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The prime minister is safe - for now

Nick Robinson | 23:02 UK time, Monday, 8 June 2009

No prime minister who appears to be taking his party to electoral annihilation can ever truly be considered safe.

Nevertheless, Gordon Brown is safe - for now. He has seen off all the plausible plots to unseat him.

Gordon Brown

Today not enough Labour MPs were willing to sign up to a demand that would have forced a leadership election.

So, instead his critics sought to shame him into resigning by saying to his face in front of their colleagues that he was leading his party to certain destruction.

Privately, many fear that that is true but they fear more the consequences of a divisive contest now and a general election which would, they think, have to follow soon after.

In reality, the threat to Gordon Brown's leadership began and ended on Thursday night.

The shock resignation of James Purnell was meant to inspire others to follow.

It was meant to lead to either his friend David Milliband or to Alan Johnson becoming leader.

It was meant to make the debate about whether to back or sack Gordon Brown unavoidable. In that sense it succeeded.

Hence the curiosity that as Labour nurses its wounds from the worst election results in decades the party today decided to back the leader who took them to defeat.


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  • Comment number 1.

    "Privately many fear".

    These are the only three words you needed for this post.

    'Stay in line or I will destroy you. And I know where you live. Both addresses'.

    The Dark Lord has overcome again, and with every success gets stronger.

    Resistance is futile.

  • Comment number 2.

    Tories are celebrating!

    Tethered to Brown by ties of fear and loathing, the PLP has tipped over the cliff-edge into the abyss.

    Will they cut loose the dour deadwood and live to fight another day, or are they condemned to oblivion?

  • Comment number 3.

    hi i notice darling and miliband are keeping there heads down but will the pm c give us the referendum on europe now!!!

  • Comment number 4.

    It's great soap opera, isn't it?

    You could almost think that Labour don't want to win the next election.

  • Comment number 5.

    The PM may be safe for now but is the Labour party safe ? I see a move by some Labour MP's,disllusioned and damned by number 10,to the Lib Dems. Paddy Ashdown has suggested the 2 would merge naturally in time and all it may take is a few to decide they have more chance of self respect and survival under the Lib Dems banner and Labour could collapse by next year.

  • Comment number 6.


    With the dust settled from council and European elections and no more elections forthcoming, almost every elected member of the cabinet having either resigned or expressed their unwavering support, Peter Mandleson all over the media like a rash and the prospect of a long summer recess, I can see why you might consider Brown is safe for the time being.

    But his fistprints remain all over a parlous economy, the electorate are still seething over MPs expenses and who knows what else is likely to surface?

    How long before the Labour rank and file see through that Brown is reduced to be merely a front man for the Dark Lord himself, a kind of faustian pact while still desperately trying to cling to the last trappings of power?

    Look into the clear skies out left field. The next bombshell won't be from the Tories or the Tory press, probably not from your regular briefers. Perhaps another reshuffle needed because the reshuffled cabinet has one joker too many in its pack?

    This is a man who has shown he cannot grasp the big things and has no command of the detail. If he had, he might have seen something coming - or been more circumspect with whom he upset on the way up.

  • Comment number 7.

    I can quite understand the Labour MPs feeling that whether they ditch Gordon now or later, they are doomed, so ditching him later increases their income as MPs, before the party hits the buffers.

    But I don't understand that no-one in the Labour party realises that the longer they clutch at power, the longer they will be in the wilderness when the day of reckoning comes...

    Or are they only thinking about the next couple of years?

    Short termism - the most wondering side-effect of democracy...

  • Comment number 8.

    Gordon Brown is as safe as the person that told the band on the deck of the Titanic to keep playing.

    That is to say, he is as safe as he wants until the ship sinks.

    Unfortunately, by doing things this way, the ship will be going down with near to all hands.

    If the country is the Titanic, then Gordon would do well to call an election now and put her onto the rocks. At least then the damage would be limited, and half the crew and passengers would survive.

  • Comment number 9.

    A new constitution, the shelving of the part privatisation of royal mail,
    the continued investment in state education and our glorious health services, an enquiry into the Iraq war, an almighty push to put Britain in the front line of renewable energy and technology of carbon capture creating thousands of new jobs.

    GB time has come, and see how he will shine.

  • Comment number 10.

    What never ceases to amaze me is the seeming inability of mainstream politicians to understand when the game is up. Instead they blind themselves to the reality and convince themselves that things will somehow sort themselves out.

    All three main parties have deliberately misread the results of the local/euro elections to see it how they want to see it rather than how it is.

    Labour lost because, they are a rudderless party without ideas at the end of its time - ala John Major and the Tories 1997.

    The Tories picked up votes not because of David Cameron, but because of the awfulness of the Labour Party. Cameron is no Tony Blair and has failed to outline any cogent policies.

    The Lib Dems were, and always are, merely, a protest vote.

    The smaller parties, in particular UKIP and the BNP, actually had people vote for their main arguments, i.e. because people genuinely have concerns about continual European integration and the opening of doors to economic migrants, which the main parties refuse to engage with. The BNP also capitalised on the fact that Labour has betrayed the working classes and are the only ones willing to speak up for them.

    Brown will lead Labour into the political wilderness, possibly into total oblivion next year. Cameron will lead the Tories to victory, but provide the same underpinning market-based philosophy as New Labour, and so fail.

  • Comment number 11.

    The media should stop being so sickly smug about this and stop thinking they run the country. Andrew Marr's behavior in his interview with Peter Mandelson on sunday was just so anti Labour it was repulsive.

    I think that the media ought to stop swallowing the Tory hype, hook line and sinker. Anyone with two brain cells to rub together could see that the right wing resignations were truly just "rebels without a coup".

  • Comment number 12.

    derekbarker @9 wrote:

    "GB time has come, and see how he will shine."

    ... like the glint of moonlight on a coffin lid.

  • Comment number 13.

    We British really are a feckless and fickle bunch aren't we?

    Callaghan is too drab and not a good communicator
    Thatcher is too much spin and smarm
    Major is too drab and not a good communicator
    Blair is too much spin and smarm
    Brown is too drab and not a good communicator
    Cameron is too much spin and smarm
    (predictions coming now)
    Osborne is too drab and not a good communicator
    MIliband is too much spin and smarm

    Why does it really matter if Gordon hasn't got a million dollar hollywood smile or he isn't 100% comfortable in front of the cameras?

    I would rather have politicians like Major and Brown who care more for substance, hard-work and policy results than smarmers and spinners like Blair and Cameron. Do you really want some chameleon who is going to lie and deceive you at every turn? Give me Gordon any day of the week

  • Comment number 14.

    Forgive me but many people seem to have missed the point. We are supposed to live in a democracy. Labour lost in two elections on Thursday but today their leader refuses to bow out and his MPs are too cowardly to ask him to go. So I can only conclude that not only do we have MPs who abuse an expenses system but also a democratic system as well. How can these pathetic individuals moan about UKIP or the BNP? I do not want riots on the streets but perhaps Gordon Brown thinks that he is more important than the country he lives in. He has to go now.

  • Comment number 15.

    More of the same from Brown. We will carry on ! Total contempt for the voters who told him loud and clear they had enough of him and his useless and spineless cabinet members.

    Harperson on the news earlier had the same utter contempt for the voters when she repeated again and again "The public want us to sort out this mess" The public told Mzzz Harperson and Brown in no uncertain terms that they do want changes but it is a change of our present politicians.

    They are totally arrogant and simply treat their positions like self styled dictators and the British Public have been cheated once again.

    Shamefull and it is no wonder the voters are turning to alternatives.

  • Comment number 16.

    #12 maxsceptic

    There was once a blue sun in a famous part of Britain some time ago!

    look sceptic politics is where it should be now! it's about the delivery of improvements to the people and Gordon Brown id head and shoulders above the rest.

    O' I wonder if you could link with the blue sun story 19..?

  • Comment number 17.

    Why is everything that happens in this country the government's fault? Damned if they do, damned if they don't. If they try to tackle a problem they're interfering and if they don't it's their fault. What has happened to the concept of personal responsibility?

    * Terrorists hit us on 7/7 and rather than focus on the animals behind those attacks, we blame UK foreign policy
    * People on low-incomes go on £5,000 holidays, buy £40,000 cars, spend £X,XXX on clothes, DIY, etc, and take out ridiculous mortgages but it's the fault of the government for letting them
    * Reckless bankers go crazy with stupid and risky investments - but it's the government's fault
    * Baby P is subject to intolerable cruelty and neglect, and again it's the government's fault. What about the actual people who were behind those indescribably despicable acts?

    There is a continuing pattern of wanting abandonment of personal responsibility in British life. We need to get it back! I'm not one for administering blame but if you want to point the finger at anyone over Baby P then it should be at Thatcher/Major and their disregard for British inner-cities which produced the heinous killers of Baby P

    Brazil, Russia, Canada, Germany have governments that are all very popular, and their economies have been hammered just as hard, if not more than ours. When will people get it into their thick skulls that this was a truly GLOBAL recession of an unprecedented nature that hit everyone? Everyone has been hit for six.

    Do people really think that Osborne and Cameron would have coped with a global recession any better than GB and AD have? I just don't understand why people assume the Tories are such safe guardians of the economy? I seem the remember that David Cameron's one addition to British life was being advisor to Norman Lemont on Black Wednesday

    It makes me cringe and want to cry at the state of Britain that in 30-40 years, our children will go on wikipedia and when they look at lists of PMs and Chancellors they will see Cameron next to the names of Churchill, Atlee, Thatcher, and Osborne next to the names of Brown and Lawson. What a horrible future we have to look forward to!

  • Comment number 18.

    Hence the curiosity that as Labour nurses its wounds from the worst election results in decades the party today decided to back the leader who took them to defeat.

    I think your being a little previous Labour are certainly not defeated, so your suggestion is erronious, we have suffered a set back perhaps deservedly so but certainly not defeat, to be defeated there has to be a victor and with the vote the tories got hardly suggests that they were victorious, many a boxer has got up in the last round after being well beaten but won the fight on a knock out in the last minute of the last round, and labour have a few rounds to go yet even if the referee [media] is bent,he can't change a knock out.

  • Comment number 19.

    As I think you pointed out, the PLP (those same people who angered their electors with dubious expenses claims) are now disingenuously pretending to support Gordon Brown simply to cling onto their jobs, allowances and pensions for a little longer and avoid an inevitable call for a general election now. However, no-one, yourself included, has pointed out that this means if (infer emphasis) Gordon Brown hangs on and Labour somehow limps home next May due to quirks of the system and a split in the Tory vote among other parties, they will of course immediately depose him. The Labour Party will then have, deliberately, denied the electorate for the second time in a row the chance to vote for PM (yes, I know we don't directly) which is unprecedented and will be a very serious blow to the political system and public engagement in it for ever after. The PLP has today effectively decided that their individual interests in clawing onto another year's pension trumps the basic notion that they even need to be honest with the public in something as basic as who will be leading their party, should they be elected, when they are finally compelled to present themselves for election.

  • Comment number 20.

    345 mediahustler

    ooh get you.

    Full of our own perfection and importance arnt we?

  • Comment number 21.

    Andrew Marr's behavior in his interview with Peter Mandelson on sunday was just so anti Labour it was repulsive.

    This has to be post of the week, or an employee of Millbank whose job it is to counter any negative comments about Gordon Brown ! Among my friends Andrew Marr is renowned for his soft interviewing of the labour big cheeses. It is illuminating that whenever Brown is under political pressure he avoids Paxman and opts for the under arm deliveries Andrew provides ! They resemble PP broadcasts instead of interviews !

  • Comment number 22.

    Let's face it this has been payback from the Blairites. All of those who have attempted to stick the hatchet into Gordon have been arch cronies of TB. Maybe the Brownites have had it coming. If they have then the price will be a Tory election victory - which Blairites will stomach easily and the rest of us will detest.
    One other thought for the day.......there is talk that Brown will authorise a full scale inquiry into the Iraq war. The Blairites weren't looking to protect their old guvnor from the full glare of a public inquiry?
    It's been a good night, so good night all!

  • Comment number 23.

    I firmly believe that Brown is better than Cameron; once people start weighing up substance vs spin, Cameron spins Brown out of the equation...but then I don't want a teflon coated PM once more. A dour, serious and workaholic PM is what I want and what makes me feel secure.
    Plus, I don't think he is that dour at all...I think when he smiles it is a natural sincere smile, not a made to measure just for the camera smile...(ignoring the youtube blunder of course!)
    I also prefer his wife to Cherie or Samantha.
    Unfortunately it seems that us Brits are now looking for a glamorous leader to look up to, especially when our lives seem so dull and grey.
    But, here's hoping that we see through tory lies and spin and settle with someone whose policies are actually working - see Lloydstsb payback for a start.

  • Comment number 24.

    Sorry about 20 folks. It was meant for a previous blog. Nick doing more than one blog a week, 6 a day sometimes. is taking some getting used to and unlike mediahustler I am not perfect.

  • Comment number 25.

    Never mind that he was never elected by the people - his own party never had a choice of candidates from which to "select" him either.

    And now he refuses to leave his job when so many want him out. And no one can do anything about it.

    What has gone wrong with our "democracy"?

    It might be great soap opera (and it is), but quite frankly, I'm getting more and more appalled by the day.

    If people's protest votes by refusing to support labour at the EU elections mean nothing to him, which quite clearly they don't, then surely the labour members can see he's an inadequate leader?

    Just what do we have to do?

  • Comment number 26.

    Theres always Wednesdays vote for dissolving parliament, those rebels can put the boot in there, but they wont they are spineless as most labour mps are - a fact born out of todays events.

  • Comment number 27.

    I'd just like to add that, like no doubt most of the non-supporters of labour at the EU elections, I don't want to see the Tories in government instead.

    What I'd like is a decent leader of the labour party.

    Clearly, though, that's too much to ask. It's been a sad year for UK politics.

  • Comment number 28.

    Has anyone noticed the sign-up count on the No 10 petition for Crash Gordon to quit? 66936 signatures in favour of him resigning at the time of posting. Not vast, given the scale of public feeling - unless you count the number of signatories specifically asking him NOT to quit - Erm, 47... ... Nick, I think some sort of mention might be worthwhile?

  • Comment number 29.

    Nick, I think you are right when you say "Gordon Brown is safe - for now"

    Given the terrible results in the recent elections, Labour MPs must realise they are doomed, so from their point of view it makes sense to hang onto their seats for as long as possible.

    If Labour replaced Brown now, it's difficult to see how yet another 'apointed' Prime Minsiter could avoid seeking a fresh mandate (as Brown should have done). So by keeping Brown, they avoid a general election and keep their jobs!

    We really should stop talking about Labour 'rebels'. These are the same people who did nothing when Lisbon was pushed through without the promised referendum. They maust all take the blame.

    Well done Labour... as ever, looking after yourselves rather than putting the country first. The electorate will not forgive you.

  • Comment number 30.

    TBH changing Brown for Johnson, or Harman, or.... will mean nothing.
    11 months and counting to the effective elimination of Labour as a political force for a decade. 1997 and what hope! Then an unholy alliance with a neocon Republican administration, the fraternisation with the markets, having Lady T round to tea? Yet they wonder why the core vote has abandoned them? Even the BNP seem more popular in Barnsley...
    Sic Gloria Mundi......

  • Comment number 31.

    I don't know why, but reading purpley_g's comment, parallels with Robert Mugabe suddenly sprang to mind. He took a decent economy, refused to go when everyone wanted him to, did some economically damaging show gestures to play to the groundlings and gain a quick sound bite [compare seizing white farms with the 50p tax hike, both to invoke politics of envy at the expense of driving out overseas business investment], a big reduction in civil liberties, growing electoral fraud with postal voting. Ironically, unlike Gordon Brown, Robert Mugabe was at least once popularly elected, and he did (eventually, sort of, but still more gracefully than Gordon Brown!) bow to calls for him to go! It can't be long now here before the requirement for cabinet ministers to pledge loyalty is backed up by baseball bats!
    To answer purpley_g, what has gone wrong is, in part, that a swathe of ministers, predominantly younger labour MPs, entered politics as a career in itself, and they are now looking after their own career interests in a difficult economic time.
    Whether or not one personally agrees with the political views of the older guard of MPs, typically more tories, who entered politics after a spell in the real world, and often having made money elsewhere, at least they generally did so motivated more by genuine political desire rather than simply by the financial perks.
    Whatever one complains about a man who has his moat cleaned (if indeed he did), objectively it seems unlikely that he would seek or cling onto a job as an MP simply for the allowance.
    On the other hand, the motives of someone who has made more in allowances and perks than he or she ever earned before entering politics or is likely to do in the near future who has suddenly dropped prinicpled objection and decided to back Gordon Brown as the best man to lead the party seem more suspect.
    Now, if it were a requirement for an MP to stand only after, say the age of 30, having worked and paid taxes for a time, or if their previous careers were made more public, it might weed out those who move seamlessly from student politics to cashing in on the gravy train, and they might have something to go back to when it all got too much so they wouldn't be desperately clinging on to their seats at the cost of any principles.
    Prior to 1997, it was generally expected of MPs to resign on the spot when they did something naughty. Tony Blair changed all of that (having promised to be whiter than white) and Gordon Brown's current cling to power is reliant on the support of a man with whom we had a fundamental falling out and who has not once but twice been forced to duck out of government for wrongdoing (mortgage, passports). To that extent he is showing leadership to the PLP, in that he is demonstrating that their backing him to get another year's cash out of the taxpayer is as principled as his stand to remain as their leader!
    On that note, I shall sleep.

  • Comment number 32.

    for we had a falling out read he

  • Comment number 33.

    Gordon Brown thinks people want him to "get on with his job" in fact people want the complete opposite to "get out" of his job.

    Has anyone here ever wondered that Gordon Brown might actually be delusional? That he and his party believe they could win the next election with a majority? It's certainly true that Gordon Brown must believe this is a possibility, otherwise he would have left by now. In a situation where the other parties don't have the guts to put forward a motion of no confidence (no matter how confident Cameron seems, he is dreading an early election, such things are reliant on a new, and almost certainly more popular, prime minister and the longer this drags on the better it is for him) the people have to sit back and watch Parliament destroy itself.

    We need Electoral Reform. Not P.R, not a new system, we need to give people the power to topple governments by actually holding a referendum each year on whether or not the government should remain in power e.g if 66% of the population want to oust the government, they should hold an election.

  • Comment number 34.

    Gordon Brown may be "safe" for now but the Labour Party is now doomed to die a very painful and slow death. However, it's been clear for sometime that nobody really cares whether Labour lives or dies so who gives a hoot, save the Polly Toynbees of this world ("Alan Johnson is our salvation"), the Guardian ( "Gordon B must go and go now" ) and the good old Tory Party, (with no opposition there's no point in politics).
    So goodbye keir Hardie, farewell clause 4, those old commanding heights remain uncommanded; sob sob ....


  • Comment number 35.


    Don't Think So...

    It may be true that Gordon has finally been put in his place, in some kind of hush, hush manner but I feel there is more to this than meets the eye - with Mandelson in on it.

    Do you really think Brown can last the year until an election...?

    Do you really believe he will hold the support of all labour mps until then...?

    I say not possible. Something fishy is going on and it smells like Mandleson.
    I think the journo's are in on it too.

    Harriet Harman, and David Milliband are waiting in the wings for something...
    What, I am unable to detect.

    Whatever back room deals they've got going on, it clearly has something to do with the leadership, as I say Harriet and Milliband are unusually tight lipped and compliant, they used to have a point of view.

    Mandelson is there to add some silver tongued spit, spin n' polish, on things as he did with Blair, a strange and entertaining distraction.

    So if old school folks like Roy Hattersley can say with confidence and certainty that Brown is staying, there is somethings we are not being told about the leadership. It would be impossible to keep those high profile tight lipped with out a reason.

    If the reason is to maintain power it won't work. Brown will go because he hasn't been elected, he is ignoring public opinion - at his peril, clinging to power, offering no clear or solid reason why he should stay, and mps will become more and more disenchanted over the run up to the election.

    If there are no back room deals going on at present labour need to make one, get someone else in or face loosing power.

    Lets hope they have something up their sleeve because this is SUICIDE...OR in fact a conspiracy to let laughing boy Cameron swan into power chauffeur driven he doesn't have to lift a finger right now, labour will escort the tories to power.

    Best wishes...

    p.s Give it up Tunbridge...whinger

    The Media Hustler

  • Comment number 36.

    Gordon Brown's loyal supporters keep stating that he is the 'right man for the job'; however, it seems to me they are really saying that he is the right man to keep their job(s)!

  • Comment number 37.

    It doesn't seem right Labour MP can vote for a new leader and thus a new PM for the country, following only party rules BUT the country cannot vote for new MPs and PM until a general election !

    So, MPs who have made dishonourable expense claims after unsuccessfully tring to hide them, can support or change the PM to potentially suit their own self-interests under rules which they may have been invoved to define !

    This is neither democratic nor fair.

  • Comment number 38.

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

  • Comment number 39.

    Dear Sir,

    Following the recent Labour debacle in the Euro/Council elections, I would like to propose that Peter Mandelson is the only member of the Cabinet who seems to have a grip on the way politics works. He is calm, studied, and clearly too much for Andrew Marr (yes, that was a very disappointing performance on Sunday). Of course, there will be those in the Labour Party who, though they may say otherwise, will be shaping up to make the most of the forecoming 'scrappage'; Mandelson and Harman in particular.

    Anthony Webber

  • Comment number 40.

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

  • Comment number 41.

    Here at Fort Moraymint we're adjusting our tack. Having hoped (against hope, it seems) that the Labour Party would do the decent thing (bit much to ask, I suppose), we are now resigned to Gordon Brown clinging to power for months ... probably until next year.

    This will, of course, be disastrous for the Labour Party; they will be consigned to oblivion at the General Election. More to the point, though, it will be catastrophic for the British people as our economy is now to set to implode. Gordon Brown is hell-bent on bankrupting the nation; he's made a great fist of starting the job; now he's going to be in a position to complete his handiwork.

    The upshot of an imploding economy will be the concomitant impact on society. Indeed, we're feeling the impact already. Yesterday, in my small Highland village (less than 500 dwellings), the Post Office was robbed in broad daylight. This was/is an unthinkable event ... until now, of course.

    Watch out for more of the same in the coming year as Gordon Brown now sprints to the finishing line, trashing the economy on his way and lording it over an increasingly unsettled and unpleasant society; the two always go together. This will be Brown's legacy. An incompetent, arrogant, deceitful and - most frustratingly - illegitimate Prime Minister will now steer the UK on to the rocks, with his spineless crew and Party passengers egging him on. It's grotesque really.

    As our community policeman chases the village Post Office robbers, Fort Moraymint is hunkering down.

  • Comment number 42.

    So we now have a 'safe' powerless, emasculated Prime Minister who cannot (or will not) be able or allowed to make any decisions without dire threat to his loose tether of "leadership". Not a good position for him or the country. Roll on the General Election - what more harm can he do in 10 months after all???!!!

  • Comment number 43.

    # 41 moraymint

    Spookily, and just to reinforce my post above, here's what Ambrose Evans-Pritchard has to say in his Blog today: "Half way through the depression, we are facing exactly the sort of political disintegration that occurs in times of profound economic rupture".

    It's small consolation to think that Gordon Brown will be reviled in history. Meantime, we poor b****y citizens have to deal with the consequences on the ground. Talk about Peasants' Revolt eh?

    I've asked it before, but I'll ask it again anyway: where is Her Majesty The Queen in all of this? Does she not have a role in the face of the unfathomable madness now playing out in Westminster? Or am I confusing constitutional monarchy and democracy with a pseudo-dictatorship?

    Read Evans-Pritchard's full Blog here:

  • Comment number 44.

    I am no Cameron supporter but he must now be rubbing his hands with glee. All he has to do is carry on normally for the next 11 months to achieve his goal. The labour party do not understand that it's not many of their policies but their leader and all the Mandelson type people around him that the public loathe.

    It may concentrate the minds of labour MPs if they were mailed by their constituents with a plain statement that they will not vote Labour at the next election if Gordon Brown is the leader.

    It's amazing how concentrated MPs become when they see electoral defeat, i.e. the end of their gravy train, staring them in the face.

    In the meantime, the rest of us plebs just have to grin and bear the embarassment that GB is.

  • Comment number 45.


    Here is my thought on this. The Prime Minister was never going to leave Downing Street until the electorate actually sends him out of the door. His moral compass says he still has too much to do to save our economy and to lay in foundations of the social mobility he so craves to be part of his legacy. Politicians always crave their legacy, its in their genes and their ego. How will I be seen in history is a constant issue for them. So I believe this all comes down to the Party Conference speeched this year. It is apparent that David Cameron has not yet 'sealed the deal' with the British Public. The Prime Minister knows this and it is his hunch, and that is what over 300 Labour MPs depend upon, that the economy is going to turn round and that by May next year things 'will be getting better'. So if his hunch is correct then to my mind the party conference speeches are huge, massive, .....

    The Prime Ministers speech will already be being shaped by Lord Mandelson. His aim will be to build on the passion with which the Prime Minister reportedly spoke last night in the HoC. The hatred that the Prime Minister has for Conservative politics, the core of the smear campaigns and any attempt to stand up to him. Only he, in his mind, is capable of leading the country. David Cameron stands for thrift and destruction of the Prime Minister's dream of a socially mobile UK - his legacy. All the stops must be pulled out to stop thrift. It, and it alone, threatens his legacy and how history will write about him.

    David Cameron has a really difficult task ahead of him. He needs to 'seal the deal' with the electorate and his conference speech is crucial. He must move on from calling for an election. Just like the labelling of the 'do nothing Tories' the 'we need an election now' is also starting to grind. David Cameron must explain 'compassionate conservatism' to the country. He has the momentum, there is no doubt, but he must sieze the initiative and finally connect with the public. Stay away Labour voters will, Lord Mandelson said it last night, return in droves [I am quoting him] when the General Election is held. Labour will poll better than they did last night. For the Prime Minister it is not over yet and the fat lady has not sung. He can bounce back from this one more time. The darkest hour is just before dawn [and many other metaphors come to mind]. After last night he 'promised to change' well the electorate will see. If he does those writing his obituary may well be proven to be wrong. This guy is rescilient and believes that he his the chosen one. The question is in the next ten months can he convince the electorate to believe him. With Lord Mandelson by his side orchestrating the media and the speeches ANYTHING is possible.

  • Comment number 46.

    Brown is the only choice that will avoid a General Election.

    Labour MPs have taken this option for their own financial reasons. A last gorge in the trough.

    The people want an election. The people don't, and never did, want Brown as PM.

    The BBC, with their bias and left-wing agenda, have encouraged this situation and aided the wrecking of this country by greedy, self-interested 'politicians'.

  • Comment number 47.

    You are still not asking Nick... why has Gordon Brown decided to stay on as leader and why is he not calling an election.

    We the public want to know his reasoning. Is it self-interest or is it arrogance, for example? Please address this issue.

  • Comment number 48.

    Nick, you said on your BBC report that GB passed you in the corridor with a smile on his face.

    Hardly the facial expression of someone who apologised to his MP's and admitted mistakes.

    Suggests to me that he is pleased with himself and will punch the air with satisfaction when in a private room somewhere!

    Same old story-total arrogance-how can anyone possibly believe this man has the nation's interest at heart?

    I don't see any contrition from him at all, ever.

    I'm appalled that our representatives in Parliament are still putting themselves first, and not the country.

    Keep Brown in and watch BNP take seats on protest voting when we eventually get the election. And Mandelson's behaviour is dark and scary-what is his agenda in all this.

    Shuddering at the implications of all of this-very worrying times.

  • Comment number 49.

    An Unelected Unpopular Weak P.M.
    An Unelected Untrustworthy Manipulative deputy P.M.
    A cabinet of NuLabour Lords and Ladies.
    A paralayzed political system reeling after Expensegate.
    An electorate with no faith in their MPs.
    An expanding National Debt of mind blowing amounts.
    A population in debt up to their eye balls.
    A war started by lies nobody voted for.
    A broken promise on a Europe Vote.
    British Fascists with 2 steats in the European Parliament.
    Gold Reserve sold at the bottom of the market.
    National Utilities and National Brands sold to global owners.
    A million or so illegal immigrants somewhere around...
    I wonder what would Winston Churchill would say ?

    This situation is utterly intolerable and damaging our once respected democratic reputation.
    The Queen as Head of State is the only person who can stop the rot... she should dissolve Parliament and appoint a crisis management team.

  • Comment number 50.

    Last night proved Labour's total disregard for the democratic process.

    We were denied the election after Brown became leader and so his mandate is forefeit.

    We were denied the referendum on the Lisbon Treaty and so Labour's mandate on Europe is forefeit.

    We have been denied our place in the democratic process to comment on MP's abuse of expenses.

    The time has come I am starting to believe, if we are denied a democratic voice by Parliament, then us the people should undemocratically remove Parliament from power.

  • Comment number 51.

    It shows how totally useless and immoral the labour party is, that it cannot even oust the worse prime minister this country has ever had.

    The real question now is what is Mandelson's agenda. He is clearly the puppet-master pulling the strings of Brown and the cabinet.

    Respecting the wishes of the public, who desperately want Brown out, is obviously not high on the priority list.

    While I would love to see Brown slung out, the prospect of a sort of non-government which is unable to keep bringing in more barmy ill-thought legislation is quite appealing. Also, if it means that Labour end up losing every seat at the next election, and their subsequent annihilation, then that is worth waiting for.

  • Comment number 52.

    anyone remember the trouble OMOV caused the labour party, ie true democracy. The days of block votes barons and bullying.

    Well no secret ballot of the PLP , no general election or they would get the result they would not like.

    A large meeting where people can be intimidated, bullies and kept quit for fear of reprisials has kept the dictator in place.

    He think one thing whilst the majority as shown by the last 2 sets of secret ballots show other wise.

    You can see why old-labour like postal ballots because they can be interferred with to their advantage on week and vunerable people those that they say they are in power to protect.

  • Comment number 53.

    My hair's gone grey this last week. The death throes of this once Great Party remind me of the days of watching for clues coming out of the Kremlin. Empires crumble and New Labour's tank engine's made of plastic.

  • Comment number 54.

    No 13- John Carrelson

    Few will doubt your words on spin, but come on, when it comes to lies you friend dear old Gordon is in a league of his own. Maybe it's not lies maybe he's just in total denial. Having achieved what he sees as his destiny by whatever means possible, he will not exit the doors of No 10 easily. I can just picture it now, the morning after next years general election, Labour beaten out of sight but with a few seats left to be counted, he gets himself on the TV and proclaims:

    "What I think the people of Britain want is for me to get on with job of sorting the economy and MPs expenses, I am the best man for job, in fact I am the only man for job"

    Every election defeat of this government is followed by the usual list of reasons, recession, protest vote, MPs expenses etc, I laughed to myself last night when I heard the old chestnut "We must listen to the voters and learn and act", didn't they say 2,3 & 4 years ago. If they were listening to the voters they would have resigned by now.

    NO GORDON the people don't want you to get on with job, if you had ever bothered listening to the people, you would have realised and ACCEPTED that ever since Crewe & Nantwich and Glasgow East and pretty much every chance the voters have had since, what they really really want is for you to go.

  • Comment number 55.

    "28. At 00:39am on 09 Jun 2009, TimidGoose wrote:
    Has anyone noticed the sign-up count on the No 10 petition for Crash Gordon to quit? 66936 signatures in favour of him resigning at the time of posting. Not vast, given the scale of public feeling - unless you count the number of signatories specifically asking him NOT to quit - Erm, 47... ... Nick, I think some sort of mention might be worthwhile?"

    Timid, dispite about 30 attempts to sign that petition I fill in my details and await for the conformation email (which supplies the link to finalize the signiture) the email NEVER arrives. Oddly if i fill in the petition for him to stay with the same details (cut and pasted just to make sure) and click sign the email for that petition arrives within seconds.

    I am one persion desperate to sign that petition for him to go but the site/system/..... will not let me! I wonder how many others are effected by this susyem fault?

  • Comment number 56.

    "51. At 07:54am on 09 Jun 2009, wykhamist wrote:

    The real question now is what is Mandelson's agenda. He is clearly the puppet-master pulling the strings of Brown and the cabinet."

    His agenda is to get the longest job title in the UK, currently standing ate 18 words "First Secretary of State, Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills and Lord President of the Council"

  • Comment number 57.

    Hasn't the last few days been absolutely tremendous entertainment....if nothing else. My take on stuff....

    1. Brown says he will change his style - he can't. He is incapable of changing his personality and probably doesn't even want to. Simply another example of him saying 'this is what I'm going to do to save the world/party/my own arse (delete as appropriate)' and then doing absolutely nothing.

    2. He says he will be more inclusive of the party and the public in developing the policies the people want. No he won't. He's spent the last 12 years telling us what we want and (both with his former master and now as top dog) then doing completely the opposite or nothing or more often than not getting it worng in the first place.

    3. The new Cabinet are loyal and supportive of the PM. No they're not for goodness sake!! No-one ever gets elected as leader of the party, any party, having got form as a traitor to the previous encumbent. Milliband, Johnson, Balls and Co are being loyal until they no longer have to be. Then the knives will be out big time.

    4. Labour apparently think they lost/got hammered in the lections because their vote stayed at home. Very true. Even the grass roots, dyed in the wool, always voted Labour because my Dad did, my Grandad did, etc, etc can't bring themselves to vote for a party that has completely and utterly let them down and lost all sense of why the Labour Party came into being in the first place - to represent the working man/woman.

    I could go on....

    Here's what Cameron should do next PMQ's. Don't call for an election, don't brag about the ones just gone, don't feign anger or comtempt....simply ask the PM questions on what his new, all inclusive and transparent policies are. Gordon will not be able to answer, because now he has to go and get the approval of all his backbenchers before bringing anything forward....or he knows he's toast.

    No election until next May...then Nick Clegg will be the leader of HM's Opposition and Brown will be sat on the back-benches still staying he is the right man for the job. How sad.

  • Comment number 58.

    Brown must now raise the political stakes. He must bring forward radical proposals to clean up parliamentary finances, a fundamental shakeup of the Constitution -for example a written Constitution which is then put to the electorate for acceptance or rejection that would makesParliament subject to constitutional law rather than above the law as is presently the case -they call it parliamentary sovereignty and we have seen the consequences. There must also be a serious attempt to lead on the EU debate and connect with the concertns of those most badly affected or at risk from the economic crisis that is likely to get worse, still, before it gets better. His only chance of avoid a massive political defeat at the next election is to outflank the Conservatives on these questions and quickly.

  • Comment number 59.

    However "safe" Brown is - for now - it is obvious that taking the Labour Party into the next election is going to prove fatal. Much discussion has been made about who should succeed him but I think the answer is obvious - HARRIET HARMAN. She is high profile and has (as far as I am aware) come out unscathed in the MPs' expenses scandal. I still don't think Labour would win but you never know!

  • Comment number 60.

    Please stop bleating on about Gordon Brown. It's time that you and your cronies accepted that Labour is
    stronger than its Leader. The Labour ideals of social justice , and " a society where we live together freely, in
    a spirit of solidarity, tolerance and respect" are too strong to be destroyed by the ravings of the gutter press
    the self-serving antics of career politicians and crass political commentators and interviewers on TV .

  • Comment number 61.

    Just remember in 3 weeks the complete "edited" list of ALL mp's expenses will be published and in 2 weeks we have a new speaker!

  • Comment number 62.

    Turkeys don't vote for Christmas and this shower of a patchwork Cabinet are most definitely Turkeys

  • Comment number 63.

    # 55 icewombat

    Scary. But then, we're now living in a country which bears all of the dreadful hallmarks of life in an old USSR state. Just listened to Milliband being interviewed by Jim Naughtie on the Today programme (well, Milliband just talked at Naughtie who let him go). Same old stuff. Mustn't let the people have a choice in an election because the great project is only half-baked. The people are too stupid to figure out if the Labour Party have anything to offer (after 12 years in power) so, no election until the Party is "ready" ... whatever that means.

    It's all so sinister. I'm ready to march on Downing Street, I'm so sick of this arrant nonsense.

  • Comment number 64.

    "The prime minister is safe ...for now" well nick it depends on who you think really is the PM...GB has the title but the real pm is PM ...Peter Mandelson... He is the one who has kept GB in place and he alone has the power, Gordon will do as he says as he wants to stay on as prime minister but have no doubt about who is really in charge....

  • Comment number 65.

    # 56 icewombat

    Further to my post at # 63 regarding life these days feeling ever more like life in an old USSR state. Mandelson's 18-word job title reinforces my point. Our Dear Leader and his supine, sycophantic, hangers-on really have lost the plot.

  • Comment number 66.

    9. At 11:43pm on 08 Jun 2009, derekbarker wrote:
    A new constitution, the shelving of the part privatisation of royal mail,
    the continued investment in state education and our glorious health services, an enquiry into the Iraq war, an almighty push to put Britain in the front line of renewable energy and technology of carbon capture creating thousands of new jobs.

    GB time has come, and see how he will shine.


    Derek gordon will never shine. Isn't there a saying about not being able to polish brown things?

  • Comment number 67.

    If the next election is May at least we will have one buidget and one pre-budget statement where this goverment can actually do something about public sector pensions.

    Darlins last budget put everything off till after the next election which i think Labour at the time were planning for later this year (Vat goes back to 17.5% in December, the 10% tax adjustment goes in April, 50% taxs starts to hit, NI goes up in April, Taxes go up in April, Stamp Duty comes back into force etc), For this Tax year nearly everyone is a winner, next tax year EVERY one is a loser.

    We need a budget that basicily closes final sal pensions for the public sector, then the next goverment can step back a bit but still sort out the pension inequality betwenn public and private sector.

  • Comment number 68.

    13. At 11:53pm on 08 Jun 2009, johncarrelson wrote:
    We British really are a feckless and fickle bunch aren't we?

    I would rather have politicians like Major and Brown who care more for substance, hard-work and policy results than smarmers and spinners like Blair and Cameron. Do you really want some chameleon who is going to lie and deceive you at every turn? Give me Gordon any day of the week


    Can you name one of Gordons policy results? That's one that actually improved someones life.

    And perhaps you'd like to define what this substance actually is.

    And if you don't want lies does that include the one about whether Darling was leaving his job?

    Brown is as bad as blair for spin just listen to his endless repetition - 'no nothing tories', 'getting on with the job'.

  • Comment number 69.

    Just don't make any long term policy decisions, (anything more than a year say), you the Labour party won't be around to implement them!!!!!

  • Comment number 70.

    So what happened to the expenses scandal and the aftermath - Darling, Balls/Cooper etc still in place. What has Mandy promised everyone in Government in return for standing up and applauding GB last night. APPLAUSE? what's all that about, for leading the party to its worst ever election result. Oh, the arrogance of these politicians!! They really do not understand what the public really wants, even though to the ordinary man in the street it was perfectly obvious form the votes last week.

    I do not know whether David Cameron and the Tories are the answer but at least the population has given its verdict on NuLabor and ought to be given the opportunity to vote in a General Election. At least then everyone could see for themselves whether the Tories have any policies likely to be successful - they would be mad to announce them before any GE manifesto publication

  • Comment number 71.

    They won't replace him because no one wants the job. It's as simple as that. If they were only mid-term he wouldn't be able to move for all the knives in his back. As it is, with an election around the corner and no time to tidy up their mess, who wants to pick up the poisoned chalice. Whoever leads the Labour Party at the next general election can kiss their political career goodbye. That's why they're all so damned 'loyal'.

    Unortunately for them the longer they leave it until they call an election, the more it's going to hurt them. Hopefully enough to finish Labour for good and all and good riddance.

  • Comment number 72.

    "it's about the delivery of improvements to the people and Gordon Brown id head and shoulders above the rest"

    He's spent a lot, and delivered very little. He's also the only one in charge so he's head and shoulders above exactly nobody. He needs to rein in public spending immediately, as well as putting the UK at the forefront of renewable energy - but we all know he won't. It is time for him to go, but I'm a patient man so I will happily wait for another year.

  • Comment number 73.

    Why are politicians so dumb!

    If it's their policies they are trying to sell, then they have got the wrong salesman. You don't buy from someone you don't like ...or is not likeable! IT'S THAT SIMPLE!

    Get this very simple thing right and the problem is solved!

  • Comment number 74.

    Trouble is Nick we have heard it all before. "I will listen more. I will change bla bla ". Brown will not change its in his DNA. The electorate is feed up to the teeth with Labour and its spin maker in chief Mandleson. Just goes to show how inept Labour MPs are, cheering someone who has led them to third place and worse in some parts of the country. And these idiots are the governing party!

    Its not over till the fat lady sings - Brown is living on borrowed time and he is really starting to get up the nose of the right minded people in this country.

  • Comment number 75.

    This is a complete tragedy for the country. We have a broken PM at the head of a broken Government, incompetent, mired in sleaze and incapable of taking the difficult decisions required to bring the public sector deficit back under control.

    The country desperately needs and demands a General Election, yet we have this self appointed Prime Minister sitting like a grisly, dead whale, blocking the road to an election whilst it rots and stinks in its own putrefaction.

  • Comment number 76.

    What a perfect chance these yellow -lily-livered spinless group of so called politicians had at that meeting yesterday with Gordon Brown to tell him enough is enough...Get OUT!
    How can this lot be leading our country when they do not have the courage of their convictions sickens me.
    They did not need a so-called secret email list to add 80 or so names to create a motion of no-confidence. They could have yelled at him simply to GO! But they stood back and applauded him to please stay on as Brown stated it is not a plea for unity BUT an argument for unity...Please give me another chance! I have weaknesses. Several politicians could see through the smoke screen and said No! but they were drowned out by the other yellow backed cowardly lot thinking ...Who will take over? ME !will I lose my Salary, pension reduced, NO WAY ! Lets keep Brown ON ! yes that will do me! any way we are going to lose at the next General Election, so lets earn as much as we can while Brown takes the rap WE VOTE FOR GORDON

  • Comment number 77.

    It should not surprise us that these venal labour politicians put a few more months of salary, expenses and pension contributions before the future of the country. With GB still at the helm (for he will not change despite his promises to do so) we are in even deeper trouble than before.

  • Comment number 78.

    59. At 08:29am on 09 Jun 2009, Witneylass wrote:
    However "safe" Brown is - for now - it is obvious that taking the Labour Party into the next election is going to prove fatal. Much discussion has been made about who should succeed him but I think the answer is obvious - HARRIET HARMAN. She is high profile and has (as far as I am aware) come out unscathed in the MPs' expenses scandal. I still don't think Labour would win but you never know!


    If Harriet became leader, labour surely wouldn't get a vote from a single male in the country. We don't need any more of her hypnocritical anti-male sexism.

  • Comment number 79.

    re: 14 rcrobjohn

    Indeed, Labour (especially Brown & Harman) are arrogant and "not listening".

    It reminds me of the Euro-referendum mentality - only the "correct" answer is accepted.


  • Comment number 80.

    This whole affair has shown that Labour MP's (from top to bottom) are looking out for themselves, and not for the people of the country ...

    ... which takes us back to previous points, eg the failure to apply the "Seven Principles of Public Life" which has created the lack of trust in Government ...

    1. Selflessness
    2. Integrity
    3, Honesty
    4. Leadership
    5. Openness
    6. Objectivity
    7. Accountability ...

    Should these apply in the Labour Party and Politics at the moment? ... I think most people would say they not only should, but must ! ... but it appears they only want to espouse them ... and necessarily follow them! This is very common when Poweromics* is applied (along withe the use of spin, threats and creating fear!) ...

    ... the phrase do as I say, not as I do, come to mind ... and they should not be 'principles' but the 'fundamental values' that must be followed and policies must also support. Trust has gone in the labour party - a party which was supposedly to represent 'the people" ... arguably the most sickening point of all.
    We desperately need a 21st century democracy - a "people democracy" - where people are really listened to, properly represented, and capable of having their say ...

    take a look the new e-petition which gives everyone the chance to 'request' the Prime Minister (and Number 10) to give us what we want ... and to let us have a say ...

    and register your wish** for a 21st century electoral system too - so everyone is given a say ... and "every day" ... "not just on election day" !

    As trust will not be restored without it !

    * Poweromics = People using position and power for their own personal gain, based on poor moral values, self interest and greed.

    ** People democracy - be one of the first to sign the 'People Democracy" e-petition ... and directly request the Prime Minister to give it us! Complaining without taking action is of little value to anyone ... and the time to be heard is now ... before they all disappear on their long summer holidays ...

  • Comment number 81.

    We have a new Prime Minister; Peter Mandelson

  • Comment number 82.

    Is it me or does there seem to be a parallel between how they run they party and how they run the country.

    It's all based on fear, lies and dodgy deals behind closed doors, and less democracy that the average banana republic.

  • Comment number 83.

    Well I never........

    So Farmer Brown cowes his sheep, without even using his attack dogs.
    A few 'mistakes were made' (sorry, by whom?), a few 'I can change my spots', a couple of 'Investing in the future' (don't you mean borrowing from the future?) -and everything in the Labour garden is rosy again.

    Thank you Tony Blair, you built this system of central control and no dissent. Shame on the PLP for being so hollow.

    You lot momentarily forgot last night that, under Brown every single aspect of government has been weak, incompetent or compromised.
    Education, Crime & the Law, Europe, Defence, the Economy, Financial control, Parliament, Foreign policy, Culture & Media, Energy, Morality & Ethics.
    Thats a lot of spots that are going to have to be changed.

    Of course, I might be completely wrong, and we really have turned a corner!
    Mebbes aye, or mebbes naw, but in which direction did we turn?
    I hope it wasn't downwards.

    Remember, now we are broke, and nothing is to be done for a year to stop the haemorrhaging of money we dont have, into the public sector and the banks (and of course the MPs).

  • Comment number 84.

    With all due respect to the magic circle and the comedy store

    I hear that the reshuffle is not yet complete

    Gordon Brown no sorry i mean Peter manadleson is calling a press conference to announce that Paul Daniels is to be given a peerage and elevated a cabinet job as sec of state for propaganda sorry Information.
    Gordon and Peter have decided that since Tony Blair the great illusionist left the stage the electorate are getting the truth sorry the wrong message so the master illusionist has been re to re create the illusion that all is well

    it is also reported (by me) that Paul Daniels wife is to stand in the by election in Norwich as magicians sorry i mean illusionists assistants are used to their majority sawn in half

    Yes it is a joke now lets get the police investigating MPs expenses
    Flipping is tax evasion Phantom mortgages is fraud putting charity donations on expenses should be automatic deselection

  • Comment number 85.

    It sounds to me that the actual detractors either chose not to attend the meeting of the PLP or were discouraged from going. Hence why people couldn't get into the poky rooms that had been booked

    It hasn't stopped the detractors, and R4 even covered some of Byers speech this morning whereas they didn't cover the speech from the Welsh Windbag.

    Brown has succeeded for the same reasons that the BNP won 2 seats. Failure, a failure of the opposition to Brown to actual bring about a concerted plan, and a failure of the Labour party to engage with its natural voters.

    We still await the pronouncements of Darling who has been very quiet

    We await the market's reaction to the repatriation of capital, and the merry go round that is government gilt sales greased by QE

    We await the by elections

    We await Brown's outline of his vision. Once it is proved to be vacuous and unattainable what will the PLP do then. It does explain how Brown could bottle his electoral opportunity when he lives in the environment that is the PLP

    Now we see a Government in power, without the ability to rule over the local councils, with a different voice in Europe, no longer the main party in Scotland or Wales, and it becomes necessary to take small bites out of the majority that will ultimately cause his administration to fail.

    Maybe we should just stand in front of him with our backs turned. Would he then get the message or would he simply resolve to remain in the bunker?

  • Comment number 86.

    These self serving corrupt politicians in the Labour Party r ONCE AGAIN thinking about themselves before the country. The UK is in the worst mess for a century, boprrowing is beyond most peoples reasonibng, our childrens children r saddled with enormous debt, and Derekbarker and others on HYS think these r the people, and so called leader, we should trust to repair what they have brought upon us. GOD SAVE THE UK - no one from Liebour will.

  • Comment number 87.

    "No prime minister who appears to be taking his party to electoral annihilation can ever truly be considered safe."

    Whilst an interestingly dramatic line, in reality the fact is that Gordon Brown, within the Parliamentary Labour Party is perceived by some of them, at this point in time, to be taking his party to the lemmings' leap.

    As you may remember, when Maggie Thatcher went, within days the joke that was going around was:

    Knock, Knock.
    Who's There?
    Maggie who?
    A week's along time in politics.

    Equally, whether Gordon will cause the Labour Party 'anihilation' at the next election has yet to be seen and can really only be judged as we approach that election and we know the political lay of the land then.

    The time between now and that election is an eternity in UK politics.

    It may not be very probable - but it is just possible - that by that point in time everyone will think the sun shines out of Gordon's rear area.

    In my opinion, David Cameron would be well advised to use that time wisely to ensure that however strong or popular Brown might just become, the Tories can clearly, confidently and cleverly out-class him and the the Labour party.

    If the Tories sit on their rumps confident that Brown will lose the next election for the Labour party and therefore they just have to walk into power - they may just find they gambled wrong.

    I would also advise David Cameron, particularly given the events of the last couple of weeks or so, not to underestimate how ruthless the Labour party heads can be.

  • Comment number 88.

    A slight aside -- but a perfect example of Brown's incompetence:
    "Glenys Kinnock's appointment as Europe minister descended into farce yesterday after it emerged that she could not do the job because she was still an MEP"

  • Comment number 89.

    Mike Smithson of Political is saying this morning that people of his generation will live out their lives under a Tory government. The craven cowardice of Labour MP's is awful but not shocking. Blair took away Labour's ideological underpinnings and attracted a bunch of shallow careerists who believed that they were going to be in power for ever. They seem to be in complete denial about what is likely to happen to them next May and when they do get voted out, most of them will just leave politics and go off and do something else.

    The mantra from Labour is "when the economy recovers people will look afresh at Gordon," even with Darling's "trampoline recovery," the economy will only be starting to edge back into growth at the time of the election. John Major achieved 2-3 years of steadily rising economic growth with low inflation and falling unemployment and how much good did it do him?

    A big, fat zero!!

  • Comment number 90.

    Has nobody in the media thought about this from the point of view of a would-be leader of the Labour Party?

    Consider - which is better FOR ME? Should I push Gordon now, take over the party, and very possibly lose the next election, OR should I let Gordon lose the next election and THEN take over?

    Which ambitious politician would not choose the latter path?

    That's why Gordon is safe until the next election.

  • Comment number 91.

    Reflecting on the council and euro results, one thought crosses my mind - is the collapse in Labour's vote "the revenge of the smoker"?
    Many working people enjoy relaxing at the pub or the club with a pint and a fag - and in this sense, the smoking ban has affected their way of life in a way that is far, far more immediate than, say, the public sector debt crisis, about which most people know little and care even less.
    More broadly, many people bitterly resent the big increase in state interference in their daily lives over the last decade or so.
    If "the revenge of the smoker" did indeed play a role in Labour's electoral catastrophe, particularly in the party's heartlands, it would be richly ironic, as the smoking ban was, I believe, the brain-child of a certain C. Flint.......

  • Comment number 92.

    As a conservative voter I think Brown staying is the best news I've heard in ages.

    Brown has one agenda and one agenda only; to keep himself as PM. The public can see this, and will not forget how the gutless Labour party voted themselves another year in the trough before their inevitable ejection from power.

    Democracy? Governing for the benefit of the people? Providing stability for the markets? Making unpopular but necessary public sector cuts to bring down the national debt? Why bother when there are expenses to be claimed?

  • Comment number 93.

    James Purnell refutes what you say, on BBC News Channel this morning.

    Hey ho, whatever. It has happened and he has shown himself to be a man of conviction (Purnell, not Brown) and admired for having the courage of those convictions.

    The rest of the wimps who have been cajoled, bullied, whatever, into staying are only saving their salaries not their faces.

    Brown is a ditherer. He puts out new laws, directives and missives daily like a mad person. He wants to concentrate on the financial mess which he and America made (that is what the Europeans say and I agree) and to try and focus on the ordinary man / woman in the street and how their lives are affected by situations is beyond his ken.

    Most men cannot multi-task. He certainly cannot and it won't be long before he screws up again and disappears off the landscape forever (we hope).

    He is being like Robert Mugabe in imposing his position and wishes on the country and his MPs when we the public do not want him. Whioh part of the voting results does he not understand?

  • Comment number 94.

    14. At 11:56pm on 08 Jun 2009, rcrobjohn wrote:

    "Forgive me but many people seem to have missed the point. We are supposed to live in a democracy. Labour lost in two elections on Thursday but today their leader refuses to bow out and his MPs are too cowardly to ask him to go."

    Excuse me, but the elections were for local government and the European Parliament, not the Westminster one.

    AND, they didn't bow out of the town halls and Europe, they were voted out.

    But what's that got to do with Members of the Westminster Parliament?

    To change that you need what we describe as a General Election.

    And that in turn won't change who sits in the Town Hall Councils or in the European Paliament.

  • Comment number 95.

    The UK is becoming more and more like N Korea every day.

    Constituency parties being bullied by Number Ten into disciplining MPs that criticise Brown and Ministers loosing their jobs if they don't swear allegiance to the dear leader. It's frightening.

  • Comment number 96.

    Ask 'what's in it for them?'

    In this case the labour MPs get nearly another year's worth of 'employment' and nearly another year towards those pensions

    Why would they vote for change now?

    Ask 'what's in it for any alternative leader?'

    Electoral defeat

    Why would anyone stand?

  • Comment number 97.

    Musculoskeletal specialists baffled: large numbers of labour MPs still able to sit and stand despite inexplicable disappearance of their spines.

  • Comment number 98.

    1. I find it almost funny that when Labour (several members of) do the darks-arts it's called "spin" and "smearing" but when the Tories, in cahoots with several members of the press, plan weeks of leaks and coordinated attacks it's considered normal political discourse. They all do it I'm afraid. I'm not condoning it but let's not be so naive to think it's only Labour who do it. Cameron et al will take it to a new level when they're in 10DS

    2. I find the level of antipathy towards Gordon Brown and politicians in general pretty staggering. In this country, we give people like Gazza, George Best, Joey Barton, etc numerous chances at redemption despite domestic abuse, alcoholism and violence because we like watching them kick a ball. We give people like Jade Goody and Mel Gibson second chances even when they're guilty of pretty despicable racism and bullying. Same for adulterers and all other kinds of miscreants. However, when Gordon Brown, a decent well-intentioned man who doesn't do his job for money, doesn't earn millions (he could have very easily done in the private sector given his intellect), who goes into politics to help people and to make Britain a better and fairer place, asks for patience to see the fruits of his policies on the economy and parliamentary reforms, and asks for another chance to refine his leadership style we just kick him down and, in my opinion very ungratefully, tell him to sling his hook

    We need to have far more respect for the office of PM. He's not a pop star or reality show contestant; he's a guy who's trying to the best he can for ALL of us. We should get behind him now and just shut up with the whining. It's not condusive to anything and is frankly pretty tiring. No wonder there is such a shortage of talent. Who would want to represent and help us ungrateful rabble?

  • Comment number 99.


    Quite right if Harriet "prove you are not a rapist" Harman gets in there will be meltdown.

  • Comment number 100.

    Gordon Brown is the Steve McClaren of British politics. He has been on the sidelines itching to take over the top job for years and when he has it he is shown to be wanting in every single respect. He is quite simply the wally with the lolly.


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