work is not important but a means to live your life to the full.

    Labour in general, and GB in particular, seem to want to control everything and restrict everyone but themselves. They make everything so complicated, such as tax credits. Elderly friends had to fill in a 32 page questionnaire to get attendance allowance. It drove them to distraction.

    If labour want to get back they need to simplify life for everyone so that we can get back to living and enjoying our lives. Not wanting to control aspect of our lives.

  • Comment number 10.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • Comment number 11.

    Does anyone still listen to what Harriet Harman says? Same old nonsense, from a woman who has openly contradicted her own party policies to send her some to a super-selective grammar school...

    If it wasn't so important or annoying you would laugh...

  • Comment number 12.

    Gordon Brown’s personality type is the exact equal and opposite to George Bush. They’re both in a hole because of their extreme personality types. One could suggest they’re doing the wrong thing for the right reasons. By dropping the extremes and developing the centre of their respective personalities something more voter friendly would take root.

    I believe the Prime Minister is a sincere man who cares but he’s too wrapped up in policies and stuck in the back room. As you suggest, people don’t want the sweat of dealing with a blizzard of policy initiatives and don’t feel happy if someone is waving a gun in their face. The Prime Minister needs to simplify, simplify, and simplify and get out of his fortress more.

    This isn’t just about the Prime Minister. It’s about the people, and he’s been trying so hard the message has been lost in the signal. While his speeches are thorough I winced my way through his NHS keynote. Too many words, not enough polish. Cut, cut, cut. As for the poor, driving investment like hell on wheels to the bottom will water the economic roots.

    Time to part the Red Sea, Prime Minister.

  • Comment number 13.

    A general election is a long way away so that this result, while very bad for Labour and very good for the Tories, is only of significance nationally in it's effect on Labour MPs. None will now want to threaten the Government since they stand to lose thier seats in the present climate. So, paradoxically, Brown is I believe safer now than he was last week. He waited a long time to be PM; he's not going to give up yet. 'Something' could turn up - remember that the Falklands invasion ultimately led to Mrs Thatcher's elction victory!

  • Comment number 14.

    This is not about Gordon Brown and his finances. This is about an illegal war, the Lisbon treaty and its erosion of Brititsh nationallity, Lies and spin, a Labour party that that is doing it's utmost to destroy civil liberties

  • Comment number 15.

    Sadly, I think the messsage for Labour should be "Don't panic."

    The foundations for General Election success have long since been laid. There is an army of people in the bloated public sector and in the benefit/tax credit commmunity who will follow the natural human nature tendency to engage in self benefitting behaviour. Not least in the public sector whose excellent pensions are being funded by private sector workers who can't afford to fund their own pensions.

    It's true that Labour in achieving this, and in doing some good things, Labour have :

    stealth taxed everything that moves, or doesn't move

    horribly mismanaged the huge sums they have invested (aka spent) on public services, with a huge proportion lost in waste and precious little gained by way of improvement, relative to the sums spent.

    lied their way into an illegal war and made us terrorist targets

    eroded our civil liberties

    sold off our gold reserves on the massively cheap

    ruined the private sector pension system

    polticised the civil service and created an army of special advisers

    raised spin and abuse of inormation/unprecented levels

    created a highly complex tax system to take money away from people and than force them to rely on state aid to get some back via a hugely expensive bureaucracy

    etc etc

    Probably, however, the "client state" element will be enough to keep them in power for a long time yet - as they calculated it would.

  • Comment number 16.

    THings that need to change
    Uncontrolled immigration whilst
    6 million are on benefits
    The Human Rights Act
    Taxation, taxation, taxation
    The ballooning of government quangos
    just for a start

  • Comment number 17.

    I agree with mikepko. I felt absolute relief when I woke up and saw the results this morning.

    Harriet Harman said on the TV that they must start listening to the people - a sure sign that she believes Gord can turn things around before the next election. Face it Labour - you're finished!

  • Comment number 18.

    LABOUR IS CLOSING DOWN

    10p, 10p, 10p is all we have heard this morning!!.

    Dissatisfaction began long before the 10p debacle with the arrogant rejection of democratic process by rejecting a referendum on the Lisbon Treaty, closing Post Offices, closing schools etc.

    They say they will listen - fine stop the PO closure programme, lighten up on school selection etc.

    Don't hold your breath.

  • Comment number 19.

    Absolutely the most dangerous thing that the Tories should do now is celebrate. These election results are not a victory. Merely an opportunity for one.

  • Comment number 20.

    The Labour government is following exactly the same trajectory as the last Tory administration.

    But will they learn from that experience?

    No they won't. They'll comfort themselves with the idea that we're too stupid to appreciate all the wonderful things they have done for us and we just need more education before the next election.

    They are the most oppressive, authoritarian regime in this country since William the Conqueror.

    They have long since flushed away any Labour values to become the spying and fining, 'we know what's good for you' party, of the shareholding, first generation university educated, nu middle class, siding with the interests of business over the people at any opportunity.

    At every election more perennial Labour voters are waking up to the fact that the Labour party they have been voting for doesn't exist any more.

  • Comment number 21.

    My pension cheque dropped on the mat this week and if I had'nt made my mind up it sure confirmed that Labour had lost credibility on finance. Not that I lost out much but at times of high inflation I expect my tax allowances to at least keep up. I don't want to be told I can fill in a 40 page form to apply for credits.

    I feel distinctly poorer, but satisfied I could voice my disgust for me and others in a worse position.

  • Comment number 22.

    As I was coming in to work today I was wondering about the massive improbability of our homely little existence on this planet and in the universe. The fact that all the flora and fauna I was seeing through the window and all the people on the bus I was on are apparently miraculous one offs in a vast eternity of nothingness. I thought about the opportunity this existence should be for us to really excell in living it. Then I thought that if the Conservatives are all we can come up with to forge our brave new future after the snake oil sales pitch of New Labour we're really nothing but a bunch of squabbling filthy primates on a dirty great rock headed for oblivion.
    So much for evolution!

  • Comment number 23.

    Nick,

    Today will see the emergence of a leading Labour politicians claiming that the local elections were really a success for Labour on the grounds that the result could have been worse.

    The UK has reached the abyss of political integrity and incompetence under Labour and despite the results of 2007 and 2008 they remain in power with only 24% support of the voting public.

    When local politicians are standing and financed by national political parties in Municipal elections the results are of national significance thus negating and argument to trivialise the results.

    This situation raises serious questions about the capability of our politicians to understand what democracy means and the durability of dictatorial and arrogant government.

    It is any wonder that we have an apathetic electorate when voting fails to result in any political change, especially to change a government and Prime Minister that are unpopular as the current Labour government.


  • Comment number 24.

    Nick,

    I note the time you posted your piece to your blog. Boy, some people can't get enough politics can they?

    My interpretation of the results is slightly different. Labour has undeniably been given a hammering and, even where they have not lost Councils they have lost sufficient numbers of seats for the embarrassment to be obvious.

    But it is worse than that for Gordon. He has lost not only seats, but also the opportunity to separate national politics from local and claim that he has time to prepare for a Labour victory at the next general election. Even at his lowest ebb, Blair managed - somehow - to keep discontent with him and his party distinct and separate from local politics. It is clear that these results show that the public treated these elections as a vote on Gordon - and the result is a terrible indictment of him and his style, competence and charisma.

  • Comment number 25.

    Has Gordon Brown now become the 'Sub-Prime Minister'?

  • Comment number 26.

    OK, so the country is telling Gordon Brown loud and clear that they don't want him. The only trouble is that the alternative, David Cameron, is a spectacular triumph of form over substance, like a shallower version of Tony Blair but without the policies.

    The situation is similar in London: what does it say about Red Ken that Londoners will even vote for Boris Johnson in order to get rid of him? A man who has turned detachment from reality into an art form!

    These are sad days indeed in British politics when voters are looking for the least worst option.

  • Comment number 27.

    For Charles WH re 12

    I think you are in cloud cockoo land if you think that its not Brown and the inability to get the message across.

    Brown spent 10 years making himself out as as important at Blair, if not more so. So he became the heavyweight. And to get way he has surrounded himself with lightweights, both mentally and politically, Harman as a example. The population don't know who the others are!!!

    Brown is know for being authoritarian, a dictator in all but name and as the population see him, a bully.

    No Harman this morning says, "we will start listening to what the population wants." This is deperation and we know that Vrown will not listen to anyone unless they say what he wants to hear.

    As the old saying goes " A leopard doesn't change his spots". If Brown changes, just as he does for the cameras and goes back to the same surly look when off camera, no-one will believe him.

    It all goes down to wanting something so much, the willingness to do anything to get it, and when you've got it not being up to the job.

    Its not the team which is at fault. It is Brown he is the government. He would probably be happier if none of the others were there at all.

  • Comment number 28.

    Whilst this is undoubtedly a good result for the Tories I think we should beware of the tendency to read more into this than might exist. History shows that mid term local elections can throw up good results either way that don't then reflect the next election. That said, what is clear is that the traditional Tory vote is beginning to wake up to the reality of life under this misguided government.

    So pleasing to hear Harriet (run with the fox, hunt with the hounds) Harman say that we need to listen to the people. Funny I thought that was what politics at this level was about!! Until now Gordon knew better. He and his inept front bench (Jack Straw excepted) are going to have to start thinking about some new strategies, for the working man who is deeply concerned about the bloated, so called client state. He needs to give something back to the wealth generators if he is to keep the keys to number 10. Not to mention all the other things he might need to listen to and genuinely start to make progress on like, Immigration. NHS. Civil Liberties, all of which is possible in the two years before he needs to go to the country.

  • Comment number 29.

    Thankfully the majority of people in the NorthWest saw sense and did not allow the Conservatives to take hold of the major cities. It would have been disastrous. With the exception of some of its traditional Tory suburbs, and Bury, I'm proud of the good people of the city of Manchester to keep Labour in control and reward them for the amazing and courageous regeneration of this city. Also Liverpool seems to have had gains by Labour. So I think Mr Cameron is premature to this that based on results from the South he will be allowed into Downing Street that easily. I think Labour supporters (and Lib Dems too) need to put a big fight to put the privileged and unrepresentative Tory classes out of power and in opposition. It would be a disaster for anywhere other than the sleepy home counties if Tories were to rule this country again. Keep them out and start the fightback against them now!

  • Comment number 30.

    For a long time now the Labour flavour has been off. We have an overcomplicated system in ever facet of our lives. I worked for the Citizens Advice Bureau as a volunteer for 5 years and people would come in in tears, just trying to fill in the forms. G Brown loves to control everything. We are so over taxed and get little value from the money this government take ad spend. We are tired of someone telling us they know how to spend our money. MPs have lost touchwith the reality that we all live with, we are over taxed, over governed, over watched, and less free than at anytime in history. Anyone who can improve on this has got to be a better bet, and it certainly is not Labour, no matter who leads them.

  • Comment number 31.

    I totally agree with shellingout's comment earlier.

    "Harriet Harman said on the TV that they must start listening to the people" she has just repeated this comment this on Radio 5.

    If Labour has been in power for 10 years and only just realised that part of that responsibity is to listen to your people then it is no wonder why they are despised by much of the country.

  • Comment number 32.

    I agree with one posting that said the reaction is not a vote for the Conservatives but a protest against Labour. Gordon Brown has no one to blame but himself and his morally defunct government.

    If the Labour party wouldn't accept economic downturn as an excuse in the 1990's then they can hardly expect anyone to believe that from the so called Prudent Iron Chancellor.

    As for Harriet Harman and her comments on listening, she is an infantile characature frankly whose only position apart from Conservative bashing is her out-dated feminist views. They should have been listening BEFORE the election and rather proves the point that it is their way or no way.

    I think it is time they both started the speech circuit, don't you?

  • Comment number 33.

    Some of these posts read like people have waited since 1997 to get rid of Labour. Interesting because people were desperate to get rid of the Tories then!

    There should have been a proper contest for PM just like the Tories had because it looks like the Blair years were just a training period for Gordon. Cannot blame Labour for the difficult economic climate now, but it has crippled itself by pouring money into various wars.

    I cannot see a way out of this for Labour. I do not think the Tories will improve things because they will have to support the wars and the economic climate may remain but that does not matter - the fact is, they will be in power.

    Labour - 1997 has shown that they are electably.
    Tories - Never agree to have a power transfer pact.

  • Comment number 34.

    Nick,
    Do you REALLY believe that the large number of Labour MPs in marginal seats are going to wait aound while poor hapless old Gordon loses them their seats? Never. Remember Margaret of blessed memory? A few of her foot soldiers feared losing their seas and slung her, somewhat uncerimoniusly, out. If the back bench troops can do it to her, there is little hope for Gordon. Prediction: He will not lead this rabble into the next election.

  • Comment number 35.

    Many Labour MP's must now feel that they are dead men/women walking.

    By default, the Tories will fill-the-boots as Labour are probably ejected at the next General Election.

    But, overall, in effect, the cosy party duopoly continues to have its malign effect on us English.

    This is a doleful prospect because it still leaves us English marooned in a political no-man's-land.

    Until we English start electing some genuinely independent people, nothing will really change for the English.

  • Comment number 36.

    If Harriet Harman had occasionally kept her mouth closed during the past 10 years, she would have heard what people had to say.

    New Labour - Old Cant.

  • Comment number 37.

    This is the end for Labour. The next Government will be a Tory government. We'll have to wait and see if Cameron's New Tories hace really changed since they were last in power. I'll never vote for them but I'm hoping they have.

    It's a sad day for those of us who voted for Labour with high hopes in their 1997 landslide victory, but they have lost the trust of the people and deserve to be out of office. Let's hope that the next generation Labour Party will have learned from the mistakes of Blair and Brown.

  • Comment number 38.

    Labour has lost the centre ground which it dominated for the best part of 10 years with Tony.

    Gordons oafish nature has lead to extremism and lost the centre ground.

    Saying that I don't think either the Libs or Torys dominate the centre ground either.

    No one does - Labour take note. Reallign policies to the centre ground, boot Brown as the "Brown Bounce" has clearly rebounded you in the face and left you with a bloody nose, ditch Darling and reshuffle to an effective cabinet?

    By the way where is the rest of the cabinet these days, are they in seculusion for fear of speaking out against the oaf? The time has come Labour it happened to Callaghan, people start to drift and the Labour party becomes fragmented and divided can only mean loss at the next election


  • Comment number 39.

    The majority of respondents to this blog have nailed it. The Labour "experiment" was the same old Labour policy of tax and spend.

    When labour first came to power in 1997 Gordon started off his theving ways by pillaging the pensions of HARD WORKING individals to the tune of £5bn a year and applying a "wind fall tax" on utility companies.

    We were told that this would be spent on schools and health. Well now we know where it went. It went on employing idiots who decided the best strategy to improve statistics was to lower the standards. Now businesses have to contend with employing people who can barely read, spell or perform basic maths.

    But we shouldn't be surprised an uneducated electorate won't be able to understand the issues and will aways vote labour. So the more thick people Labour produce the better for them .

    The majority of thick people seem to exist within the Labour party. When the 10p tax band was abolished by GB himself hardly anyone from the labour backbenchers raised it as an issue. In fact the majority of them cheered and applauded the fat thieving fool and went on record to claim what a genius he was !

    Lets also not forget one of the key drivers behind the house price explosion of the last 10 years. Very few commenatators have even mentioned it.
    After pillaging the pensions pot for 3 years (1997 -2000) we had a stock market correction in 2000 when the dotcom bubble caused market returns to fall further. Then we had the sept 11 event which pushed market returns even lower.
    The combination of these events on market sentiment and the Dick Turpin approach to raising tax revenues caused people to abandon stock market related investements. The negative economic sentiment that existed between 2000-2003 meant the Bank of England was in a cycle of reducing interest rates to bolster the economy.
    Low interest rates and the abondonment of long term stock market investments due to the change in taxation policy meant people moved into housing as an alternative pension strategy. very quickly people started realising that the more they borrowed , the more they over-extended then potentally the more they could make.

    Fatty Brown started to realise what a nice little cash cow this was becoming and so rather than tell the FSA to clamp down on lenders over extending credit he actively encouraged it. He realised that as prices go up the Govt gets more tax 1% of 100,000 is better than 1% of 50,000. So up went the stamp duty on house prices at various levels of purchase.

    The inaction by Brown et al to reign in the abhorrant lending practices of banking institutions has been another dispicable example of mismanagement by this fool and his stupid supporters.

    Economic prudence has been exposed as incompetence. (Telling the markets your selling the gold before you do it forced the gold price down even further and ensured as a coutry we got an even lower price.)

    Genuine prosperity has been exposed as a debt lead spending spree.

    Investment in education has been nothing more than statistical manipulation of the facts.

    Investment in the health service has seen increases in MRSA, cDif ,QUANGOs like NICE and the worst Percentage increase of obesity lead diseases this century !

    As for removing more children from poverty well they're about to fall straight back in to poverty. The 10p tax debacle , the rising costs of fuel and food which are largely fed by high oil prices is perhaps the greatest threat to the poor.

    Green policies well a truly environmentally aware governement would have invested heavily through the tax system in a WIDE range of alternative energies. Solar , biofuels etc Doing so could have mitigated some of the increases in energy costs that as a nation we now face.

    Finally as for the lie of encouraging businesses to grow and employ more people this idiots changes to the tax system are actually forcing LARGE companies out of the uk and overseas because of the changes to the tax system !!!


    Well done Mr Brown (or should that be Mr Clown) keep up the good work. You'll be out of office soon.




  • Comment number 40.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • Comment number 41.

    Ive never understood why the tories are viewed as having no policies. Labour have been cherry-picking the good ones for the best part of two years now.

    Yesterday I visited polling stations 3 times either to vote or in my work, each occasion I found they were packed out. The old chestnut of "voter apathy" is a myth i believe, when people object to something they will come out and vote.

    One of your earlier poster's hit the nail on the head, people just want a simple life, time and the finances to enjoy life without government waste and interference are paramount to us normals in the street. life is too complicated, to many restrictions and controls are placed upon us all. could it be that the people have finally had enough?

  • Comment number 42.

    Well you say there can be no spinning, but the BBC seemed much happier talking to Labour ministers than the victorious Conservatives. Not your fault, mind.

    http://lettersfromatory.wordpress.com

  • Comment number 43.

    skynine @ #5: ‘The guy was and is a "sub prime" financial disaster. The great socialist experiment has failed and we the taxpayers will pay the price.’

    Yes, I totally agree on the sub prime financial disaster. However I am mystified about why right wingers call this government socialist. All their policies are neothatcherite: the PFIs, wasting taxpayers money to advertise NHS hospitals to taxpayers (the internal market invented by the Tories), taxing the poor dry, i.e. the poor pay far more tax (particularly when you add Council Tax and indirect taxation) as a proportion of their income than the rich, let alone the super rich. With regards to the trillion credit bubble that is now bursting, contrary to popular belief this has not been directly the result of NuLab actions, it has been the result of the deregulation of the banking system on the grounds of market fundamentalism = identikit Tory policies. NuLab and the Tories have identical policies with regards to ‘free markets’ and public services: Privatise public services to put them in the hands of private monopolists with a license to print money, e.g., airports, railways, etc. Public services = socialism; private monopolies = free markets, this is, in a nutshell, the LabCon policy.

    In fact, there was only one tiny difference between NuLab and the Tories, one that Gordo quickly put to rest: NuLab under Tony supported Euro membership. Nahh, said Gordo, I'm not having that, do you know the billions the banks would stand to lose if they had to forego the extortionate currency exchange commissions that they charge the tens of millions of British holidaymakers and businesspeople visiting the Eurozone? We would have to compensate them with tax credits...Well; they have done that now anyway…

  • Comment number 44.

    Poor Gordon, he waited years for his dream job and it's turning into the stuff of nightmares.

  • Comment number 45.

    You can be sure that all we will hear today from the loony left is "we need to listen to the voters".
    Well listen to this Gordon Brown
    - Slash the obscene petrol/diesel taxes
    - give me the referendum you "promissed" on the EU constitution and stop taking me for a complete fool by calling it a reform treaty
    - stop pouring money into the NHS and instead just run it properly
    - slash immigration
    - give low paid workers an incentive to actually go to work instead leaching from the benefit system - this is supposed to be a safety net, not a way of life.
    - give our farmers a level playing and renegotiate the Common Agricultural Policy so its in our favor and not the French, you govan this country remember!
    - Then when you've done all that, move over and let somebody competent take charge.

  • Comment number 46.

    Did anyone notice Gordon's body language in the BBC News TV interview just now? He was squirming and backpedalling at a rate of knots. Still plenty of spin though. "We will learn the lessons.....I will listen and lead"...what clap trap.

    I did notice that Gordon kept on repeating himself and taking up air time, so reporters could not ask many questions. He made a very quick exit. So much for that then.



  • Comment number 47.

    I remember when I first dispaired at new labour... it was about 7 years ago when I noticed that my children's junior school had been fully equipped with the latest electronic whiteboards with computer projection screens in every classroom.

    Over the 3 years that my children were at the school I often asked them if/when this equipment was used.... and it was almost never used. It is no exaggeration that my children had higher IT skills than the teachers.

    Its this sort of throwing of money at solutions that had not been fully thought through that was the turning point when prudent Brown's policy of waste started.

    PLEASE just resign Mr Brown, and call a general election!

  • Comment number 48.

    Bet you a tenner that the London elections see a similar disaster to the Scottish vote with tons of spoilt papers.

    I live outside London but apparently the 4 ballot papers with different systems caused a lot of confusion.

    If Boris wins in London it will be a heroic performance because the system with second preference votes was obviously designed to keep a Conservative candidate out.

  • Comment number 49.

    If Labour could wake up to the fact that "do as I say, not as I do", is not a sensible way to run a country and try to stop treating people as if they were resources they control, rather than individual sentient beings, then I'm sure they've have done better yesterday.


    Oh yes, and trying to pretend that inflation is a good 2-3% less than it is is also a jape that is starting to get old (taxing people to the hilt is one thing, taxing them and giving them a yearly pay cut is another).

  • Comment number 50.

    I am beginning to think the writing is on the wall for Gordon Brown.

    I have detected signs over the last few days that even his most loyal support base is becoming disillusioned with his leadership and may be preparing to shift allegiance to one of the cyborgs that have infiltrated the Cabinet.

    Am I the one only who has noticed that Charles Hardwidge can no longer bring himself to Hail the Blessed Leader at the end of every post?

  • Comment number 51.

    Labour are finished and good riddance. Historians will rate this as the worst goverment this country has ever had! They inherited a great economy in 97 and destroyed it. Typical tax and waste socialism! It will take the Tories another 10 years just to clear up the mess.
    Dont even get me started on the EU non-vote! I despise Labour!

  • Comment number 52.

    Harriet Harman says the Labour Party will start listening.

    Tony Blair PROMISED to listen at the time of the last general election when the position of his party looked tenuous.

  • Comment number 53.

    When Gordon Brown was christened Prudent in 1997 and the UK did a fandango over the New Labour victory, I sat quietly bemused at the way the voters had been so well and truly scammed. New Labour? no just a wolf in sheep's clothing!!

    Truth is Major should have lost the election in the early '90's and an unprepared Labour party should have been in power for 4 years whilst the Torys regrouped..... Instead in '97 we got a vicious mean spirited greedy bunch of corrupt incompetents who persuaded all that they knew what they were doing.... I christened Brown Profligate and said we would rue the day we bought this dangerous group into power. I was roundly abused by my peers..best chancellor in years etc...well rid of the Tories....

    well now you all know and it may well be too late.... This government has spent the last 11 years stripping all that is good out of the UK, stripping each and every citizen of not only birthright but all their cash, savings and sense of purpose. We now live in the most burdened society in the free world... This is no longer a pleasant land, it is a sink estate governed by possibly the most incompetent corrupt and unpleasant people imaginable.

    Uncomfortable words? perhaps but think back over the last few years.... Rail, MG, pensions, taxes, fuel..... Mandleson, Home Secretary x 3, the list goes on...

    And we allowed the most incompetent chancellor in living memory to take control after 10 years of this debacle? I weep, I truly weep....

    Can we recover? I would like to think so but fear the damage may just be too great.

    And perhaps Poprishchin has a point!!

  • Comment number 54.

    Since becoming PM, Brown has been revealed to be the empty vessel he is, without the ability, vision or charisma to match his ambition. But I didn't imagine the public would give their verdict quite so emphatically!

    I bet Blair is kicking himself that he decided to quit Parliament. Even Iraq didn't hurt Labour as much as Brown's dithering incompetence. Restoring Blair as leader is probably the only hope they would have had of surviving the next election. It looks like Cameron is going to get in by default.

  • Comment number 55.

    The chickens are coming home to roost.

    People are realising what a charlatan Brown has been throughout his chancellorship and now his premiership.

    Ordinary working people are utterly fed up with being snooped on and used by Brown as a cash-cow and the utter leniency shown by Nu Lab towards chavs, criminals, cheats and all manner of hangers-on.

    There's no way back for Brown. His reputation is finished.

    Nu Lab cannot win the next general election.

  • Comment number 56.

    At last the british public have had a chance to go to the polls and have given labour and Mr Brown the resounding vote of no confidence.
    24% of the vote is embrassing and he along with the cabinet should go to the country and have a general election.
    Maybe the Tories are no better but at least we would have the chance to refresh and bring about some youthfull approach to things.
    Labour has reverted back to high spending and high tax to help the poor.
    In my view some of the poor want to be poor and live on benifits and contribute nothing,while some strive to improve themselves and there familes.
    TIME TO GO GORDON AND GO QUICKLY

  • Comment number 57.

    Nick, we mustn't knock poor GB too much because if we do, and there's a post election coup to remove the PM, we might end up with a human being as PM. That might cause probs for DC!

  • Comment number 58.

    I've noticed that Charles Hardwidge can't bring himself to write "All hail blessed leader" too.


    All Hail The "Shallow Salesman"!!!

  • Comment number 59.

    As an old labour supporter can I be one of the first to welcome last nights results. Labour got what it clearly deserved and I was especially heartened by the lack of support in traditional heartland areas.

    I'm sure we'll hear (again) more about listening but surely, even Labour, realise this can only work so many times. The time for listening has come and gone, I would suggest a little more action - our actions define us.

    Labour makes billions available when business requires and seemingly the trickle down has been so successful that we can now remove the 10 pence rate. Labour's actions on Northern Rock and the 10 rate more than anything defines its new values!

    Good luck in the general election. You know you're in trouble when you start to loose Scotland.

  • Comment number 60.

    NuLabour is finished.

    Nobody wants to listen to these self righteous preachers anymore.

    At the first opportunity to defeat the government (42 day detention) the Tories need to call a vote of no confidence and get rid of this dithering bunch of policy free zealots.

  • Comment number 61.

    Here is a message to the Labour Party from me - a traditional Labour voter who will never vote for them ever again if they continue being pretend tories.

    1. Stop trying to deflect people with the message that the tories have no policies. Start re-learning a basic lesson, people don't vote an opposition in, they vote a government out. The oppositions policies are irrelevant, it's the anger with the incumbent that counts.

    2. Start being the Labour Party we your core vote want. Stop the right to buy, start large scale council house building.

    3. Secure our borders properly irrespective of whether the visitors/tourists/immigrants are EU or non-EU citizens. Nobody gets in to this country - not even British Citizens - without being properly checked and their ID and reight of entry thoroughly scrutinised.

    4. Stop running the country the way you think it should be run and start running it the way we the majority of the people want it run over every issue, all the time. If you are not prepared to do that then you aren't actually of any use.

    5. Keep your fingers out of our till. You are in Parliament to serve us, not line your pockets.

    6 Keep Hazel Blears off the TV. She is so irritating it is unbelievable. The same goes for that Cooper woman and Ruth Kelly. They only have to open their mouths and your vote goes down.

  • Comment number 62.

    "Unprecedently"? Or "unprecedentedly".

  • Comment number 63.

    Misuse of English

  • Comment number 64.

    Charles E Hardwidge.......

    I note with some amusement that you now no longer end all your posts with:

    "All hail Blessed Leader!"

    Has something happened recently to change your once fanatical view?

    Please let us know what has caused such a dramatic ommission!

  • Comment number 65.

    So Labour will start to listen?

    These are desperate times for the Government and they only have themselves to blame.

    Way too late to start listening, they have been told enough times but they continued on their path of self destruction.

    This Country is ready for a change and the sooner the better before they do anymore damage.

    Gordon Brown has been given his chance and has failed time after time. He quite simply is not good enough - we deserve much better!!!!

  • Comment number 66.

    I think the problem with Labour is that they have predicted the reason for their loses without really knowing for sure. Why make such big messes of economic policy in the weeks leading up to the election if it was at the front of their minds economic issues could cost votes?

    The repeated comments blaming the economy I dont think is totally realistic of the picture.
    Its way more complex than that and most public blogs and comments pages are highlighting issues far apart from the economy. Most people focus heavily on the fact that Labour has little principle direction as a party as they more and more turn right wing in policy.

    Other issues of great tension is immigration, overseas workers, cultural changes, the governments ongoing challenges to civil liberties and so on.

    The government is totally ignoring the political mindset of the average voter and the frustration many feel over poverty, pay, overseas workers and the like.

    People feel this country under the helms of Labour is or has lost its sense of innate Britishness to the extent it doesnt know what it is anymore and doesnt seek the interests to speak up for people living and working here all their lives.

    These issues may be controversal but its losing Labour votes if they dont face these sensibly.

    I feel the Lib dems lost out in part as many voted conservative in some marginal seats to rid the councils of Labour and also because generally in this climate the Lib Dems are seen as more 'soft' on europe, immigration and encourage high taxation.

    The conservatives on the other hand seem to offer a backbone of principles, even though policy at this stage may be weak.
    They generally are strong minded on europe, overseas workers, taxation, reducing regulation and immigration.

    Until Labout stops driving everyone around in circles with its crowd of press officers and spin doctors it will not go much longer in the race.

    Why vote Labour when its really a conservative party that doesnt provide. Its lost face. People want the real deal now and the polls show that.

    Get back to your roots Labour and stand your own ground and stop looking like a bunch of champaigne socialists that take people for granted while you push a right wing agenda to win middle ground and right wing votes.

  • Comment number 67.

    The 10p tax change was the shortest suicide note in history. They're behind you Gordon!

  • Comment number 68.

    Thank goodness the great British public have recognised New Labour for what it is and always has been, high tax and high spend.

    To add to our grief and waste even more of our money they have added a massive doses of mindless form filling and process (e.g. tax credits etc etc)

    The education system that Labour promised to reform is a pathetic joke, I work in Europe and the standards are far higher than in the UK.

    Whilst in the US the government is sending out tax refunds to help people and even Spain has a budget surplus. What do we get in the UK, more tax on drink and fags, more income tax for the lower paid, council tax has doubled, car tax has doubled (if you are lucky)...oh and please stop using plastic bags or we might tax them as well!

    Gordon if you really are listening.....please go now.

    PS. Good luck Boris.

  • Comment number 69.

    Nick

    The Labour Goverment is and has been delighted to say Brown is a real "heavyweight" .......The bigger they are the harder they fall, last night and today has proved that good old boxing saying is as true in Politics as is in boxing

    Down and counting 1,2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7,8,.......

  • Comment number 70.

    I note with some amusement that you now no longer end all your posts with: "All hail Blessed Leader!" Has something happened recently to change your once fanatical view? Please let us know what has caused such a dramatic ommission!


    Paul Thurrott rightfully screamed about Microsoft looking like they'd never release a third service pack for Windows XP but it’s nearly here. I may bang my head on the desk over the Prime Minister’s current difficulties but that’s no judgement on his delivery. Watch this space!
  • Comment number 71.

    the government say they will listen after this crushing defeat in the elections, well listen to this we are sick of you take 30% plus of our wages in tax and nationa linsurance, we are sick of you taking over £100 a month in council tax, we are sick of you take 80% in fule duty and doing nothing about the profiteering energy companies.we are sick of car and alcohol taxation to the point where public houses are closing down. Some of us have been saving for our retirement but since your tax rid on them they are now worth less unless we pump nearly double into them. We are sick of you ramming down our throats all this rubbish about carbon emmisions, and taxing everything that moves. We are sick of mass immigration which is goig to change the face of Britain for ever. We are sick of lies and spin and you selling us down the river to Europe. Basically we are sick of nearly every policy you have and now is the time to put up or shut up. We are sick of tax tax tax with no onvious benefits to the country. ex Labour supporter who is turnig blue (Tory) with rage

  • Comment number 72.

    Labour MP's say they will listen, YOU HAVE HAD 11 YEARS TO LISTEN!
    I have a big smile because for the 1st time, a major labour stronghold in Nuneaton and Bedworth finally became Conservative, it last was the 1st to gain BNP concillors!
    The mayor-elect LOST his seat last night, a major casualty of the inept Labour council that Nuneaton had to suffer.
    When will Labour listen?
    Never, they all live in their own universe, thinking everything they do is good for us when its actually going to cause major upset to the vast majority of the British people.
    Remember, no referendum on the EU consitiution, no word on how Northern Rock should have been handled, no word over the 10p tax issue.
    Here in Nuneaton, Labour were kicked big time because of many LOCAL issues
    1.They planned to knock down and rebuild a major estate and then stopped when the builders pulled out
    2.Built a shopping centre and make it worse by rejecting many plans of it before.
    3.Making the local Football Club suffer by asking for money it cannot repay, which may cause it to go into Administration.
    4.People voted against the Labour gimmick of the lowest council tax rise in Warwickshire, knwoing full well it will go up if they were re-elected.
    It was not national issues which decided Nuneaton, it was the local issues which kicked Labour out of power and ushered in The Tories and the BNP!

  • Comment number 73.

    Statement from the Prime Minister : "I've listened and learned" and "I will focus relentlessly on the public's priorities"

    Gordon Brown 2008 ? Nope. Tony Blair 2005.

    Statement in reaction to the local election results : "We have got to show we are listening to people's concerns and we are going to respond to them"

    Gordon Brown - May 2008 ? Nope. Gordon Brown - May 2004.

    Plus ca change, plus ca meme chose.






  • Comment number 74.

    Gob smacking stuff on the BBC last night - Ed Miliband looked like a cornered hare - no matter how much he blustered he couldn't square the mess Labour have got themselves into by their arrogance and lack of listening to the people.

    Gordon Brown has failed. No excuses, no Clare Short sniping from the sidelines, nobody else to blame. Just have-it-all-my-way-Gordon and his round table of champagne socialists to take the hit.

    It's time to ditch Gorden, Ed, Harriet and the rest of them before it's too late - there's just time to get a new PM into Number 10 before 2010 and the even worst disaster of David Cameron and his band of Eton toffs get their hands on the levers of power.

    Ed Miliband's smarter, elder brother is the man for the job I'd reckon; young, intelligent, ruthless and charismatic. Someone in the Blair mould to reset the whole New Labour experiment. Hopefully someone who can cut out the cancer of incompetence from the Labour government before we end up with Boris Johnson's 'noblesse oblige' mates in government.

  • Comment number 75.

    @julianmoss. You make a valid point
    Gordon Brown has hurt Labour more than the Iraq war.

  • Comment number 76.

    Gordon Brown's fundamental problem is nobody likes him!

  • Comment number 77.

    I'm hoping that the Tories have the sense to work more closely with the SNP in Scotland.

    Whatever the rights and wrongs, the SNP are proving popular in Scotland, and the more SNP seats, the less Labour...

    ... and the SNP *don't* vote on purely English issues.

    That's worth considerable support from the English taxpayer.

    The Tories fail to win some older industrial cities in England? If Labour loses a decent tranche of its Scottish seats - it won't matter.

  • Comment number 78.

    Recent history suggest that the British eloctorate is, in the main, an apathetic body. Of those who do bother to vote, change is not exactly their preference! However, if the reults so far are anything to go by, several conclusions may be drawn. Ultimately, elections are only won and lost based on those who make the effort to vote. Given that the proportion of these is more likely to fall than rise based on recent trends, Labour has now fallen too far to come back. The key word in all of these discussions is confidence. It is difficult to place too much faith in a Prime Minister who, for ten years, was the unquestioned architect of the financial positon over which he now presides. Also, there is a saying in the world of sales whcih says: under promise and over deliver. Therefore, if as a prime minister you make any promises, you absolutely have to deliver on them. This is non negotiable. The 10p tax band fiasco is the biggest case of political suicide which I've ever seen. Brown has succeeded in alienating the one group of people whose support he could most count on by breaking a promise to them. In addition, this group is the lowest paid group. Imagine how let down they feel by a party which has traditionally pertained to be their natural ally. The dithering over calling a general election will come back to haunt Gordon Brown. He showed a lack of conviction and wobbled. The British people are happier with a leader who does what they say they are going to do. Finally, the extent to which his decision as Chancellor to hand over financial decision making to the Bank of England will ultimately prove flawed is beginning to become clearer. The time taken to act over Northern Rock was yet another example of a ditherer who was incapable of making a frim decision. It is all very well to point out that such a decision was in the hands of the Bank of England. However, the decision to nationalise the Northern Rock was eventually and inevitably made by Gordon Brown and Alistair Darling. Hardly the stuff to inspire confidence in an electorate worried stiff over the prospect of rising mortgage payments, household fuel, car fuel, basic food costs and the impending gloom of recession. As much as this has been a vote to express disapproval and dissatisfaction in Gordon Brown's administration, it has also been a landmark decision by the electorate to turn to the Conservatives. Not so much through being forced to (although this has certainly helped) but more through the fact that the Conservatives have made their promises sensible and realistic. They need do no more than what they are currently doing to enter government with a landslide in 2010. One thing is certain. Given that the time it takes for Gordon Brown is reassuringly slow, we can take it that he will occupy No.10 until the very bitter end.

  • Comment number 79.

    Right. Now if we agree that GB and labour are on the way out (note the use of lower-case l for labour), what do we want to start rebuilding this Country.

    If I can start, what I want is

    1 Government for ALL of the population.

    2 Simplification of laws and taxes so that we can understand them

    3 An annual report for Great Britain plc, like my company to show us what we are paying and how it is spent., to strict guidelenes and showing all off-balance transactions, Northern Rock, PFI - rememeber that this was how Enron went down the drain and the bosses jailed.

    Now its your turn.

    Please try to be constructive.

  • Comment number 80.

    Reiner_Toreheit

    The Tories voted in favour of the Iraq war and would no doubt be even closer to the Bush administration from 2000 onwards than Blair was, and certainly Brown is. Of course Cameron or Howard don't take any flak for the war because they weren't in power- but maybe you should take a look back in history if being a Yankee poodle troubles you so much- Thatcher-Reagan era perhaps?

  • Comment number 81.

    Ok Gordon

    If you are so intent on listening try this:

    TIME TO QUIT.

    Cause lets face it you'll make a mint on the dole.

  • Comment number 82.

    What amazes me more and more about Brown is his inability to CONNECT. He seems (tell me I'm wrong, Nick, if I am) positively scared of facing the press, unconvincing with the public, shy and distant with voters. What comes across VERY strongly is a sense that he is uneasy in the role.

    Now, I know we are talking here about the local elections, but how you handle the fallout from them is key. Gordon doesn't seem to know how to do that. He appears increasingly like a nervous rabbit caught in the headlights.

    Someone in the Labour Party must for the good of that party (by the way, I am no supporter) get GB either to show real connection with voters or get out of the way and allow a successor to turn the ship around.

    Sorry, Gordon. It's crunch time. Clearly you won't do for voters: does your ambition to be PM have to be at the expense of your party being ousted from power? Please don't say there is time to affect an election outcome. There isn't. The rot has set in. People don't believe in you or, even more importantly, believe you. Read the signs, and then - go.

  • Comment number 83.

    Empty heads voted Labour into power now Empty pockets are voting them out.

  • Comment number 84.

    Perhaps contributors here should keep their comments to a few paragraphs.

    Most of us don't have the time to read anything too deep and give the lengthy replies a miss.

  • Comment number 85.

    The truth is, the Labour party have lost the trust of the British people. It happened with the tories and now it's happening with so called 'New labour'. They'll do us all a great favour if they hire a large ship, get on board, then simply sail away into the sunset. I won't be sorry to say goodbye to a party that has shown it likes to make tough decisions for small people and no decisions at all for big people. All is gloom and doom!

  • Comment number 86.

    Gordon Brown displays the classic 'deputy' syndrome.

    He's been a 'number two' for years, looking at Tony Blair and saying, sotto voce, 'gi'us the job, I could do that'.

    Now he's discovered there's a whole lot more to it than appeared from merely watching Blair do it.

  • Comment number 87.

    So, "Culpability" Brown says that his job is to listen and lead! nil out of two so far then. When are the public going to realise that "not voting" is not regarded by Politicians as a protest, but as a sign of acceptance. If only 10% voted and one party got 6% ,then they would claim a landslide. Voting should be compulsory, with a fine for not voting, and the idiots who say they tore up their ballots in protest deserve more Nulab.

  • Comment number 88.

    Prudent Gordon was Lucky Gordon. The good years were down to his careful management - the bad and worse to come years are down to external factors. You suggest that Labour MPs are not seeking to replace him Nick, I say give them time.

  • Comment number 89.

    So Labour say they will now listen and act. By doing what? Increasing taxes to continually fund a bloated and out of control Public Sector? We are being governed by Lawyers and Barristers who have no conception of reality. When will Governments start to listen to people who actually have to run business's, understand cashflow and know how to make a profit - although that is becoming more and more difficult! I am becoming increasingly frustrated at the continual waste of money in the Public Sector yet nobody seems to be prepared to do anything about it.
    Or am I just a grumpy old man!

  • Comment number 90.

    No wonder he did not want to have a leadership election, he can't win arguments, he's always on the back foot and his catchphrase "prudence" has well and truly been ditched. We now find what most of us probably knew from the outset HE CANNOT WIN ELECTIONS. NOWS NOWT, DOES KNOWT IS KNOWT. "Clunking great fist" more like ham fisted. Oh happy day.

  • Comment number 91.

    re: Millibands et alia taking over..

    I would be aghast at the prospect of the 'Labour Party' voting in a new leader without a General Election. That would fly in the face of the very democratic principles upon which that party was founded!

    Ooops! I just realised they already did that when Blair resigned. Ho Hum.

  • Comment number 92.

    Any gov that has been in for 11 years is liable to lose popularity. The phrase 'time for a change' resonates more with the electorate. I am unconvinced by mos tof the other reasons/excuses which the Westminster village is putting out.

  • Comment number 93.

    Hi Nick,

    How anyone say Gordon Brown did a good job as Chancellor simply astounds me. The fact that there exists this myth of the 'prudent chancellor who put and end to boom and bust' beggars belief. It would appear to be based on the same mistaken belief that Alan Greenspan was a great Fed Chairman. He was clueless. (to put it mildly.)

    Gordon Brown raided the piggy bank while the times were good to waste the money on frivolous persuits, foolishly believing that simply throwing money at a problem will solve it. He systematically destroyed the pensions industry and increased the overall tax burden in his underhanded attempt to increase tax revenues to pay for all his white elephants.

    I think of abolition of the ACT tax credit, idiotic windfall taxes on the energy companies and utilities and the horrendus auction of 3G licenses, all of which hurt the very companies which pension funds are big investors in and derive a lot of their income from their dividends.

    In fact the only thing he did which was good was granting the Bank of England independence.

    Nothing was put away during the good times and now the government is reaping the harvest of it's horrendus fiscal policies. "Brown, who was clueless at the helm of the Treasury" rings more true than anything else.

    That there is no one in the ranks of Labour who is better as the PM is a clear demonstration of how incompetent Labour has become.

  • Comment number 94.

    So Gordon's response is we will start listening.

    Ok what have you been doing for the last 10 years.

  • Comment number 95.

    Gordon Brown is like the manager of bad and underperforming football team that has been deservedly beaten. He cannot accept that the other team was superior to his, played better and deployed superior tactics. He blames everyone and everything but himself and his leadership. In truth, the electors have recognised that the Tories are a superior party with better policies and more able politicians. Nothing Gorgon can do will alter that.

  • Comment number 96.

    Some BBC correspondents, i.e. Robinson and Peston, are very good at stabbing a falling guy. I want to know who these 'insiders on both sides' are, who are expecting a Boris Johnson win? I wonder if Mr. Robinson, an ex young conservative, would treat his old chums in the same manner if they ever manage to get back in government. I am no fan of Labour, but I find Mr. Robinson's blogs very anti-Labour, which goes totally against BBC's impartial stance.

  • Comment number 97.

    What appears to be missing from this debate is the fact that, based on last nights results, the Lib Dems truly will hold the key to the balance of power - which party will make ovetures in our direction? It will be interesting to see if Boris wins the first round of votes in London - but Lib Dems put Ken back on their second preferences.

  • Comment number 98.

    Nick
    How did the BNP do? I think that If they do well then that's another thing that New Labour has to claim responsibility for.

  • Comment number 99.

    mikepko (post 79) asks "What do we want to start rebuilding this Country" and requests constructive comments.

    Fine.

    You have to start at the beginning, which means defining what you mean by 'country'.

    As far as I can see, it is totally asinine to carry on pretending that the zombie political entity known as 'Britain' continues to serve any useful purpose, except for certain politicians at Westminster.

    So, if you are English, Scottish or Welsh, then the starting point, in your head, truly is 'What can I do for my country?'.

    Everything else, politically speaking, can flow from that premise.

  • Comment number 100.

    Remember MacMillan's words (I'm not quite old enough to remember him saying them) "You've never had it so good"? I think many people are feeling that they cannot remember when they had it so bad.

 

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