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Brown crisis bringing policy changes

Nick Robinson | 22:37 UK time, Sunday, 7 June 2009

The Brown leadership crisis may not produce a change of leader, but it is already producing changes in policy.

nick brownDavid Dimbleby has just asked Labour's Chief Whip Nick Brown about slowing down the part-privatisation of the Royal Mail.

Mr Brown said that he wanted "to find a way through" the problem which would carry "the support of the majority of the parliamentary party".

Translated, that means "it's on the back burner".

The public excuse? It's a tricky time in the markets.

The real reason? Brown's survival.


  • Comment number 1.

    And look at how Tessa was blathering: you are right: long grass it is. But watch out for Mandy: he won't give up.....

  • Comment number 2.

    Yes! great news Nick, of course it's only right and proper to determine your own postal service.

  • Comment number 3.

    No one seems to have mentioned that one reason for labour's routing maybe for the reason that labour promised us a referendum, and lied. There are so many reasons, but the British don't like being lied to.

  • Comment number 4.

    "The real reason? Brown's survival."

    Nail on the head, Nick.

  • Comment number 5.

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

  • Comment number 6.

    Policy making has no reality in this present government. Decisions can be made, but whether they actually are ever carried out will depend entirely for the moment on Machivillian Mandelson. Interesting thought: if this present government dwindles away or is replaced completely, what will happen to the grandiose Olympic plans?

  • Comment number 7.

    At last the mask has slipped a bit of opinion slipping in there Nick.

    'The real reason..Browns survival'

    At last the dreadful complicity within our ruling elite has caused even a hardened BBC journalist to crack and put opinion !!

    Now you know what it feels like to be a member of the public.

    Long may it continue Nick, if the journalists can no longer morally stand by and let this lot carry on without offering an opinion (on the bleedin obvious) we may have a chance of chaging some things for the good.

    Off you go then, feeeeel the liberation Nick !!


  • Comment number 8.

    One "rebel" mentioned how bad it was to have a government with a big majority.
    They rapidly become complacent and arrogant.

    Francis Pym said this of one of Thatcher's victories. He was correct, but was out on his ear the next day...... truth hurts, n'est-ce pas?

  • Comment number 9.

    A PM fighting for their survival is when we see them at their weakest.

    The coming week will see no punches pulled with Brown pinned in his corner, gloves up in defence hoping he can stay standing long enough to hear the bell.

    Meanwhile the whole Labour party is searching for a white towel...

  • Comment number 10.

    Interesting to see that the Eurosceptics have been routed in the rest of Europe.

    Wiped out completely in Sweden, Denmark, Poland and Ireland.

  • Comment number 11.

    Who knows, now some of the Blairites are out of the way, contemplating their own navels, we might get some real Labour policy coming through. No. I guess not. Sorry - got carried away there.

  • Comment number 12.

    Nick, you have just said on TV that the 'mainstream parties' deliberately cooperated and connived to manipulate the result of the EU elections by putting up candidates (that they otherwise would not have) to reduce the BNP vote.

    How you cannot consider this to be a massive story is beyond me -- I despise the BNP, but I despise manipulation of our system even more and I suspect that most british people would agree.

    *WE* the public decide the result - any attempt by anyone to pervert that is a disgrace - far beyond expenses abuses.

  • Comment number 13.

    Why are we so adverse to privatisation in this country? We should start with the part-privatisation of the Post Office and then do a full privatisation of the BBC

    It works and is the only viable option for the Post Office

  • Comment number 14.

    please tell nick that the expenses scandel did effect wales as stephen crab is the tory mp in pembrokeshire

  • Comment number 15.

    Policy changes are not needed, rather a change of leader. Whilst not being Welsh, I have spent time in that lovely country over the years, and sympathised completely with dedicated Welsh labour supporters. I am not a socialist, but fully understood the background and history of the Welsh working men and women, and knew well the docklands of Cardiff and saw the terrible living conditions. Despite not having bathrooms, nor indoor toilets, the workers bathed in tin baths beside the fireside, and their crumbling two-up, two-down homes. A proper meal was served at the end of a working day, and it was the norm for children to be taught good manners and a respect for books and learning. The great Welsh socialist Bevan played a great part in post-War governments, and his tragic death caused great sadness. Not since 1918 have the Socialists not controlled Wales, for this we must 'thank' Gordon Brown. No, I am not a socialist, but unlike Brown and his hypocritical government I do not pretend to be one.

  • Comment number 16.

    Nick, it's pretty impressive that you are blogging at the same time as being on the telly!

    One of the things that bothers me about this election is the fact that it's hard to follow how the votes are distributed. It's very complicated. People assume that PR gives a fairer result, but it's also important that people understand how it works so they can vote 'tactically' if they want to.

    Having just heard the BNP justifying why they won't allow people of other ethnicity to join them, it should be clear that this system leaves a lot to be desired.

  • Comment number 17.

    every cloud ...

  • Comment number 18.

    Midland 20, 11:36 says: "Interesting to see that the Eurosceptics have been routed in the rest of Europe.

    Wiped out completely in Sweden, Denmark, Poland and Ireland."

    Can you elaborate? The figures don't seem that different between 2004 and 2009, some movement but your "wiped out" equates to what...2 seats between the 4 countries?

  • Comment number 19.

    Labour, and real Labour ideals, died with John Smith.

    What we have heare is not the death throes of Labour, but the death throes of an opportunistic cabal whose sole aim was to gain, and retain, power by any means possible.

  • Comment number 20.

    The BBC Election programme tonight has not made clear that there were no local government elections in Wales last Thursday. In the past local government elections, whilst not by any means commanding a General Election turnout, have consistently maintained a higher turnout than stand-alone European Parliamentary polls. In other words a local government election on the same day leads to a higher turnout for the European poll. It would be interesting to see if there is any link between Labour's loss of support and turnout. Can we please have turnout figures for England, Wales and Scotland put up to compare with shares of the vote?

  • Comment number 21.

    So no courage of their convictions to "do the right thing" then, just self-interest and saving their skins?

    They have no moral authority to continue. They are in government, but not in power.

  • Comment number 22.

    10. At 11:36pm on 07 Jun 2009, The Midland 20 wrote:
    Interesting to see that the Eurosceptics have been routed in the rest of Europe.

    Wiped out completely in Sweden, Denmark, Poland and Ireland.


    Interesting to see that the Eurosceptics are projected to beat Labour into third place in the UK!

  • Comment number 23.

    Whats going on!, can you tell me why we are having to wait for the results, the voting was on Thursday and I attended a count in Hertfordshire tonight, the count finished at 19:00 but the returning officer could not reveal the score until 21:00( EU rules) , this was to give all the EU countries to give their scores at the same time,
    So why are we still waiting for counts to still come in!, they should all be in thats why the EU stipulated the 21:00 time .

  • Comment number 24.

    turn out was low, 43% and they forget to remove the spoiled votes.

    43%-7%=36% people voted

  • Comment number 25.

    Why is it that everyone in politics Esp tonight relates to the BNP as anti everything not British , or nasty , or Not trustworthy etc etc ... isn't this Racist ?
    Let me give you a message from the heart .. I am a Tory , always have been, but since the non stop Pre election Brainwashing fed through the TV and local Media, demos and Protests etc re BNP being a Terrible and Evil party, I voted for them , in fact 130,000 People Voted also , about 100,000 more votes than the Jesus Christ party for example, We are sick of England not looking like England anymore , we are sick of not having Freedom of Speech anymore, we are sick of having to bite our tounges incase we say something that offends someone, we are sick of foreigners teaching our kids in broken English, we are sick of Millions of foreigners everywhere we look, sit or stand. This isn't England anymore , add to this being dictated to by Brussels and the EU etc, Go on You Beauty BNP , bring back Britain , and we the people will bring back the Great in what was Britain.

  • Comment number 26.

    With all the comparisons and regional stats (miss the swingometer btw), it would be nice to see a total amount of votes for each party.

    We see parties up or down by various percentages, and the changes noted from 2004, but what IS the complete total for the whole UK for each party?

  • Comment number 27.


    That you don't (or can't) differentiate between England and Britain might hint at the root of your frustration.

  • Comment number 28.

    Brown must go, and we want general election.

  • Comment number 29.

    LOL @ bnpyahoooo's comment above....

    You speak of teaching in 'broken English', yet there are so many 'indigenous' folk who struggle with their poor grasp of the English language. You mention 'England' and 'English' many times.... I guess being Welsh is not good enough for you mate (what a relief)?

    Get a grip, get a life, get a conscience....

  • Comment number 30.

    Brown didn't give us the referendum that was promised in the Labour manifesto, so the people are expressing their views in the only way they can.

    After this wipe-out for Labour, it will be interesting to hear how they will explain why they are still right and the voters are wrong.

    It's reminiscent of Iraqi Information Minister Mohammed Saeed al-Sahhaf telling us how they were crushing the American invaders as tanks rolled up behind him.

    How will Comical Mandy spin his way out of this one?

  • Comment number 31.

    I hope you are proud of yourself for your part in creating the anti-politics backlash which has left the door open for Nick Griffin to become an MEP.

    "On D-Day, Britain sent an army to Europe to stop the Nazis getting to Britain. It is an absolute insult to the memories to those who fought that 65 years later Britain is now sending Nazis to Europe to represent us" from the leader of the GMB union.

    We as voters should be ashamed, but the media should be even more so for the completely non existant coverage of the real issues in this election.

  • Comment number 32.

    Tonight was a lesson to the political classes around the country that when you lose the trust of voters either through failing to engage legitimate concerns, failing to deliver commitments made failing to uphold acceptable standards or treat the voters as if they are thick peasants then you will suffer the consequences.

    We have mainstream parties refusing to debate the issues with the BNP... an action which surrenders the democratic process to them and only alienates even more people, we have Labour promising a vote on Lisbon then telling us well it isn't a constitution with the inference well you won't understand the issues, then there is expenses and the PM's dithering response.

    So the result of the betrayal of democracy by our parliamentarians is that a lot of voters have decided that the mainstream parties just aren't listening and that quite frankly the EU issues aren't worth a scooby snack deciding that they would stay away from the polling booths with the RESULT that 2 BNP MEP's were elected

    and they say by abstaining you can't influence the results...take a look at the figures and let it be a warning to the politcal class

    Messieurs Brown Cameron and Clegg take note that YOU reap what you have sown

  • Comment number 33.

    BNP is free to think what they want, and if they dont like black, no one can force them or discriminate them. So, stop this nonsense.. you can't force people to beleive in human-made climate nonsense.. what about the jesus christ party? that is racist too.. so proEU parties are racist too, because they discriminate against EU sceptics.
    so BNP is like any party, if you supress it, it will grow more.

  • Comment number 34.

    They will have to scrap ID cards, the paedophile catalogue also known as the children's database and give us a referendum on the EU treaty just for starters.

    Then actually listening to all the people, instead of small focus groups of labour loyalists, and acting on what they are told.

    Will they do that?

    Not likely.

  • Comment number 35.

    Nick, it rings somewhat hollow your concern for the fascist representation in our European Parliament. Where was your coverage of the true ideology of this party? Where was your impartial journalism of the real issues at stake in the EU? The press, with the influence you possess which may topple a government, have forgotten; with great power comes great responsibility...

  • Comment number 36.

    Let's be honest if Gordon Brown says he is getting on with what the country want him to do again ie running the country then the 84% of people that did not vote for his party should excercise there democratic right to protest peacefully and vocally at the earliest opportunity outside parliament. Just be sure to wear your PPE so the LSP ( Labour State Police) can only inflict minimum injury to the people who pay there wages when we use our democratic right to protest! unless of course he realises he has lost the argument and goes to the country!
    won't hold my breath on that one though.

  • Comment number 37.

    It's not a change in policy, it's a do nothing policy.

    So for another year when we need to be making radical reforms and very tough choices like part privatisation of Royal Mail the UK is going to paralysed. Disaster for Royal Mail and for the country

  • Comment number 38.

    If the labour answer to total annihilation of their vote is just to stop legislating until 2010 but to carry on collecting all their perks in the meantime with the whole of Parliament paralysed, then as a country we're in even worse trouble than I thought.

    The electorate said overwhelmingly to labour "we want you all gone, and we want that to happen right now because you've destroyed our country", the labour response is:

    "We've listened - what you're telling us is that you want us to stay in power for ever and that this is just a protest vote against expenses which is not a party issue"

    That response can't stand given the electorate's own wishes. Public unrest will ensue if labour doesn't call a general election in the very near future.

    A change of leader is irrelevant now; the point is that people want labour gone.

  • Comment number 39.

    You say "David Dimbleby has just asked Labour's Chief Whip Nick Brown about slowing down the part-privatisation of the Royal Mail."
    Kate Hoey was talking about the same thing on the news. No-one seems to be pointing out that this is EUROPEAN legislation and that, whilst they may drag their heels a bit, they have to follow it through. They have passed it into UK law.

  • Comment number 40.

    Here we go again. Senior Labour figures coming out and saying 'It's the policies not the leader'.
    Hello. Smell the coffee. It's both!

  • Comment number 41.

    Transport Minister Sadiq Khan on Sky News today was spouting arrogant, head in the sand, complacent nonsense. Oh, it's the expenses issue, Gordon Brown has an excellent track record, Gordon brown is doing a good job in difficult circumstances, blah blah blah blah blah. With people like this at the helm of The Labour Party The Opposition can afford to sit back and watch The Government implode with a surfeit of blame deflection, complacency, misjudged loyalty, arrogance and downright untruths.

  • Comment number 42.

    Can any one tell me as to what the electorate must do to say 'Mr Brown we have had enough of you and your goverment, now call a General Election'
    After all we did not elect you to be PM!

  • Comment number 43.

    Dear Everyone

    Given that the BNP support improved trades union rights and the nationalisation of various key industries, is it right to call them "right wing"?

  • Comment number 44.

    It is reported that Environment minister Jane Kennedy has become the latest to leave the government.
    'Her spokesman said she had been sacked because she would not give a pledge of support to Gordon Brown.
    But Downing St said she had not been asked for one and had called Mr Brown early on to say she wanted to quit.'
    It is precicely because of things like this that we the people have LOST COMPLETE TRUST in all politicians !!
    How can you take this lot seriously.

  • Comment number 45.

    All the time you spout so called anecdotal evidence how will anybody ever believe what Gordon Brown says. Most of the time what is spouted is blatant untruths and rumours. You have learned well how to appeal to the "Gut" of the electorate rather than their "head", some of us have read and understand Dan Gardner's Risk the science & politics of fear, you are a consumate spin doctor, I imagine that you blush profusly when accusing politicians of that sin. On a lighter note it was great to see Peter Mandelson giving Andrew Marr a good kicking on sunday, I look forward to him locking horns with you.

  • Comment number 46.

    Apparently Gordon Brown is about to trade off some policy changes tonight in order to save his own neck. Still they don't get it.
    Q: Didn't the voters come to the verdict that Gordon Brown and The Government is unable to meet their aspirations and expectations.
    A: Dr. Stephen Ladyman: 'I don't accept that.'
    That's alright then.

  • Comment number 47.

    Also sicilian29 I don't accept it either. The electorate have been stampeded into thinking it wants a General election. At this time I don't think the electorate is capable of using its head to make a sound decision. The parliament is elected for up to five years regardless of changes of leader. Lets wait until there are some policy and counter policies on the table, not just a promise of change from Dave, who doesn't seem to have any policy that is worth voting for. I want a proper GE not a beauty contest where the ugly sister of the Tory party win, last time that happened we suffered for 17 years.

  • Comment number 48.

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

  • Comment number 49.

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

  • Comment number 50.

    Re my post number 48.
    Why has this been removed as it in no sense whatsoever breaks the house rules.
    Who monitors the moderators, maybe you should check what is happening on your blog.


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