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Survival but at what price?

Nick Robinson | 18:45 UK time, Friday, 5 June 2009

Survival. That was Gordon Brown's sole focus on the morning after the night before.

Gordon BrownHours after James Purnell's shock resignation from the cabinet and his call for his leader to stand down, the prime minister did persuade Labour's leading figures to back him rather than sack him.

He has though won it at quite a price. Alistair Darling stays as chancellor having made plain that he would rather resign than be moved as the prime minister had once planned. It was a sign not of Mr Darling's strength but Mr Brown's increasing weakness.

Peter Mandelson has a new title first secretary of state and a new role to match the reality that he is in effect Gordon Brown's deputy.

He is one of the growing number of unelected hand picked appointees that Mr Brown has come to rely on. It is hard to see how this lives up to Lord Mandelson's description that "we've seen the creation of a new government", it looks instead like the emergency filling of an unprecedented set of cabinet resignations.

Nevertheless Mr Brown has seen off the ministerial revolt and it is now up to backbench Labour MPs to decide whether they accept that verdict or conclude that their weakened leader should be finished off.

Comments

Page 1 of 7

  • Comment number 1.

    These momentous happenings will see Brown gone. I am disappointed because his remaining would totally destroy The Socialist movement and Labour in The UK.

  • Comment number 2.

    If I understand the results of today then the man who is now Deputy (a post no longer held by a woman) is unelected by any voter, not having been elected to a constituency. On top of that he has previously twice left the Cabinet over allegations of malpractice.

    Absolutely disgusting

  • Comment number 3.

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

  • Comment number 4.

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

  • Comment number 5.

    Brown is a dead man walking, Labour is the party of the living dead.

    Bring on the General Election, after Sunday's drubbing.

    Resign now.

  • Comment number 6.

    I don't think it's about what Labour want anymore, they are so unbelievably arrogant and self indulgent. If they are so sure of what they can achieve, why doesn't Brown do the only honorable thing thing left and call an election.

    They are only elected officials and I think Brown has completely forgotten that fact. The man is a deluded megalomaniac!!

  • Comment number 7.

    Labour (144 council seats) has been beaten by "Other" (148 council seats).

  • Comment number 8.

    There's more courage in a Girl Guide troop than the Labour backbenches could muster. Brown has dug in. The Bunker has been reinforced and the country must now pay the price of the Labour Party's total lack of any moral fortitude. The only consolation will be that the Labour Party must now pay a much heavier price come the election next year.

    Brown constantly insists on telling us what people want his government to do, and yet he refuses to actually ask the people what they want. Election day 2010 will be so sweet.

  • Comment number 9.

    Survival, is only an option to those whom know when to call it a Day.

    In the Case of Brown it is ALL ABOUT refusing to be driven from Power, at ALL COST.

    Therefore, if there is to be ANY REVIVAL in the fortunes of what is left of Labour when finally any Survival Plan is summoned to retrieve what is left of the Labour Party, then any turnaround in this Party's fortunes will not be seen in any of our life-times.

  • Comment number 10.

    Maybe the mass hysteria group will calm down. GB has dealt with foot and mouth, blue tongue, terrorist attacks and a world wide recession, in which he led Europe and America in the right stimulus directions and still the blood thirsty mob call for more.

    The do nothing tory party offer zero in terms of policies, why would people vote for a nothing party?.

    As for the those who have resigned, well! talk about spitting the dummy if you cant get what you want, unbelievable! Flint, the housing minister that once said " you must have a job to get a council house"

    Paaaaa, carry on GB I salute your will to do what's right.

  • Comment number 11.

    It seems Brown won't be content until his cabinet, and our master, is full of unelected cronies. But what regard has he ever held for parliament and the electorate?

    Desperate measures from an ever increasingly desperate man. Glynnis, I ask you? And a ne First Secretary of State with no MANDYate from the public.

    I was going to make a joke about how there are probably no more Brazilians in the cabinet membership now, but I won't.....

  • Comment number 12.

    Dear Nick,

    The slowest car crash in history just keeps on rolling and rolling and rolling. With new fluffy dice on the windscreen and the fresh smell of vanilla in the air, this car just doesn't know when to stop and give up! (Must be a volvo towing a caravan)

    AJ says GB is far better than he at being PM, but if there was a vacancy, he never said never. If GB is better than AJ, will AJ be an improvement to us all??

    Xxxx
    ps,
    Everyday GB is Pm, is another hundred votes lost for (Za)Nu(Improved)Labour. How many before it is all gone?

  • Comment number 13.

    Well we have seen how two faced some MP's are last night Caroline Flint was right behind Gordon Brown and by 16:30 she had resigned and slaged Gordon Brown off just because she did not get the job what she wanted in the reshuffle

    I think Gordon Brown is better off without those ministers who want to just server for there own gain and not for the gain of the Country

    I for one will be happy if Gordon Brown makes it law that all MP's have to have there claims audited by independent accountants and there accounts made public at least we then can see for ourselves rather than letting some other leader coming and saying that they are going to make the changes but then just put a gloss on it then give MP's and exception from having to show us anything regarding there claims and expenses

    by Gordon Brown sorting it out we can get rid of the lot of them and know that the new lot have no were for them to hide any fiddles

  • Comment number 14.

    I would hardly call his performance as sealing his survival.

    He was nervous, spoke very quickly, constantly denied facts which everyone knew to be true. He just about got through it - for the weekend at least.

    The European Elections I fear will be an even greater disaster for Labour. The electorate has little time for the EU and they will use the opportunity as an even greater protest vote against Labour.

    Having to make the shortfall in his cabinet up of unelected peers and recalling people like Peter Hain, shows his is really scrapping the bottom of the barrel. He truely is a man with no mates.

    Having upset the women as well, I don`t think Gordon should be making any long term plans.

    Once we get over this weekend and the Daily Telegraph gets back in to its stride anything can happen - and to this government it usually does.

  • Comment number 15.

    Speculation aside, just look at the numbers. (as of Fri 19:20)
    Labour -228 seats clinging on to 146 and not a single council. Not one! Tory, LibDem, etc fortunes aside, Labour have been slaughtered. Calling these are not bad figures they are like calling WWII a bit of an argument.

    They have been erased from local government. There are currently more seats going to independents than labour. Even Nick has to admit that is seismic.

  • Comment number 16.

    What the backbenchers should do is finish off Gordon and face the electorate in a general election.
    What they will do is say nothing and take their next 12 months pay and expenses plus the golden parachute at the end of term.
    All this presumes that UK Plc hasn't sunk without trace by then!

  • Comment number 17.

    The back benchers, tragically, don't have what Brian Moore would call the 'cajones' to go for it.
    I weep for the state of this country, I really do. It is coming to a point that the people will need to protest - maybe a million in London would get the point across that we want this failing group of politicians out of our lives and a fresh mandate.

  • Comment number 18.

    What a farce. Don't worry we've now got Alan Sugar to give us an Amstrad Cabinet - it looks like a more expensive cabinet but theres much cheaper components making it up.

    You have to feel sorry for Caroline Flint - last night she was backing Gordo on SkyNews 100%, today no promotion so stamps her feet and walks out. Kind of says it all really.

    This is the government management team we're talking about and there are better run committees in working men's clubs round here

    Still Glenis Kinnock got a peerage so some good news

  • Comment number 19.

    This almost beggars belief.....a completely lame-duck PM without a mandate, bereft of ideas, and despite his crazy "the people want me to get on with the job" rhetoric, completely obsessed with self-preservation AT ANY COST - and now more unelected flunkys in a sad attempt to string it out a little bit more!! Whatever happened to democracy - oh yes, it died in 1997. Brown's delusion is so far off the mark it's unreal. If he REALLY believes that the people want him, why doesn't he grow a pair and call a general election NOW. Of course he won't because he knows it's a pack of lies.

  • Comment number 20.

    So someone who was never elected to be Prime Minister appoints people that no one has elected into key roles. Good job we don't have more oil or we would be invaded by the US as an unstable dictatorship!

  • Comment number 21.

    I listened to the PM's news conference. He is akin to a rabbit in headlights, or maybe CJ. Can he actually answer a question? I recall the end of John Major from sleaze. This goes far deeper, he's not in control, he runs out the same old mantra in reply to any question and is making the whole economic situation worse by hanging on. Bringing in and then promoting Mandelson!!! Mrs Kinnock???? Were they voted for? Do the unelected and 'advisors' run this country. Indeed do they outnumber MP's that were elected to run this country? I can't believe I voted for this party.

  • Comment number 22.

    Still no mention of Flint quitting and calling Brown a useless woman-hater then Nick?

    How many unelected ministers now? 3 as far as I can see (4 if you count brown as being the unelected PM)

    How many cabinet resignations so far? 6, or 7? I've lost count.

    And, with more than 200 council seats gained by the tories and more than 200 lost by labour, according to the BBC it's still not a good day for the tories.

    Your "reporting" is a joke.

  • Comment number 23.

    I listened to Gordon Brown this afternoon. I think that he seriously misjudges the mood of the electorate which wants change as the local election results testify. I would have more respect for him if he put his trust in the people and held an election. His new look Cabinet looks like an old boy's club.

  • Comment number 24.

    What is motivating PM Gordon Brown to remain.
    Is it his deep desire to create a prosperous and safe nation?
    Is it to cement his place in history that he continues in desperation?
    Does he still believe he acts in our Democracies name?
    Is it his narcissism that prevents him hanging his head in shame?
    Outside of Gordons fantasy world, his lackies know the score.
    Gordon Brown the Prime Minister should be .. never more.

  • Comment number 25.

    I think we'll see what parliament et al have to say about the number of unelected officials we now have governing us.

    This can't be allowed to stand. What's to stop this delusional megalomaniac instating all of the cabinet from unelected pals....

    It says something when he can't find a whole cabinet from within the rank and file of Labour MPs....

  • Comment number 26.

    Should we not be concerned at the growing lack of representational democracy in Parliament.

    Those MPs who have announced their intention of standing down at the next election are largely those who would lose their seats through voter anger at their expenses behaviour.

    Their proper course is to resign their seats and fight a byelection. By choosing not to they are effectively denying proper representation to their constituents.

    At the same time, we have Mandelson, effectively appointed Brown's deputy - in the Lords! Who the hell elected him? He is completely unaccountable! At least Sainsbury couldn't do too much harm as science minister - although his appointment was objectionable.

    The expenses business has ignited a much wider anger at our hopelessly outdated political system. We have an unelected head of state, an unelected upper house and now an unelected deputy prime minister!

    On top of that we have a rapidly expanding pool of disgraced MPs (100 plus) who have been forced to announce that they will not stand for re-election in the next Parliament - and who by their determination to hang on for their golden goodbyes are denying their constituents representation.

    Pardon?

    And this is the Parliament that took us to war to install democracy in Iraq? That is now proposing to reform itself?

    This country isn't a democracy at all.

  • Comment number 27.

    He may have survived the council election results and a cabinet that reshuffled itself but it remains to be seen how the Euro results will affect Brown. I suspect that Labour will trail in fourth behind the LibDems, UKIP and the Tories (who'll be substantially in the lead). If it's a bad fourth place then the writing will be on the wall.

  • Comment number 28.

    GB's going to have a mega breakdown next week when his "inner circle" call in the men in white coats. He's unique, I've never seen such denial.

  • Comment number 29.

    he actually lied at the press conference when he was asked if it was his intention to move Alistair Darling...he said he never intended to change the chancellor...everyone in the room knew he was lying, but no journalist challenged him...

  • Comment number 30.

    Dictatorship!

  • Comment number 31.

    We no longer have a Prime Minister, just a stuttering, mumbling psychological curiosity. Get rid of him. Now.

  • Comment number 32.

    Come on Gordon, accept it, be a man, suck in that quivering lip and hear what you're being clearly told by the public as a whole.

    Your leadership, your government and your party are no longer wanted, you have no authority, no mandate, no reason to continue, call a general election and 'do the right thing', because 'it is the right thing to do!'

    You're seen as nothing more than a silly stubborn little man, procrastinating over a job you're patantly incapable of doing.

    Go, go now!

  • Comment number 33.

    Can anyone enlighten me as to what the situation would be if Labour are completely wiped out in the EU election.
    I ask because a straw poll amongst 35 people at lunchtime in my local working mens club did not produce one person who had voted Labour. Not a scientific way of doing things I know, but it did raise the question

  • Comment number 34.

    He wont go anywhere, as we have seen when he was chancellor. He is clinging on to that job he so desperately wanted. Its time for an election. This is just like 1997 with an old, tired and useless government. I lost my job 3 months ago, and no matter what, this government has done NOTHING for me. They bail out the corrupt banks, with billions of taxpayers money, but for training, and job security NOTHING. Its time to go now, the longer he waits, the worse it will be and Labour will be unelectable for years.

  • Comment number 35.

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

  • Comment number 36.

    And there we have it. Mandy has been granted the title of Lord Protector of England as the real King is considered a basket case.

    Actually if I supported Labour, I would like to see Mandleson given a real go in the top job.

    Is there any bar to a Member of the Lords being PM?

  • Comment number 37.

    There once was a dark lord named Mandy.
    When using lies and deceit he was handy,
    In the cabinet he lurked,
    While smugly he smirked,
    For his evil plans were working, just dandy.

    Browns downfall was his ultimate goal,
    Meticulously, Mandy perfected his role,
    Going from Minister by Minister,
    Mandys plot was efficient and sinister,
    Forcing Brown to dig himself into a hole.

    Mandy knew Brown wouldnt just resign,
    So he keeps up the pressure just fine,
    With more ministerial scandal,
    Mandy, the political vandal,
    To the scrap heap its Brown, hell consign.

  • Comment number 38.

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

  • Comment number 39.

    What is this country all about? A government that cannot hold onto a single council in the election yesterday led by someone, who is frankly no leader, yet he still will not face the truth.
    This party has quite literally ruined this country and made us the laughing stock of the world and they still bimble along making a bigger mess by the day.
    The last 12 years have been nothing but a farce, the health service is managed by bureaucratic nonesense, education is starved of resource, the roads are a total mess...
    Why doesn't Gordon Brown do the decent thing, show his moral standing and do the best for the country a general election NOW!!!

  • Comment number 40.

    I am honestly ashamed to be British - how can Mandy be Deputy PM (in all but name)? Nobody but Gordon has voted for him and Mandy has twice been obliged to resign on the occasion in the past was he was elected as an MP. What sort of democracy is this?

  • Comment number 41.

    So many blogs today Nick, six so far, 3 have already gone into archive !

    If there is ever a political youve been framed/all right on the night please let them play Caroline Flints two contributions of the last 24hrs.

    Funny ? Hillarious ! BUT it shows all they care about really is climbing the greasy pole. GB forgot the hell hath no fury law.

  • Comment number 42.

    A wild day for Labour... and for me (an American living in Aberdeen), another reminder of the incredible ferocity of British politics, outdone only by the ferocity of the tabloid press, egging everyone on...

  • Comment number 43.

    The labour back benchers were emasculated by the leadership.
    They need Balls out of the cabinet and on their benches.
    With Balls they can then stand up erect and be counted.
    Who better than a friend to kick Gordon where it hurts?

    Back benchers call for Balls Out

  • Comment number 44.

    So Lord Mandelson is now "First Secretary of State". Why not just get it over and done with and call him the UK's unelected Deputy Prime Minister???? What a disgrace this whole mess has turned into.

  • Comment number 45.

    At the end of the day, the media will decide what happens next. Watch out for the 'Sun' newspaper, if they turn on the Labour Party then Gordon Brown is doomed. Don't forget what happened when they switched from supporting the Tories and gave New Labour their support back in the 90's.

  • Comment number 46.

    #13 (Unlucky for Some) Flint 1900

    "Well we have seen how two faced some MP's are last night Caroline Flint was right behind Gordon Brown and by 16:30 she had resigned and slaged Gordon Brown off.... I think Gordon Brown is better off without those ministers........"

    Be careful what you wish for, he might have a cabinet FULL of two faced MP's (let's ignore those we didn't get to vote for). AJ is in a very strong position now, Blair's babes are full of hormones and even Nick Robinson is running out of puff and promises!

    The writing was on the wall with this government when they sent tanks into Heathrow. What price they'll be doing the same in Trafalgar Square anytime soon....

  • Comment number 47.

    Gordon Brown is showing remarkable courage in face of unprecedented difficulties. There will always be the nervous nellies and Corp. Joneses (Dad's Army) in any group and it is good that Brown has got rid of these. There is a global recession and the electrorate during any mid-term elections, will always take it out on the incumbent-no matter how good or bad they are. When it comes to the real election, people will make a sober assessment-during which Cameron's vacuous Tories(do nothing and no coherent policies) will be exposed for what they are-all style and little substance.

  • Comment number 48.

    This unelected bit should be looked at more closely. We are offered a choice of two main parties whose philosophies (such as they are) are much closer than they ever have been. We let one of them govern (sooner the devil you know) until the government runs out of steam and we vote in the the other party. The new government gets re-elected because the defeated party has self-imploded. We have no choice in the candidates put forward by either party, so if we want to vote for the least bad party we have to vote for their candidate even if their main qualification is 'loyal party worker'. The winners of Britain's Got Talent, Strictly Come dancing, The X Factor and Big Brother have received larger numbers of votes having beaten several others. Notwithstanding jibes at the voting systems in these programmes, there was more choice offered there than in electing any MP.

    Elections should be not just about voting, but about making real choices. Our present system fails this test miserably. The proof of this is that in reality the public do not trust our present set of politicians or even the parties they they belong to.

  • Comment number 49.

    Zydeko@33

    That's promising, but don't forget if any of them had voted Lab they may have been a little too embarrassed to say in public.

  • Comment number 50.

    "we've seen the creation of a new government"

    By new I guess you mean undemocratic.

    Gordon must surely go down as the most disgustingly self-absorbed and arrogant man to ever risen to power in the UK, and even that was underhand.

    I guess for some people 'socialism by any means' is acceptable.

    Why is it always the left who think their world view is more important than democracy itself?

  • Comment number 51.

    Labour are doing a better job of getting the Conservatives into power than the Tories themselves. There is absolutely no doubt that Labour will be utterly humilated at a general election under Gordon Brown. The public are sick of Labour but there is also no real appepite for the country to vote David Cameron into power either.

    For the good of the Labour Party ,the spin doctors have to make it clear to all and sundry off-the-record - even now in the month of June - that Gordon Brown will be stepping down as leader of the Labour Party at the party conference in October in the best interests of the party.

    The best (and only suitable) candidate to succeed Gordon Brown is Ed (not David) Miliband and by the time of his coronation around November he will have bought himself and the party 7 months to the next general election as Christmas, New Year etc comes and it would be reasonable to hold off until June. During this time it is conceivable that Ed could not only avoid a bruising defeat for the party, but he could actually win a fourth term for Labour under his strong, intelligent, thoughtful and personable leadership.

    Any other course of action will be catastrophic for Labour - early election, Alan Johnson or the dreadful Harriet as the new leader, getting rid of Gordon Brown in June - and they will face not only years in the wilderness but also be defeated by a whopping majority. Getting rid of Gordon Brown just now would be a disaster only because of its timing. For the sake of the Labour Party they need to avoid the frenzy of the Tories and their cronies who smell the grandeur of power for the first time in 12 years.

    The big question is do Labour shoot themselves in the foot or snatch victory from the jaws of defeat by manipulating a horrendous situation to emerge with a clunking great fist to knockout David Cameron in the 12th round. It is safe to assume that Tony Blair never imagined it would be in the shape of the modest but astute Ed Miliband.

  • Comment number 52.

    GREAT to see Flint revealing herself in her true colours. Hilarious to see her petulant "anti-women" rant dismissed by the HARPERSON. And then Brown replaces Flint with a woman. It gets better and better.

    From self promotion to no promotion to self-inflicted demotion.

    Out like Flint.

  • Comment number 53.

    10. At 7:11pm on 05 Jun 2009, derekbarker wrote:
    Maybe the mass hysteria group will calm down. GB has dealt with foot and mouth, blue tongue, terrorist attacks and a world wide recession, in which he led Europe and America in the right stimulus directions and still the blood thirsty mob call for more.

    The do nothing tory party offer zero in terms of policies, why would people vote for a nothing party?.

    Paaaaa, carry on GB I salute your will to do what's right.

    ==============

    Derek you really are a delusional soul.

    Gordon is doing one of two things - either hanging on for his own ego, or he really believes that he has a mandate from the people to inflict his world view on us. Which do you think it is?

    I notice that he mentioned today that we must go forward quicker. That really disgusted me. He wants to get his way before being ejected from office. If he could hand us over to europe tomorrow, knowing that he was going to be kicked out on monday I think he probably would.

  • Comment number 54.

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

  • Comment number 55.

    Brown tells Caroline Flint that he hopes she'll return to Government one day. Can't see it happening myself - she'll be far too old by the time Labour get another chance.

  • Comment number 56.

    Our "Dear Leader" postures and asserts his waning authority, surrounding himself with yesterday's men and women (Mandy, Glenys and Sralan - all now unelected, like him), clinging to those who are not yet quite ready to cut him adrift (Alan Johnson, Darling and David Milliband) while the rising stars of the Labour party (Purnell, Flint, Hutton), who see their future career beyond his tenure, race to disassociate themselves from his crumbling administration.

    For ten years, as the Iron Chancellor, he smugly maintained to have an unprecedented measure of control and responsibility for the economic health and prospects not just of the UK domestic economy but for its position and influence on the world stage. With the possible exception of Greenspan, he was the one who claimed to have a steady hand on the tiller. If his influence was true then, surely is it not true now?

    During this time the economy was mortgaged to the future expressly at his command at a rate that has never been seen before. Insurances against future uncertainty - notably our gold reserves - were discarded with astonishingly ill-timed incontinence. Byzantine levels of fiscal complexity were introduced - and pensions (deferred income) were seen as a ready source of further government funds. As the edifice began to crumble last year, yet more of our money was committed to shoring up his vanity to an eye-watering extent.

    This mean-spirited, preening, joyless, ill-tempered, incompetent, narrow-minded, arrogant, spineless, un-elected, wheedling, cowardly, misanthropic, self-satisfied, demagogue more than any other person in office on the planet has his fingerprints all over the UK's and the world's present economic situation.

    Why should he not now take the option of the glass of whisky and the revolver?

  • Comment number 57.

    More unelected ministers....

    Brown holds the Parliamentary Labour Party in contempt.

    I guess he's right to as if they had a collective backbone they'd get shot of this incompetent delusionist.

  • Comment number 58.

    10. At 7:11pm on 05 Jun 2009, derekbarker wrote:
    Maybe the mass hysteria group will calm down. GB has dealt with foot and mouth, blue tongue, terrorist attacks and a world wide recession, in which he led Europe and America in the right stimulus directions and still the blood thirsty mob call for more.
    The do nothing tory party offer zero in terms of policies, why would people vote for a nothing party?.
    You just don't get it do you.
    People have voted to tell Brown and his party they want no more of his failed policies.
    He has led us to record taxes, record numbers on benefit, record national & personal debt, destroyed pensions, sold gold reserves at a fraction of it's value costing the taxpayer approx £3 billion.
    signed us up to the Lisbon treaty after promising a referendum.
    Promised an end to boom and bust.
    Human rights protecting child molesters and killers, prisoners being released early, or being freed when they should not have done.
    MOD projects costing billions of pounds with nothing to show for it.
    An illegal war in Iraq.

    No one wants anymore of this incompetance,
    Derek, get it through your head that Nu Labour are finished, these MP's have destroyed the country & the Labour party as no other Labour MP's have managed to do in history.

  • Comment number 59.

    "At 7:47pm on 05 Jun 2009,jolo13 wrote: he actually lied at the press conference when he was asked if it was his intention to move Alistair Darling...he said he never intended to change the chancellor...everyone in the room knew he was lying"

    That Brown lied was exactly my reaction. The reporter who asked was adamant that Brown's aides had been briefing that Darling was to be replaced (and no other reporter corrected him) and yet Brown denied it, twice.

    Plus he also lied, to my understanding though please correct if I am wrong, when another reporter challenged him about cuts from 2011 onwards. Brown angrily stated that spending would continue to rise, denying that there would be cuts, and yet also not saying how the UK could possibly afford constantly increasing spending.

    Would the journalists PLEASE nail him on these lies so he can be impeached (or the British equivalent).

  • Comment number 60.

    #10 derekbarker

    Derek you really are into fantasies. Not long ago you were predicting a 5% lead by NuLabour over the Tories.

    Time for a reality check Derek, the polls today were the real McCoy, not those predictions by the pollsters. I can wait for the result of the follow up on Sunday/Monday.

    By the way your quote - The do nothing tory party offer zero in terms of policies, why would people vote for a nothing party?

    Today people have been doing just that, voting for the Tories, indeed voting for anyone but NuLabour.

    Even the County I live in, Lancashire, once Labours heartlands have said a big no to Duff Gordon.

    Roll_On_2010 12 Months to go.

  • Comment number 61.

    Brown will survive this - the question is, will the rest of us? His press conference was a good example of the old politics - prepare the answers beforehand and stick to them regardless of the questions and, further, decide what the public want without having asked them. So we get a new raft of policies and priorities that he has decided we want. Just like he decided we need a foreign company to help us run the post office, (I'm all in favour of Europe but I think there are a few things we can do ourselves), that we wanted billions spent on identity cards, that we wanted to abolish student grants, that we wanted to invade Iraq and fight in Afghanistan... the list is endless. I wonder if Labour understand what democracy really means any more? (And it's not the unelected Alan Sugar helping to run the government.) Perhaps Gordon could set up a committee to look into it?

  • Comment number 62.

    Why no mention of the European election results? Not even a link to follow on BBC website. Have I missed something ? Are they not out until whole of Europe has voted or something ?
    Did we go to all that effort yesterday for nothing ?

  • Comment number 63.

    Can't remember if it was on your side, though, somebody compared GB to the Terminator, before. I'd rather suggest a Palpatinian tendency. It might need a father & son double-team to take this one down. I wonder what's happened to old Obi-Wan?

    You don't need to see his identification.
    Move along. ;-)

  • Comment number 64.

    Why doesn't someone put some facts to Mr Brown or his cabinet ministers such as he took over as chancellor when Britain had a secure financial future and over 10 years he has been less than prudent in his management of our finances and brought us into the current recession. Yes there is a global recession but we should have been able to avoid the worst of it if he had been prudent.
    In the two years since he has been Prime Minister he has made a complete and utter mess of everything has has been involved in. If he had been in business he would have been moved or dismissed for his dismal failures. Surely the evidence points to someone who is incapable of doing his job and should resign and allow someone else to clear up his mess.

  • Comment number 65.

    The spectacle of a Labour government ennobling people so Crash Gordon can put together a government just sums up the inadequacy of our electoral system and is simply a disgrace. Gordon can't even find enough elected MPs of adequate calibre to be ministers to run his government. The whole of politics is too concerned about only having people stand that will do the party's bidding, not that will be any good, and as a result there is not enough people who are up to the job. We must have open primaries, not just candidates who are the mates of party insiders.

    The County Council and EU elections are a joke. 37% turnout is not an adequate mandate to Govern and spend all our money. Who are these people anyway when 2 out of 3 people can't be bothered to vote for them. There is too much Government meddling in our lives.

    Gordon and his failed government have to go. The electoral system has to be reformed before the next election with all candidates reselected from open primaries. We must have candidates from all walks of life and of genuine excellence, not the career politicians and lawyers foist on us at the moment who will simply be lobby fodder for the parties. There can be no credible Government with things as they are with the MPs that we get at the moment.

  • Comment number 66.

    Tonight, apart from Bristol, the electoral map is all blue........

    Just imagine how devastating Labour's defeat would have been if the BBC actually tackled government ministers when they peddled obvious lies or spouted the usual misinformation!!!

    http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/shared/bsp/hi/elections/local_council/09/map/html/map.stm

  • Comment number 67.

    Nick

    If one of those programmes were made about great British Prime Ministers Gordon Brown would be in the relegation zone. I also have to say that the press treatment of Brown this afternoon was so week it was an embarrassment. Lets hope the parliamentary correspondents dont have a football team since it would be incapable of scoring a goal. This scrutiny is vital since in this corrupted parliamentary system voters are effectively disempowered as we wait to see whether the Parliamentary Labour Party will ever get some backbone. As such well done Sherman, Flynn and Raynsford.

    The arrogance of Brown knows no bounds. He informs us the electorate want him to stay in power to sort out an economy which his government has wrecked and reform a political system which new labour has dragged into the cesspit. This on the day when Labour scores its lowest vote since god knows when and will face another drubbing on Sunday. The people have spoken and yet he understands better than we know ourselves. His misogyny has been laid bare and that blazing hypocrite Harman still clings to the wreckage. Things are so desperate he has even brought a Kinnock back and placed her in the Lords which of course he promised to reform last week! It is patronising and breathtaking arrogance which led me after 40 years as a labour supporter to vote Green yesterday for the Euro elections. I will never vote labour as long as Brown is leader. A clear message has gone to all Labour MPs either get rid of Brown or face the ruination of the Labour Party

    Where are the new listening politics that he spoke about last week and all the empty rhetoric about putting voters at the heart of the political system? The answer is 3 new talking shops - the National Democracy Council being the hollow joke of them all. We have in Labour a party that is little more than a self serving clique hanging on to power for grim death because they have nowhere else to go. They talk of saving the economy yet they are completely distracted and have in any case ruined the public finances for the next decade. They talk of saving the economy yet they are completely distracted and have in any case ruined the public finances for the next decade resulting in huge cuts to services and tax rises. Will someone please start a petition on Number 10's website for an immediate election we need to put an end to this debacle which brings shame upon our country and which demands a deep and lasting cleansing.

  • Comment number 68.

    So the PM tells us in his press conference what we the ordinary people are concerned about. I don't know how he knows what I think, I haven't had a Labour politician canvesss me for several General Elections. Stop telling me what I think, and let me tell you what I do think in General election.

  • Comment number 69.

    There seems to be some confusion about Lord Mandelson's title: "First Secretary of State".

    Any cryptic crossword enthusiast will recognise that the answer is "S.O.S."

    Hope that helps.

  • Comment number 70.

    well he's clinging on, isn't he? - guess that's what people in power tend to do - it's up to the PLP whether they bring him down or not, not so sure they will - the problem is this assumption that a new leader would HAVE to be followed immediately by a General Election (don't see why, myself, but that seems to be the view) because that essentially means that Brown out equals electoral thrashing within weeks - better, surely, to hang on in there and hope that time works its magic - if, in a year, the economy is picking up (a big if, I know, but it's possible) and the tories are still devoid of positive ideas, then you never know, hung parliament maybe - at the very least, the defeat may not be as bad as it would be right now - course, the risk is that things get even worse but that's a risk worth taking, I'd have thought

  • Comment number 71.

    Today's 'reshuffle' has dominated the news and overshadowed the Local Election results.

    What can Brown have in mind for Monday to overshadow the Euro election results?

  • Comment number 72.

    Is there no one who can ask for him to be examined by a Psychiatrist? I fear he needs it

  • Comment number 73.

    Sir Alan Sugar (sorry Lord Sugar) speaking on TV tonight about one of his apprentices: "Trouble is he really really believes he is better than what he actually is. He has to go".
    This phrase could so easily be applied to his big political hero. Priceless!!

  • Comment number 74.

    The man, who has decided all by himself to tackle constitutional reform, is now the very same man who has brought on board to his Cabinet, seven unelected Ministers.

    Not one of these Ministers will be held to account in the House of Commons so how do the elected representatives of the people, our MPs go about their business as the legislature? They won't.

    Brown who has constantly criticised Mugabe is beginning to look like his nemesis.

    Zim-Invader? Perhaps you can provide some insider knowledge your end.

    With so many Labour Ministers leaving the Cabinet today and the past week, they have a duty to themselves, their party and their country to mobilise the others who are disenchanted in thier ranks to rebel and force a GE.

    I appreciate I should have listed their priorities in reverse order but I know how they all think and work.

    Which is all the more ironic when one thinks that our despicable PM will attend the D-Day celebrations tomorrow and stand side by side with those who will remember their dead comrades who gave the ultimate sacrifice, who put their country above their party above themselves.

    Gordon Brown and his cohorts are not fit to stand in their presence and should be ashamed as I shall be when I see the grinning fool pandering for a photo call with Obama which is the only reason he is going.

    Nick, despite what you are reporting about the turnout in todays council elections, which by the way is something rather unique to the BBC compared to your rivals, the Labour Party has been crushed. If they achieve a loss of between 250 and 300 seats, it will count as a disaster or meltdown.

    Coupled with Sundays results in Europe where Labour are expected to finish fourth, this too will be a double disaster.

    Come Monday when GB will face the PLP in the H of C, I really cannot believe that Byers, Milner, Farelly, Gibson, Flint, Purnell, Blears et al will just sit there and accept that many of them have been replaced by unelected representatives.

    Then come Wednesday and that tabled motion of no confidence in the government.

    If Crash still does not take the hint, he will lead the Labour Party into history.

    And finally, you could tell from the Press conference this afternoon that not one journalist, you included Nick (a good question by the way), was satisfied with one answer they received.

    It was a poor performance by the PM, nothing out of the ordinary, but something the country has come to expect much to our shame.

    Gordon is dead!

  • Comment number 75.

    I am both cynical and disappointed, bringing Mrs Kinnock and Hain back is only to shore up the Welsh vote. Brown has used his Scottish mafia to ensure popularity in Scotland and now Wales. He knows England is against him I wish he could do something for the English that would not make us feel marginalised

  • Comment number 76.

    #18
    The Amstrad Cabinet. (Q? It's Alan the peer!)

    Nearly as exquisite as Ms. Flint's slow-motion (or was that faster-than-light?) overnight undressing in the national window in the living room.

    Hm. Mandy's not following orders, then...

  • Comment number 77.

    The result of the the votes from yesterday 4/06/2009 overwhelmingly indicate the nations choice. BUT it was the nation that voted labour into power through their lies over Europe and how we all have reaped their ill wind.
    I am extremely concerned that this kamikaze makeshift labour government are going to make their mark in government before they leave or get kicked out by joining the euro or signing up to the Lisbon treaty. Now that Gordon Brown has the dark lord as Secretary of State as his 2nd in command, anything can happen and we don't have Gandalf Cameron with his magical staff at the ready to do justice.

  • Comment number 78.

    You ask at what price Gordon has survived Nick. Obviously not his sanity, so it must be another £100 billion or so in the run up to the GE....!

  • Comment number 79.

    52 zootmac.

    You forgot to say who the Flint replacement is. Glennys Kinnock. Unelected yes, another one, but she dont suffer fools gladly and there is no doubt that SHE is female.

    Does GB know what he is doing? Naw dont answer that.

  • Comment number 80.

    #1. oldrightie
    These momentous happenings will see Brown gone. I am disappointed because his remaining would totally destroy The Socialist movement and Labour in The UK.

    Oh please, my sides are splitting.
    NuLabour are no more Socialist than the Tories, & if you think any differently you are in for a big shock.
    Here are some examples to help.

    1. Taxation. Labour continued to shift taxation onto indirect taxes to favour the wealthier & Brown removed the 10% Tax band put in place to help the less well off. Ozzy refuses to be drawn into the removal of the new 50% Tax band if the Tories get in power.

    2. Education. Labour continues with the program of academies & opting out of local control. Cameron broadly supports this principle.

    3. Privatisation. Labour plans to part privatise the Post Office, probably with a view to total privatisation if all goes well. Cameron supports this.

    4. Transport. Policy remaines the same as before. No changes there.

    5. The Tories started to deregulate the Banking systems & Labour continued to throw petrol on the fire. Both parties, until recently, supported less regulation.

    6. Unions. Tony Blair did a very good job of shifting financial dependency from the Unions onto big business & thus diluting whatever powers the unions had. Many Tory donors jump sides. I wonder why?

    7. PFI. A method of getting our grand children to pay for public building projects. Brought in by the Tories & continued in earnest by Labour.

    8. Trident. Labour decides to go all nuclear on us & Cameron helps clinch the vote.

    9. The Tories support the idea of a National Health Service & childrens schooling free at the point of delivery. Sorry, but these are socialist ideas. Failure to support these 2 things would result in as big a destruction of the Tories as we will give Brown next year.

    We could split hairs all day long & the above list is not exhausted, but the basic principles of the last Tory government continue to this day & will continue under Cameron.

    Heres hoping Cameron can cut some of the excess wastage, duff projects & non-jobs that Brown seems to have produced if he gets in power, but I wont be holding my breath.

    Im afraid the days of flat caps, pits & pigeons for Labour have gone long ago dear fellow.
    Now they have their ranks full of old school chums that use Westminster to fill their own pockets.
    Now thats another similarity to add to the list.

  • Comment number 81.

    Twas on a bleak all hallows eve that the Gorbro left his lair.
    With sulphurous breath, clacking jowls, lank and licey hair.
    A sickening sob, a retched roar, ripped the solemn silence.
    Confronted, Gorbro stood his ground as the Mandle wreaked his violence.
    They locked their limbs and gnashed their teeth but neither gave up ground.
    Finally the monstrous Mandle sobbed and cowered, a cringing hound.
    Smirking and slavering, the Mandle knew the Gorbro would meet his end.
    From the inky black moonless night, Mandles Ministers began to rend.
    Tearing the Gorbro limb from limb Mandles ministers leaped and lurched.
    When silence soothed the savage sight on Gorbros head the Mandle perched.

  • Comment number 82.

    "survival at what price" - you aren't kidding Nick; once the Tory's get in hopefully they'll sort your biased spin doctoring out.

    ps... this is very funny: http://blogs.news.sky.com/editorsblog/Post:25817666-2eed-4343-a85d-082d0716fc71

    Got your mark!

  • Comment number 83.

    The ( so far) survival of a PM and the steady erosion of democracy! Does anyone know when was the last time ( excluding the war) when there were so many non elected ministers of all ranks?

    When we link the number of executive appointees to the number of quangoes with executive powers over our lives, which we also have no significant influence on appointing it appears Britain is edging ever closer to a typical banana republic dictatorship. I can't help thinking that Brown must have picked up quite a few useful tips on his African tour a few years ago.

    I have thought for a long time that we have government versus the people rather than governance on behalf of the people but never thought to see government versus it's own rank and file MP's. It really gets more like Zimbabwe than we really want to admit. We've even had the police brutalising ( some might put it rather stronger given the death we are still waiting to have explained ) legitimate protest.

    Its not made any better by having a leader of the opposition who clearly doesn't believe in fair and balanced representation of the will of the people in parliament. He obviously feels that what could to all intents and purposes become a one party state solution with no meaningful opposition is just what he needs.

    I know people have their concerns about alternative voting systems but they haven't been a disaster in most of the world ( well certainly no worse than we have at the moment)and many have fared much better. Also don't assume that voting patterns or the political stance of parties will remain the same under a different voting system. The voting system creates our adversarial "tribal" approach whereas a coalition might well force openess and discussion. For example I wonder if Bliar could have taken us into Iraq if say four or five Lib Dems had been in his cabinet by right of electoral mandate? He couldn't have threatened them or silenced them if they had insisted on seeing the information Bliar clearly withheld from the vast majority of the cabinet let alone parliament and the people.

    Some effective way of putting a brake on the almost despotic powers enjoyed by the PM ( of whatever party) and to make the executive truly open and accountable has to be found if we are to claim weare meaningfully a democracy.

    For me the best outcome of the next election is a hung parliament to force the politicos out of their tribal bunkers and into a collaborative and consensual approach to governance.

  • Comment number 84.

    Informed sources claim Mugabe feels completely upstaged and is calling for UK to be thrown out of Commonwealth for being undemocratic.

  • Comment number 85.

    #47

    "Gordon Brown is showing remarkable courage in face of unprecedented difficulties. There will always be the nervous nellies and Corp. Joneses (Dad's Army) in any group and it is good that Brown has got rid of these."

    Funny you say that, I my self thought about the similarities between the current government and Dad's Army, couldn't help feeling that Gordon Brown is comparable to a certain bumbling Captain George Mainwaring - never quite grasps the plot, muddles through with the help of his under-studies but always claims the praise non the less, is always ready to blame those (especially those much younger than himself) who he should be leading and thus never takes the blame himself...

  • Comment number 86.

    #56 good post, but why waste good whisky?

  • Comment number 87.

    I am tired of being over-influenced by people with vested interests none of which seem to be focused on us ,the electorate, or the ecenomic challenges we all face.
    So the BBC want drama and crisis, the corrupt MP's want the spotlight taken away so they can carry on "as normal", party politics with all it's hype and exaggeration carries on as boringly normal.
    If you look carefully there seems to be some glimmers of economic hope, wouldn't it be nice if everyone could pull together to get us out of this mess, the best teams are the ones where people build on each others ideas, not when they destroy each other.
    For a start lets weed out the corruption and downsize MP's to say 50% of current size based on people with proven "non-sleaze" credentials, from what has been published that would be easy to do, and do it now, not when the the MP's get to grab even more of our money by hanging on until the clamour reaches a crescendo.
    It would also be good to have "dedicated" MP's I guess if they were all fulltime half of the current crew would deliver the same output. If I worked part-time I wouldn't get a fulltime salary !

  • Comment number 88.

    I'd be interested to see how long it's been since we had so many unelected members of a cabinet in government.

    I wonder if it might even be "unconstitutional"?

    It's at least arrogant, something our beloved leader isn't by his own admission.

    At most it's dictatorial.

    Quite scary.

  • Comment number 89.

    I can't see this being allowed by the mods, but the pic of (well, including) Nick on the sky news blog is priceless: http://blogs.news.sky.com/editorsblog/Post:25817666-2eed-4343-a85d-082d0716fc71

  • Comment number 90.

    Nick, I am wondering why you won't report the truth to the people who pay your wages.

    Yesterday the Today programme asked you who was orchestrating the Labour rebellion and you answered "We do know, I am not entirely sure I am going to tell you on the Today programme"

    What are you a reporter or a No 10 Apparatchik?

    You represent everything that is wrong with the cosy Journo-Parliament relationship. You knew about Mps expenses before they were made public but stayed silent.

    I ask again, who do you serve?

  • Comment number 91.

    I think this whole multi-layered fiasco will now inevitably get to a point where the monarch is compelled to intervene to represent the wishes of the People, which Labour have wilfully denied, and prepare the way for an immediate General Election.

  • Comment number 92.

    The more astute jounalists and political commentators who really are impartial understood today that the Tories did to Labour in the coundil elections what Labour did to the Tories prior to the 1997 GE.

    They went after the opposition heartlands instead of staying in the shires and trying to increase the vote and turnout where thay would have won anyway.

    Hence the lower turnout in council elections but at the same a crushing defeat for Labour.

    Sadly these observations were either ignored or missed by those publicly employed servants who are the BBC.

    Shame on you.

  • Comment number 93.

    What I have noticed these past few days and on this blog is that most traditional Labour Party supporters are more enraged about Brown than the Tories.

    How come I can see it but he can't?

  • Comment number 94.

    What a shambles! We really are the worst governed people in the first world. What we need is a CONSTITUTION in which legislature is fully distinct from government. At present we have a single house controlled by a whipped party majority where corruption has to flourish because government controls the legislature. And that wholly undemocratic bit about the royal prerogative. Hopeless.

    UK plc is losing a real 'stress test' just when cool and objective ie non-ideological leadership is needed.

    I despair.

  • Comment number 95.

    Gordon is the 'I' of the storm.

    Only when he is gone will calm be restored.

    Which would be good for Labour and tricky for the Tories.

  • Comment number 96.

    I'm not a Labour supporter but I really do think that Gordon Brown ought to stay.
    Firstly, there's no point having an election and new parliament until we know exactly which of our MPs have abused taxpayers' money. This needs to be done properly and not just by the Daily Telegraph. Otherwise we might get a situation whereby an MP is re-elected, only to be accused of wrongdoing by the star chamber after the election. This mustn't happen.
    Secondly, we ought to usher through constitutional reform and a reformed expenses system during the PM's last year so that the new government can get on with governing after the election. In my opinion, it would be far better to use 2009 as a year of reform than to have the Tories elected now while all the systems and procedures of Westminster still stink. We want a fresh and squeaky-clean new parliament!
    Finally, in Gordon Brown's defence, the economy really seems to be turning now and the first signs of recovery are evident. Perhaps in six month's time, when the electorate are a little less enraged, we will be able to assess fairly Gordon Brown's handling of this recession, which may have been better than a lot of people give him credit for.
    I say all this without actually being a supporter of Labour.

  • Comment number 97.

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

  • Comment number 98.

    Ref #63

    Gordon has started down the path to the dark side and forever will it dominate his destiny.

    Never underestimate the power of the Farce.

    More ministers turning away from him will bring balance to the Farce.

    Remember the Farce is with you .... always.

  • Comment number 99.

    At what price - the promotion of 'spin' & the bringing in of more 'celebrity' to bolster votes - and all unelected too ...

    Democracy - what democracy ... ?

    We need 21st century leadership and management - and 21st democracy now ... !

    Gordon Brown has shown 'what' he values, and the 'values' he upholds - and his remaining cabinet colleagues have too. Poweromics* is being desperately applied to stop the 'mutiny' by the 'officers', but they haven't asked the 'crew' what they think yet ... or anyone else !

    We want 21st century democracy now - nothing else will do, as nothing else will work!



    David Clift, a Future 500 Leader


    * Poweromics = People using position and power for their own personal gain, based on poor moral values, self interest and greed. Take a look at http://poweromics.blogspot.com for more examples.

  • Comment number 100.

    Gordon: There are negotiations being made that are going to answer all of your questions and solve all of your problems. That's all I can tell you right now. Kinnock, you grew up in Nevada. When we make our move there you're going to be my right hand man. Harriet is no longer Consigliari. He's going to be our lawyer in Vegas. That's no reflection on Tom it's just the way I want it. Besides, if I ever need help who's a better Consigliari than my father. That's it.
    [Everyone except Jacqui leaves]
    Jaqui Smith: Gordon, why am I out?
    Gordon: You're not a wartime Consigliari, jaqui. Things could get rough with the move we're making.

 

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