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Idelogical chasm? Tough sell

Nick Robinson | 14:09 UK time, Monday, 28 September 2009

This morning, Peter Mandelson claimed that there was an ideological "chasm" between Labour and the Tories.

Peter MandelsonIt is all part of the strategy for this Labour conference to convince the electorate that it has a choice between parties - not just a choice of whether or not to kick out Gordon Brown.

It should have occurred to me when he said it, that this is the same Peter Mandelson who once declare himself to be "intensely relaxed about people getting filthy rich".

The party's pitch is that it - a party of the centre left - can be trusted to tackle bankers' bonuses and to cut spending in a way that a free-market Tory party simply cannot.

This may be a tougher sell, Labour strategists concede, than Peter Mandelson would wish it to be.


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  • Comment number 1.

    Sorry but you have lost me completely with this one .....

  • Comment number 2.

    And he was elected by whom. He is accountable to which constituents. He seems to hold a lot of power and responsibility but how did he get is as as far as I am aware nobody voted for him to represent them in the UK government. He was even running the country for a bit whilst Gordon was on holiday - so we had a totally un-elected leader (a bit like dictatorships do).

    And the funny thing is that he did not get his responsibilities because he was mates with Gordon. In fact he is definitely not Gordon's friend. He was given the responsibilities to help shore-up Gordon's position in the Labour party. Now is this any way for a democracy to select it's leaders ?

  • Comment number 3.

    Mandelson also managed to tie himself in knots protesting that the FSA had worked fine.... until it stopped working

  • Comment number 4.

    "Peter Mandelson claimed that there was an ideological "chasm" between Labour and the Tories"

    Let us hear it for clear blue/red water then!

    I just wish that the Labour party had not acted like Tories since 1997. Where was the curbing of the irrational excesses before the bubble burst.

    The is an ideological "chasm" between Labour and the Tories, however the actions of both parties are quite similar. If Labour had not seen the "chasm" between rich and poor had not grown so much under Labour I might be prepared to believe him. It isn't the ideology it is the actions that count.

    Labour have one last chance to show the Nation who they are and if they take it they may get re-elected. This chance is to dramatically reduce the gap between rich and poor in the autumn budget. Tax the rich fairly for once (and introduce a National Maximum Income until the debt is repaid!).

  • Comment number 5.

    I agree that this is a tough sell - it seems that they are trying to convince the voters that they know the best way out of this mess even though they are the people who got us into the problem in the first place!

  • Comment number 6.

    I'll believe that is a choice between parties when Labour kick Brown out. Still wouldn't trust them to rebuild the country and the economy though.

    Its telling though that Labour have said its not just about kicking Brown out at the next election, someone there has finally pointed out to them that they are going to lose if he's leader.

  • Comment number 7.

    There is no democratic accountability in British politics.

    Lord Peter Mandelson proves that.

    The Labour ruling elite have run out of time & what ever modicum of talent they had to hoodwink there way into power.

    They have destroyed the wealth of the nation, destroyed the Pounds value & turned Great britain into an impoverished laughing stock.

    Labours true legacy? Inter-generational debt & British poverty.

    Churchill once said: "Socialism is the equal sharing of misery" - Labour have certainly achieved that for the people whilst troughing away at our expense & living high on the hog.

    Enough - we want an election - not because the Tories will be any better but because there is no mandate or trust from the people in Browns unmandated leadership.

  • Comment number 8.

    Would that be the same Peter Mandlesnake that encourages Scottish Barron's to get out of jail free after passing community chest and go?

  • Comment number 9.

    Peter Mandelson... Would you buy a used car from that guy?

    Sure, HE has a fight. He might find himself displaced if NuLab fail to get re-elected. No doubt he's already fixed himself up with a comfortable future in that event.

  • Comment number 10.

    Another example of Labours contempt for the elctorate -

    Ater 12 years of encouraging rabid full blooded dog-eat-dog capitalism in the city, support for privatisation and subsidisation of the super rich by the average (i'm thinking in terms of tax paid as a proportion of income), and generally denying that anyone in the party had ever read Karl Marx...

    do they really think that the public will suddenly be fooled by lip service to old labour socialist principles? when the whole point of the 'new labour' rebranding was to distance itself from those exact same philosophies.

    Although, come to think of it, the number of times I 've heard Labour described as 'marxist' 'socialist' and even communist on this blog, it may be that the public doesn't have a clue about the specific meaning of these labels any more, or simply sees them as derrogatory terms ( as in the US political scene)to be used as & when, regardless of how apropriate they actually are.

  • Comment number 11.

    Less of a chasm, more a slight crack.

    I find it a little odd that Mandi speaks of ideology when he has always seemed to change his ideology to suit his circumstances.

    The difference i can see is in terminology, swingeing cuts compared to necessary cuts.

    Same thing, same amount, same nonsense.

  • Comment number 12.

    The only chasm Mandelson can accurately speak of is the one he's got his own head up.
    Is he being deliberately offensive??

  • Comment number 13.

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

  • Comment number 14.

    so if i've understod the blog correctly, after 12 years, labour have choosen this moment to try to remind the public of their 'socialist' credentials.

    If anyone from the labour party can explain to me , in a logical & convincing fashion,how exactly redistributing wealth from the taxpayer (ie, the common man)in order to save the banks from mistakes caused by their own greed and their unshakable belief in the benefits of capitalism,

    if anyone can explain to me how this wasn't a massive & fundamental betrayal of the intrinsic tennants of Karl Marx, then I'll vote labour.

  • Comment number 15.

    Yet this man is prepared to cross this "Idealogical Chasm" as reported in his interview with the Sunday Times (I could work with the Tories, front page of the Times yesterday), or is he just making sure that he retains some sort of power whichever way the wind blows? As for this "Idealogical Chasm" this is most blatantly not so. As we move towards the election, I predict (and I am right so far) that the Labour promises will get ever nearer to Tory policy. Two weeks ago, Labour were "No cuts in government spending" remember? As soon as ALL the opinion polls unanimously reported the public more in favour of the Tories "We will cut public Spending", We saw yet another major shift in Labour Policy. The simple, undeniable truth is that Labour will say or agree to ANYTHING to hold on to power. The reason they won't hang on to power is not because the tories are better, but quite simply because nobody can believe labour anymore. What for instance happened to the drastic action they promised on MP's expenses? Where is it?

  • Comment number 16.

    Anything Mandellson says, can be taken with an enormous pinch of salt, if his past record is anything to go by. The man is incapable of recognising truth if it bit him. Like Brown, whom he would happily destroy in the hope of succeeding him, he is totally without any sense of integrity or any sense of responsibility for the people of this country who employ him. Whatever faults the Tories may have, I suspect that the welfare of Britain and it's people figure somewhere in their makeup, unlike this dreadful parody of a party which masquerades as the Labour party.

  • Comment number 17.

    A tough sell indeed! Especially in view of Mandelson's comments as Nick highlighted, plus 12 years when Labour have failed to address the issue as they were in thrall to the City and happy to collect the income and corporation taxes that the Banks generated.

    Typical of Labour's hypocrisy, also highlighted by Ed Balls' pledge to find £2 billion savings from the Department for Children, Schools and Families, whilst spending £3 million on a lavish makeover of their offices. The same Department that is hounding two female policewomen over their private child-minding arrangements and telling them they are breaking the law because they are not registered child minders.

    So much for helping hard-working families!

  • Comment number 18.

    There is an idealogical chasm;

    Newlabour are profligate wasters of tax payers money.

    The tories want to cut spending.

    no amount of bleating about wise spending and ideology can get newlabour away from their track record of spending far too much money for far too long on far too many projects without the faintest idea of getting good value for money.

    if you stand in the corner and shout 'I've got all the moeny' people will take advantage; newlabour only have themselves to blame for the way construction companies and the like took advantage of their largessse.

    Newlabour are quite simply incompetent at managing the public purse and have absolutely no intention of cutting the national debt; all comments to the contrary are disingenuous.

    They have no policies, people are bored with endless agendas and sick of the tiresome infighting. No one has a clue what they stand for except waste and name calling - from tory toffs; the bullingdon bullies; the far right; the nasty party, you name it newlabour have dreamed up a catchy put down for it. If they'd spent more time governing and less time investing in minding their own backs we might not have been in this mess. But we are and people want them to go.

    They should call off the conference, it's a waste of money, we've heard it all before and they are the most astonishingly bad deliverers of their own high blown rhetoric.

    Call an election.

  • Comment number 19.

    As usual the Govt is trying to take the electorate for fools. This Orwellian denial of their previous pronouncements is too obvious to sweep under the carpet. Even more difficult to dispose of is the corpse of the UK economy - the tell-tale evidence of economic mismanagement on a grandiose scale. So instead we have the diversionary tactic of insisting on a vast policy gulf beween the parties.

    In reality, there is a bigger issue of trust. Would you trust the legless drunk who stumbles out of a car crash insisting they were the best people to right the damage?

  • Comment number 20.

    Surely it isn't the message, which is laudible, but the messenger.
    Mandelson has previous, which most knowledgable political aficionados will be familiar with.
    Notwithstanding, is it not a bit of a myth that the Conservative Party favour big business and the bankers? After all, Labour could and should have done somewhat better in this regard in recent months.
    Another example of Brown and Mandelson reacting to events rather than influencing them.
    Labour will lose the 2010 General Election because of the deep, deep unpopularity of Brown. How much better would they fare, if at all, with a new leader not tainted by any connection with his/her predecessors?

  • Comment number 21.

    There certainly IS a difference between the parties, but it's not the one Mandy would have us believe exists.

    To an extent it is between retaining Gordon Brown or deciding that new blood is required (or as I am certain some labour activists would term it, "better the devil you know")

    But it's actually much more than that. It's Labour positioning itself as a 'centre-left' party when there is actually more personal wealth in the Cabinet than in the Shadow Cabinet. It's about extending the Car Scrappage scheme, when a) we have no money to pay for it, and b) the car manufacturing jobs all being overseas - and how Labour can't see that. It's about Gordon Brown being more interested in his Statesman Of The Year award than he would be about being Minister of the Minute back home. it's about talking up integrity, when Baroness Scotland is stil in her job.

    All in all, it's about a choice between an inept, morally and fiscally bankrupt administration and an opposition party that, if they had nothing else, can point to 'not being as bad as Labour' as a winning campaign slogan agreeable to the vast majority of tax-paying british voters (or 'the forgotten millions' as I like to think of us.)

  • Comment number 22.

    Labour's electoral campaign will come down to the following:

    a) Will the public believe that the Conservatives want to slash public services beyond want is necessary to bring costs in line with tax revenues - and impact on quality of service as a result?

    b) Even if the answer to the above is yes, is the public that fed up with Labour that they want to rid of the current government regardless?

    I suspect that this will be the unsurmountable problem for Labour next year; there is a solid feeling in the country that this Government has run out of steam and has no vision for a future term in office.

    There may be no urgent enthusiasm for an incoming tory administration but I suspect that enough voters will give them a chance to avoid having to put up with more of the same.

    If Labour continue to simply portray the tories as the Child Catcher from Chitty Chitty Bang Bang will just show that they have no positive vision of their own. All Governments have a natural shelf life and this one is well and truely on the turn.

  • Comment number 23.

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

  • Comment number 24.

    Gordon Brown stated in his interview with Andrew Marr yesterday...

    ' can't go back to the Tory stuff about free markets deciding everything.'

    He actually says this approx half way through the interview.

    Just who does this clown think he's kidding?...just what does he think he's been presiding over for the last 12 years?

    I'm convinced he makes this stuff up as he goes along and that he actually believes his own rhetoric i.e. that he single handedly saved the world from economic collapse. He'll start wearing his pants on the outside next. It's classic arsonist turned fireman-hero delusion.

    Nice to see that the BBC are at last growing some cajones (Re Andrew Marr interview)


  • Comment number 25.

    NuLabour has reached the point which it took the tories 18 years to arrive at. Time for change. When the country becomes restless and wants a change as to who is in power, there really is no way they are going to have their minds changed at this late stage. Provided Cameron doesn`t do a Kinnock he is assured of a win, the size of which will depend on as to whether Brown has taken sick leave or not. He is clearly suffering from fatigue, both mentally and physically so he shouldn`t have too much of a problem in getting a sick note. Mandy is now trying to ring the changes on the line NuLabour previously took of, the tories being a nasty party. The problem is there are so many things wrong with Nulabour the tories don`t know what to choose to go on first. The empty seats said it all yesterday. Labour has even lost control over its own activists. In the good old days of Alistair and Mandy the place would have been packed and everyone would have been on message. I bet the woman who was knitting, listening to Mandy`s rant, won`t be flavour of the day with him; but there should be some good cartoons in tomorrows papers.

  • Comment number 26.

    if Labour really do get tough on the bankers, if it's not just hot air ... a big if ... then that could be clear blue water

  • Comment number 27.

    Mandleson's speech was shrill and uncertain at best; at worst complacent and repetitive. Same old name calling, same old rally cries; not a shred of evidence or policy for how to get out of this mess.

    Call an election.

  • Comment number 28.

    Rather ironic that this unelected prima donna Mandelson, who has twice had to relinquish public office before due to "irregularities" - and who sees no "idealogical chasm" when he's a fellow guest on a luxury yacht along with Goeorge Osborne, should now be spouting off about banker's bonuses. What a hypocrite he is. If our politicians pursued the issue of their own expenses (which it seems they hope and believe the public has forgotten about, but the public hasn't forgotten, or forgiven) with the same zeal, we just maybe might get somewhere. But no - let's not hold our breath. Caledonian Comment

  • Comment number 29.

    I recall the same Peter Mandleson claiming a couple of years ago that one of New Labour's great achievements was to force the Conservatives to abandon for ever 'Thatcherism' in favour of centerist policies if they ever hoped to be elected. His current utterances are therefore nonsense. Can anyone turn up the transcript?

  • Comment number 30.

    It's not just about bashing the's about finance as well.

    ...and we ALL know that Mandelson has a few skeletons in the cupboard on that subject...don't we!

  • Comment number 31.

    I've just heard Mandelson's speech. He's just written his CV for the Tory party.

    A more conservative speech I have yet to hear but unfortunately he was at the wrong conference.

    He must have forgotton that all he wishes for will be held back by the constraints of the unions and a country that is near bankrupt.

    Oh that he had not had to admit to 12 years of bad management by a labour government that is now reeking havoc on jobs homes and the country.

    We have not forgotton the MP's expenses scandal Afghanistan Iraq and the disgusting throwing away of our money that has landed us in the present crisis.

    Labour were not looking in as they would like to portray they were well and truly in it and will be held fully responsible.

    No matter how clever the words it will always be down to actions. Last time we voted them in because of Mandelson's words look what we've got.

  • Comment number 32.

    Here we go election time is drawing neigh, expect to hear we'll do this and promise that.

    Its OK having party conferences they forget it's only their own folks that are clapping and cheering... not the general public and who the heck is going to sit in front of a telly all day listening to that garbage, do they not realize the damage has been done... don't know why the don't hire a clapping machine from the Beeb. Hey, that would work out cheaper.

    Sorry non of that will convince me any... I guy who can't even decide when to have an election or to have the 10p tax should never be a Minister let alone Prime Minister, there are other things as well be will lead us off-topic.

    So let the flock keep on clapping praising the great leader and just bring on the election.

  • Comment number 33.

    9. At 2:36pm on 28 Sep 2009, atrisse wrote:
    Peter Mandelson... Would you buy a used car from that guy?

    Sure, HE has a fight. He might find himself displaced if NuLab fail to get re-elected. No doubt he's already fixed himself up with a comfortable future in that event.


    Indeed. He is already touting for a job with the Conservatives:

    "LORD Mandelson has disclosed that he is ready to accept a job under a future Conservative government."

  • Comment number 34.

    @ #22 - CockedDice

    "If Labour continue to simply portray the tories as the Child Catcher from Chitty Chitty Bang Bang will just show that they have no positive vision of their own."

    SO true, and brilliantly put, bravo sir

  • Comment number 35.

    23. At 3:00pm on 28 Sep 2009, Mister_E_Man wrote:
    Is Mandelson on drugs too??
    Maybe they all are....


    If they're not, maybe they should be....

  • Comment number 36.

    I just wish we could start again. Mandelson has had a second and third attempt. I bet he's not overdrawn each month like the majority of us.
    Give me a break and get someone to sort out this mess. Stop spin, stop lying. I'm tired of this. I work too hard and worry too much about my family to just bury my head any more. We need a change.
    My wife's car was V reg before it collapsed last week. No car scrappage for me.
    I'm tired.

  • Comment number 37.


    Please challenge these politicians about bank bonuses. They are only paid if the bank as a whole does well and makes money. Now the banks are regulated by the FSA who follow the rules of the Treasury in relation to the amount of money is floating around the economy. That right was stripped from the Bank of England by a certain Mr James Gordon Brown and given to a new authority - the FSA. This all worked well during the 'no more boom and bust' period.
    BUT you cannot blame the banks for paying bonuses. It is the way they operate to get the best people in to make money. It is what banks do, and will a long time after this lousy government is gone. Rushed legislation is not the way forward, prudent regulation is what is needed and complex investments that were seen during the boom need to be banned not bonuses.
    Mandy also forgets that those who create the mess are not those who should clear it up. This government is just simply dying on a day to day basis. Even when they seem to get something right it falls apart in their hands and I wouldn't be surprised to see a few late night pharmacies open for more than just Gordon this week in Brighton.

    Please do us all a favour though and call that election soon - I imagine once Ireland has voted YES we should see the election coming, maybe even as soon as November!

  • Comment number 38.

    The inescapable truth is that the morally right thing to do, is to call an election now and let democracy and the people have their rightful say.

    We have had the Iraq fiasco, the meaningless loss of life in Afghanistan, the Expenses Scandal, the Baroness Scotland blunder and the passing of power to an un-elected PM and the Ponce of Darkness.

    I may feel powerless to affect justice, but I'll add one more voice to the call. Let’s hear the clamour and let’s see just how loud it can get.

    So join in. If you too, are of the disgruntled masses, anywhere and everywhere you get the chance, add to the call:


  • Comment number 39.

    "Is Mandelson on drugs too??
    Maybe they all are...."

    Is this a criticism or are you just seeking out like-minded folk, Mister E Man?

  • Comment number 40.

    I honestly don't think Gordon will give a toss about the GE now!

    Navy seizes cocaine 'worth £240m'

  • Comment number 41.

    "This may be a tougher sell, Labour strategists concede, than Peter Mandelson would wish it to be."

    Hah. You can say that again. Then again, if anyone's going to buy it, it'll be the British electorate. Any other nation that hasnt been equally as dumbed down and had its teeth pulled for the last 12 years would probably have burned them out of their offices by now.

    ideological chasm, eh? I wonder where they've hid that? Is that something that is locked away in a glass case in the No10 bunker with a notice saying "break only in the event of an election"???

    Theres no chasm between them. Any of them. Rather than being honest about what they stand for and what they really believe in, all they are all doing is trying to stand on that one spot in the centre (the sweet spot?) where the majority of the votes are that will get them into another 5 years troughing and lining their own nests.

    How else would a political organisation, with public ownership at its heart and representation of the workers, abandon clause 4, not repeal any of the 1980s union legislation, take us into 4 wars at least one of them illegal and cosy up to the very financial sector that they proclaim is responsible for putting the country on its back?

    Because they dont give a stuff for what they once stood for, all they care about is the power and the money and everything and everyone else be damned. I'm alright Jack (Dromey??) pull that ladder up.

    They're all as bad as each other.

  • Comment number 42.

    Any party which appoints the like of Mandelson to any positon is deserving of contempt. That Brown allowed himself to be coerced into this speaks volumes.

    Labour, in front of the electorate, continue with the false mantra that the books will be better on the day that they are re-elected than if the Tories win. They therefore, and only they, will soften any 'cutbacks' which they may have to make.

    The facts which they stupidly think the public does not know are that government borrowing is increasing and the huge gap between government expenditure and income from taxation etc is still growing at an accelerating pace. We are all in for a major shortage of rations whoever we elect and the sooner the upcoming pain is applied, the sooner it will ease.

    Of course, following what is now a traditional merry-go-round, the Tories will come in and sort it out in a most painful but necessary way thus getting us back to balance as soon as possible. We will then elect Labour because we have forgotten why the Tories had to do what they did. Labour will then wastes this new legacy, etc etc

    Groundhog Day!

  • Comment number 43.

    When did we lose integrity, honesty? My father brought me up to be polite, think of others and never lie. What happened? We have let politicians take over the country. We have let them bleed us dry with their expenses. We have let them make decisions we did not agree with. We let them spin and didn't do anything about it. We just shake our heads!
    Let's get this country back. Let's show them we no longer agree with the status quo. If enough of us get off our back sides we could show them the errors they have made.

  • Comment number 44.


    "It should have occurred to me when he said it, that this is the same Peter Mandelson who once declare himself to be "intensely relaxed about people getting filthy rich".

    The Andrew Marr pill popping question seems to have lit a few fires in the minds of BBC journalists. Yes - you actually can ask Labour politicians tough questions. Labour need you more than you need them. They need the oxygen of publicity.

    This means from now on you can challenge our government when they distort the truth or tell lies. There is no need to worry about being cut off from the gravy train of easy "scoops" and easy access to Ministers.

    Here is an example from Fraser Nelson, which will show you how to avoid having the wool pulled over your eyes when Labour politicians tell you they paid down the countries debt.

    P.S. I'm looking forward to hearing more from the new "journalism led BBC".

  • Comment number 45.

    I have never really understood this bank bashing and bonuses fear.

    Surely if the bankers are receiving big bonuses then aren't we then getting a lot of that money back in taxes?

    In fact we would be getting back more than if it were corporation tax surely!

    Did someone say 50%?

    Or is this the politics of envy that are in Labours best interests to rekindle.

    Labour continue to do all they can to make out there is still class struggle within the UK. Labour who support the working classes...... that'd pretty much all of us then. I work so I must be working class.

    David Cameron has a job, that makes him working class too. Doesn't it?

    Good job they're reaching out to the middle classes, because I don't think there are any anymore.

  • Comment number 46.

    This morning, Peter Mandelson claimed that there was an ideological "chasm" between Labour and the Tories.


    That is true - one party believes in democracy and one doesn't.

  • Comment number 47.

    There used to be a bridge over this 'ideological chasm' - it was called 'public opinion'. Unfortunately for Lord Mandelson and the Labour Party (and, I suspect, some on the opposite side) little attention is being paid to this. Instead, all we are offered is a possible crossing point some 9 month's away. If the present Government intends to make us travel that long road, they would do well to jump into aforementioned ideological chasm, taking their spin, deceit and often downright lies with them.

    Call an election!

  • Comment number 48.

    I hope there is a chasm and the eletorate can see it.

  • Comment number 49.


    How does this Idealogical Chasm sit with Manddy saying that he could work with the Tory's after they defeat Labour at the next election?

    This just smacks of more Fall of Berlin Bunker statments.

    All that will happen between now and the next election is the Tory's saying something. Labour rubbishing it, then adopting it a few month later. They are now devoid of any ideas of getting us out of the Brown Depression.

    Keep taking the tablets and all will look rosey.

  • Comment number 50.

    Mandleson and Brown along with the other labour ministers are yesterday's men. Simple as that!

  • Comment number 51.

    Lets see the banks realised they could borrow endless money to invest huge multiples of their real capital but still get most of the profit.

    Then the lab governement realises that more public service jobs mean more votes (dont want to lose your job with the tories do you), more tax, more money to spend on...public jobs... And each time around we go more taxes, more expenditure (but oops that money went to a french company, oops that went in my pocket...oops that job went to my mate who needed a job in a quango..)

    oh and I need a car for my job...sorry I meant to say I need Lord before my name for my job.

    And a recession hits, and suddenly the expenditure cant be supported by tax revenues...remarkably similar to the bank situation that was called reckless dont you agree?

  • Comment number 52.

    How do you spell idelogical?

    Why is dyslexia such a difficult word to spell?

  • Comment number 53.

    Lord ('elpus) Mandelson is a busy boy. Blaming BBC for lazy journalism and so smearing the corporation in the event that Nick doesn't come up with teh goods and give GB et al glowing coverage. Denying that he woudl ever work for the Tories yet offering himself to serve his country in whatever role was needed post the next election!!

    Now he is spouting absolute tosh about yawning chasms and that Labour are better suited to get us out of debt (presumably because they alone were responsible for plunging us into the mire and putting the country into hock for years to come).

    Let's hope it's all a dream and we wake up tomorrow to discover the police have found two sets of clothes on the Brighton Beach (Mandy's and GB's) - a la Perrin and Stonehouse

  • Comment number 54.

    Didn't Mandy say they were the party of the middle?

  • Comment number 55.

    How can Labour claim that their cuts!

    Hospitals and A&E's in areas with a Tory MP during the boom years!

    Plus destroying private sector pensions becuse they are all working class!

    Police now routinely refusing to handle front line calls expecting local counsels to detect and deter crime for them!

    Schools still churning out their full 50% quotas of in-nemerate and illiterate early leavers they always have during Labours school spending frenzy.

    Hospitals still desperatly short of front line staff to meet the EU working hours directive with the longest waiting lists in Europe despite four fold increase in unproductive funding.

    Our Armed forces have never been so under equiped or under manned since the Napoleonic wars. Now we have had not just one war under Labour but at least three with mad Brown alreay threatening Iran with another!

    We have the best paid of our State pensioners on 14% of average wages it was 40% under Thatcher. The rest find half theirs is bing given to what Brown hopes are Labour voters!

    How can that be more honest than what the Tories did and or will do?

    More aceptable to the people Labour now desperately need to vote for them?

    For these are the those who are the the prudent and productive private sector/middle classes who generate the entire wealth that Labour diverts to others to buy votes!

    Which comedian Vince Cable comicaly calls redisributative taxes!

    Even when Labours own client states the Public Sector and the Brown pampered Benefit 10 millons!

    Don't trust Labour especialy Brown to keep them in the style Labour has made them acustom to for thirteen years of Browns largess.

    So it is not now what is cut that will win the election!

    But whome Brown will chose not to be the new New Labour victims!

    As all the usual victims have already voted Tory at the EU elections, and council elections.

    Most certainly will again at the next election what ever spin the BBC puts on Browns or his collegues antics!

    Who is left?

    To be bribed to vote Labour?

    When Labour are already behind the Ukip in the European elections?

  • Comment number 56.

    There IS an ideological chasm between Labour and the Cons (unfortunate abbreviation).

    If there is no money, the Cons will spend cautiously and actively pursue possible savings.

    Labour will continue to spend as if there is no tomorrow. And if they were allowed to behave like that for another 5 years, there wouldn't be !

    For more than 10 years the UK has been living beyond its means - way beyond ! Even the world financial organisations are considering downgrading Britain's credit worthiness. The bottom is also falling out of the pound exchange rates.

    This is the beginning of the end, unless a firm tournique is applied AT ONCE to our financial haemmoraging.

  • Comment number 57.

    lmao, it's easy to prove that the parties differ....

    One of them has been in power for the last 12 years and has ruined everything they touch and the other parties haven't!!

    I'm afraid I'm not buying into the whole "We're best placed to fix the country as we're the ones who ruined it" argument.

  • Comment number 58.


    As has been said by others, the Labour Government has been responsible for running the country for over 12 years now.

    The Country is in a very bad way financially and it happened during the last 12 years during their watch.

    In May/June/July 2009, as you have pointed out in earlier statements and following a challenge by Lord Mandelson, GB tried saying Tory Cuts v Labour Investment. That didn’t work so now GB and company have started using the word CUTS, Ed Balls miraculously has found £2Bn of savings just like that. Cutting Heads and Deputies he says. Hang on, didn’t this Government say that good schools had Good Leadership!!! hmmm so lets cut the leadership of schools OK. Also, from my experience with education, I understand that 25% of schools do not have a full time Head so maybe that will be the saving just don’t recruit them.

    I also note that on Radio 4 today Andy Burnam would not go as far as Ed Balls, and refused to say if any cuts would or would not be made in the NHS budget. Andy Burnam said that was a matter for Alistair Darling not him. He did however hint that there was a difference between front and back office, so guess where Labour CUTS are going to be made in the NHS.

    So yes a chasm does exist, between those, both Conservative and Lib Dem, who have said that cuts must be made and they have been consistent in this. Or Labour who tried to say that no cuts were needed but they would invest (spend more). But as stated above that didn’t work so now they are climbing on the cuts agenda. Though GB yesterday with Andrew Marr tried to avoid that again saying that AM was wrong it was not £6000 a second debt being rung up.

    They are now trying to say that the Conservatives are inexperienced so they will not be able to sort out the mess Labour have been responsible for. I wonder if GB has queried Obama's experience during the last 9 months, did he mention it at the G20 I wonder, or in the Kitchen at the UN?

    The Labour Government who are flapping around like a dying fish, trying to do something that may rescue them.

    A number of Labour supporters realise that they have a real problem, pledge cards (what happened to them??) and other fancy ideas won’t save them even GB stepping down will not save them. Did anybody notice the empty hall during Alistair Darlings Keynote speech?

    Call an election and get it over with. GB stop putting party before Country. The hanging on bit is hurting the country big time. A new Government is needed that has the credibility to make decisions. The Public Sector is now going in to limbo. I have even heard civil servants being instructed to listen to David Cameron so as to understand future Government policy.

  • Comment number 59.

    No18 RockingRobin
    Can you remember, a short time ago, when The Bullingdon Kids were boasting about how they would match the government's proposed spending plans if and when they were elected? Do you think they were right to do so? Do you think that when they meet the G20 leaders to tell them that their global strategy is wrong, they will be wearing their short trousers,or their colourful uniforms acquired during membership of such a thuggish outfit?

  • Comment number 60.

    How delicious to see the persistence of the BBC's cynical contempt for a Labour Government and its ministers. I expect such contempt from the Daily Mail. I do not like it from a citizen funded service. Perhaps the next government will scrap the BBC for failing to provide fair and decent coverage of politics.

  • Comment number 61.

    Of course there is a difference between the Labour and Conservative parties: Labour squanders all the money and leaves the country in a mess, and the Tories clean it up and restore sanity. It's happened twice now in my adult life.

    Roll on the election !

  • Comment number 62.

    No38 DumbVoter,
    What democracy are you talking about? Even politically thick Tory bloggers know that the majority of parliamentarians in the UK are unelected.

  • Comment number 63.

    I would much rather pay many bankers very large bonuses than have to see or hear from this unelected, twice disgraced, paid from the public purse charlatan ever again

  • Comment number 64.

    The problem with a lot of Labour MPs is that they seem to have forgotten that the record, about which they so proudly boast, is not as great as they think.

    They insist that the Tories will make slash and burn cuts to public services, which are supposedly safer in New Labour's hands and then Ed Balls announces that he can save £2 Billion from wasteful schools with the possibility of 40,000 teaching assistants losing their jobs.

    It's also on their watch that we discover the gravy train MP expenses scandal.

    Then there's the credit crunch caused by their failure to regulate the banks.

    Over the last 10 years under Blair and Brown we have had enough sleaze, scandal, lies and deception to make John Major's administration look like amateurs by comparison.

    Listening to Peter Hain being interviewed on TV last night I venture to suggest that he is not living on the same planet as the rest of us.Both he and Mandelson are trying to deceive the public by rewriting history, but I think the public are not as gullible as they think, something he will discover on election day.

  • Comment number 65.

    bouncer @ 37

    you cannot blame the banks for paying bonuses. It is the way they operate to get the best people in to make money

    such a depressing comment - please don't fall for that bunkum - PLEASE tell me you're on a wind up - because if what we've seen was brought about by the "best people" then gee whizz, I'd hate to see what the worst ones would do - god babe

  • Comment number 66.

    ah ha about time a real good joke story.
    an ideological "chasm" between Labour and the Tories has to be the biggest joke in years, look at labour of today and what you see is the tory party as was under john major.
    both have the same disorganised idea of being in charge, and both were split over fundementals.
    so the whole concept of either of these parties being different is total tosh.
    how many more joke are the tax paying public supposed to endure before we get a parliment that honestly works.

  • Comment number 67.

    Imitation is the best form of flattery.

    Look how NuLab now tries to portray itself as "moderate" and "sensible"... by copying Toty policy !

    They are scheming, spinning and unprincipled. Yuck.

  • Comment number 68.

    There may be an undiscovered chasm in the arid ideological deserts where nothing grows and no sensible person goes. But it divides nobody from nobody.

    For someone who is neither, telling New Labour from Tory is like telling Serb from Croat. They often detest and sometimes fight one another; but the only way to tell which is which is to ask them.

  • Comment number 69.

    Makes me laugh, all the problems we have in the UK - unemployment, rise of the far right, drugs gangs, etc, etc, and we're going after the bankers.

    Well I'm convinced, when I'm next attacked on a night out, threatened by local druggies or burgled, I'll sit there thinking, "well at least we showed the bankers."

    I only wish we'd had this lot in during WW2, just think, instead of liberating death camps, we could've been giving the Swiss a stern talking to. That's just the kind of leadership we need.

  • Comment number 70.

    26. At 3:22pm on 28 Sep 2009, sagamix wrote:
    if Labour really do get tough on the bankers, if it's not just hot air ... a big if ... then that could be clear blue water

    But of course they won't will they.
    Both Brown and Darling will be seeking employment in the financial sector after May 2010, so they are hardly likely to do anything to upset prospective employers!!

  • Comment number 71.

    All the Tories have to do at the next election is put up a large poster of Mandelson with the phrase

    Do we really want an UNELECTED prime minister?

  • Comment number 72.

    Ideological chasm - that is between Nu-labour, the Tories and old Labour. More like the shifting of tectonic plates.
    Mandelson is attempting to regain the Socialist Labour of old, when the Party, the Unions were of one accord. Unfortunatly after 12+years of Blair/Mandelson/Brown style spin, not even many of their supporters believe in them. It is a little late now trying to rebrand themselves with a General Election so close.
    There are those die-hard supporters that close their eyes and ears to any type of discussion or document that does not accord with their concepts. No amount of proof will ever change these people. They are on all sides of the political spectrum and brook no dissent. I assume that they form the core supporters of any party but in relatively small numbers, that fortunately, will not affect any outcome.
    By the way, I noticed a divergence in the spelling of ideological/idealogical throughout this blog, probably typographical errors, not wishing to nit-pick. I checked my dictionary and the original version by Mr. Robinson is correct.

  • Comment number 73.

    This Labour Party, it just sums them up,
    Mandelson,Unelected, twice resigned Minister bulling up an unelected Prime Minister after leaving the Europe Union, there has to be a motive here as he is not a "friend" of Brown he wants the Labour Party to win the election so that him and his hoppo Tony Blair can dominate us from their Socialist Europe.

  • Comment number 74.


    You could always ask Ed Balls, Souter.

    He's been there and done it as well.

    Do you not get sick of singing the same old boring tune all the damn time?

  • Comment number 75.

    It's perfectly true - there really is a vast ideological "chasm" between Labour and the Tories. And thank goodness for that!

    Labour believes in a surveillance/nanny state, where neighbours are encouraged to 'shop' anyone discovered baby-sitting without permission from a government department.

    Labour believes that parents need to be police-checked before having a rota to drive children to school or to clubs.

    Labour believes we should all carry ID cards.

    Labour believes it should be a criminal offence to sell your own home without first obtaining a meaningless Home Information Pack.

    Labour believes it is competent to collect and store all our personal data.

    Labour believes it is a good idea to give powers to local authorities to tap phones and intercept emails, under the Regulation of Investigatory Powers Act 2000 (RIPA)

    Labour believes Scotland should have wide ranging freedom to act independently from Westminster, whilst Scottish MPs can still make new laws for England.

    Labour believes they know how to spend our money better than we do, and waste billions on our behalf whilst raising more taxes.

    Yes, for once Mandelson is right. There is an ideological difference between Tories and Labour.

    But given his dislike for the Tories, I wonder why he said he would be willing to work for them?

    Nothing Mandelson says can actually be trusted.

    Remember he told us that suggestions of a 'deal' about the Lockerbie bomber were "offensive". But then Jack Straw said Trade and oil had indeed played a part in the decision process, but then later denied it.

    The trouble is, they can't keep up with their own spin.

  • Comment number 76.

    Since we have had the Lib Dems making a hash of their conference and now a similar mixed messages from Labour. I wonder what the Tories are going to produce.

    I'm off to find the odds on GB being PM at the election.

  • Comment number 77.

    Labour really are a desperate lot, thrashing about and looking for someone, anyone, to blame but not prepared to accept in even the tiniest proportion that they might be a bit to blame themselves.....

    "If only it wasn't for those evil bankers who we couldn't do anything about, we'd all be living in a land of flowing milk and honey" - Is that the best that Labour can come up with as an election slogan? Sagamix, do leap to their defence, it's always amusing.

  • Comment number 78.

    Tessa Jowell on her hind legs trying to justify spending what will be well in excess of 15 billion quid on the Olympic stadium, all for three weeks of sport.
    So much emphasis on providing sporting facilities for kids as a legacy.
    Meanwhile school playing fields continue to be sold off and the health and safety prodnoses are slowly confining sporting activities to tiddleywinks - but only whilst wearing safety glasses and with an ambulance on standby.

  • Comment number 79.

    There are but a paper-thin chasm between Labour and Tory who are both after their own self-interests. The real chasm is between the the politicians and the people they are suppose to serve.

  • Comment number 80.

    Cunning plan and Blackadder comes to mind. Or is it already back on tv?

  • Comment number 81.

    Labour tried to act too much like the Tories and are now paying the price - their traditional supporters won't touch them and their newly found fickle middle class supporters are changing sides.

    The middle classes are the plebs of history - put a carrot on a stick and they'll follow you to the ends of the earth. Democracy has given these grotesque mediocrities power to decide this country's fate. If you think the middle classes are going to change this country anything for the better at the next election you are seriously misguided.

    The big worry for me is who are the disenfranchised traditional Labour voters going to support? The BNP? I hope they vote Liberal-Democrat if it isn't Labour. I can't see them voting Green or other socialist candidates.


    The Tories didn't complain about John Major being appointed PM by Conservative MPs and the appointment of peers into the Government, so it's a wee bit hypocritical to complain about Brown and Mandelson.

  • Comment number 82.

    Is this script an indication of how confusing the speech from Mandy was?

    I do think that he missed the point

    The labour party has failed to provide a meaningful dialogue, and thus the BNP managed to gain seats at the euro elections.

    This is not really a chasm between the Labour Party, and the Tories; it is a chasm between the Labour Party and everyone else, and everyday they add more defences around their island.

    It is surely the point that at the next election that there will be an "anyone but Labour" vote, and in those areas where there is traditionally a strong Labour vote, what alternative will there be there? Could we see the BNP win parliamentary seats? Purely because of Labour's failure to engage?

  • Comment number 83.

    Mandelson has extended the car scrappage scheme. The car trade are laughing all the way to the bank for now instead of discounting car prices they charge the full whack and the taxpayer is picking up a bill of 2000 pounds a time.

    For someone like myself who has given up their car it is a downright disgrace for it is only those who already have the money who can afford these new cars and certainly don't need a discount from the taxpayer.

    No-one yet has come up with proper figures to show that sales of new cars have really increased because of this scheme. But that's nothing new.

  • Comment number 84.

    I normally post on "great" issues such as education and economy.

    However, a headline attracted by attention: "every dog in Britain will be tagged with a microchip". Financial penalties will be incurred on owners who fail to comply.

    If reports are correct we also know of a dinnerlady dismissed for whistleblowing (reporting serious bullying to a child's parents when the representatives of the state tried to conceal it), and two female police officers threatened with prosecution for unauthorised childcare provision (looking after each others children, in normal language).

    The ideological chasm referred to in Nick's opening post is nothing less than the moral cause of human freedom in the face of state-sponsored bureaucracy. Vote Labour or BNP if you wish State regulation to expand further; vote for any other party if you think otherwise.

  • Comment number 85.

    No2 Deimosl
    Can you let me know when was the last time a government in the UK did not have a large number of ministers who were members of the House of Lords? All the members in the so-called Upper House are unelected, unaccountable and unrepresentative.Do you think it is time for such an anachronism to be abolished, or would you prefer that only Peter be removed?

  • Comment number 86.

    I would like to hear how Lbour justify criminalising baby sitting between friends.
    Why victims are deemed to have less rights than criminals.
    Why criminal behaviour is no longer punished.
    Why someone carrying a knife only receives a caution.
    Why 'life' sentences are often less than 10 years.
    Why over-filling a wheelie bin carries a harsher penalty than doing criminal damage.
    We do we all need to be surveyed 24 hours a day.
    We do we need ID cards.
    Why do innocent people need to be on a DNA database.
    I could go on .... and on... But I won't. You've probably got the picture!

  • Comment number 87.

    zydeco @ 70

    But of course they won't will they. Both Brown and Darling will be seeking employment in the financial sector after May 2010, so they are hardly likely to do anything to upset prospective employers

    that IS a good point - not made often enough

    distant @ 75

    neighbours are encouraged to 'shop' anyone discovered baby sitting without permission

    why do you say that? ... I didn't take that from the story ... the word in bold, I mean

  • Comment number 88.

    Does anybody else think that PM was a bit, well, snakelike and scary? He's like some kind of bizarre hypnotist - a demonic Derron Brown.

  • Comment number 89.

    zydeco @ 86

    you've probably got the picture!

    mmm, we've got the picture alright, mister Z ... but it might not be the picture you have in mind

  • Comment number 90.

    Poster 75 summed it all up nicely, there's not much more I could add other than to suggest a couple of nice election posters to emphasise what we are up against:

    Do you really want the unelected, twice disgraced 'Ponce of Darkness' back at our expense? Has he ever earned any money away from the public trough?

    The Brown Depression. Need I say more.

    Election now!!

  • Comment number 91.

    The Labour frontbench have been useless for 2 years, but now at last Labour is taking on the smug Tories. It is probably too late but you never know. Multi-millionaires David Cameron and George Osborne stand for nothing other than craving power with a vague anti-public sector policy. The Tories refusal to provide any worthwhile polices will surely be unable to sustain an election campaign nor should it in a democracy.

    Mandelson needs to take the election campaign now by the scruff of the neck and organise comments attacking the Tories every day and setting out some novel ideas for post election Labour, he is very able and the one the Tories fear.

    Its now or never for you Labour MP`s, so for goodness sake show some fight, determination and spirit. Most of you look like you have just left a funeral, or an evening listening to Vince Cable & Nick Clegg on their well thought out plans for a Mansion Tax. There are millions of us who will be hit hard under the Tories so wake up.

  • Comment number 92.

    # 8 quietoldinthetooth

    encourages Scottish Barron's to get out of jail

    Are you alluding to Baroness Scotland? If so, it may suprise you to learn that Baroness Scotland is her name; not her nationality.

    Patricia Scotland, Baroness Scotland of Asthal

    If not, what are you alluding to?

  • Comment number 93.

    Lord Mandelson, "intensely relaxed about people getting filthy rich". Hmm. Could that be because he is one of those “people”?
    Many Labour posters are regaling us with the dire prospects for all living things should the Conservatives get elected in 2010. This is only decided by history, what has gone before.
    The corollary of that is that should Labour be re-elected, the IMF will have to be called in to bail us out and will tell us what cuts in Public Spending have to be made. The Unions won’t like it and we will have crippling strikes. It happened before and will therefore, happen again.
    I blame Caesar. If he hadn’t left we would all be better off.
    I still do not know for whom I will vote in the GE...only it will not be the present lot. I’m afraid I can no longer feel able to believe anything they tell me.
    Slainte Mhath

  • Comment number 94.

    A certain popular French car was on sale prior to the scrappage scheme for £10775 on the road.
    It now sells at £11995 after the scrappage discount.

    Who's conning who here?

  • Comment number 95.

    An unelected man shouting and ranting at his audience and waving his arms about a lot? He reminded me of someone, and then the penny dropped. He does not have a small square black moustache on his upper lip.

  • Comment number 96.

    No74 Fubar,
    There will be, throughout the country, a deep sense of sorrow that you are leaving the country because of the possibility of a Cameron led government.
    However, we have found out today that you think the allocation of the nation's resources, and having ex members of thuggish organisations becoming Her Majesty's leading ministers are boring subjects.If you continue to spew out such nonsense in Utopia you will probably get locked up.
    On a more serious note I do hope that you have a greater degree of success than Sir Thomas, have you any plans for bringing your departure date forward?

  • Comment number 97.


    "...All the members in the so-called Upper House are unelected, unaccountable and unrepresentative.Do you think it is time for such an anachronism to be abolished, or would you prefer that only Peter be removed?"

    Wasnt that what Labour pledged to do when elected in 97? And they did, didnt they? They chucked out all the (mainly) Tory hereditaries (which I agree were anachronistic) and then... replaced them with their own unelected, unaccountable, unreprasentative hereditaries who proved to be every bit as crooked, every bit as much on the take, every bit as useless as the Tories they replaced!

    Mandy's as a twice fired, dodgy mortgage dealing, EU-backhanding snake oil salesman, is just the tip of the iceberg. Then theres Baroness Shriti The Shriek, Baroness Uddin (less said, eh Souter?), Baroness Scotland (even less said, eh Souter?) the four including the old union barons who sold amendments for money... and they've been joined by the only HoC speaker to be removed from his position for 300 years, a man who is on record as saying "I didnt come into politics not to get what was due to me".

    Twelve years, Labour have had to introduce meaningful, reprasentative reform to the House Of Lords. All they've done is stuffed it full of their own troughing cronies and donators.

    But dont you worrying your head about all that, Souter.

    You keep banging your class warfare drum and blowing that dogwhistle, I'm sure the remaining 26% in Liverpool and Tyne & Wear and Islington will keep on listening and barking to your tune.

    It just bores me rigid, I'm afraid.

  • Comment number 98.

    #91 not as hard as I have been treated for the last 12 years. £25,000+ 25+ court cases.

    My crime being a loving caring father. My children's crime a father that they wanted to love.

    On who's watch did this happen then and whom campainged against this threat to society and were much vilified by the labour supporting press.

    scores of peod's are let out of jail to reoffend , yet 11m+ are going to have to undergo survelance to prove that they can be with children.

    60+ visits by police and social workers and nobody could see , hear or understand what bady P went through. The level of incompetance is rampant.

    There are millions of children extended familes and fathers that have been punished for one reason only that they were guilty of love.

    please comment along with sagamix whom always refused to discuss this and this can only be blamed on the FUBAR_liebour and SNAFU_liebour for the last 12 years.

    Just think of the billions of £'s of tax payers monies that have been wasted in this air to achieve the social engineering policy of having single parent (mothers only) familes on benifits that can then be controlled from the centre as they are then in financial hock to thier paymaster.

    this either happend by design or accident but given the resitance to understand the problem and in constant denial that there is a problem and the harness with which protestor have been treated can only lead to one answer DESIGN ie policy made by them for the last 12 years

  • Comment number 99.

    At 4:57pm on 28 Sep 2009, putney1647 wrote:

    How delicious to see the persistence of the BBC's cynical contempt for a Labour Government and its ministers. I expect such contempt from the Daily Mail. I do not like it from a citizen funded service. Perhaps the next government will scrap the BBC for failing to provide fair and decent coverage of politics.

    Congratulations Putney1647. You are the only person in the entire universe ever to accuse the BBC of RIGHT wing bias! All NORMAL people know that the BBC is inherently a leftie organisation, indeed, we love them for it, always showing their socialist petticoats. What I think you mean is that your doomed and totally failed government is failing to elicit any support at all, even from those who traditionally fall over backwards for them (Ask Nick Robinson!)

    Incidentally, anyone and I mean anyone, who shows contempt for this bunch of freeloading failures gets my vote.

    So, now you will brand me as a Tory? Wrong again. Quite frankly, I don't know where the country goes after this lot,I can't see a coherent leader out there, but I do know that more of the same would be a terrible, disastrous choice.

    And if the BBC actually DOES do its job, fairly, and without bias, then the likes of me will ensure that NO government takes away its voice. If however, it becomes the puppy of any political party, then it deserves to go. The BBC aint perfect, not by any means, but its a damn sight better than what you propose.

  • Comment number 100.


    "Multi-millionaires David Cameron and George Osborne stand for nothing other than craving power"

    mmmm..... But they're nothing like "Multi millionaire Shaun Woodward" or "Multi millionaire Geoffrey Robinson" or "Multi millionaire Tony Blair" or "Multi millionaire Property Baron Geoff Hoon" eh?

    God, you NL trolls dont half talk some guff. Hasnt Charlie Whelan let you lot go home yet? Or havent you got homes to go to?


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