Is there a Labour leadership contest?

I have just heard the most bizarre interview with a woman who was a Labour Whip this morning. She applied for a Leadership nomination form for Labour, yet she says she does not want to stand herself and does not know who to nominate!!

Is she a one off, or is the start of a process of destabilisation of the PM before the Conference? Why on earth would someone ask for a Nomination form when they have no idea who they want to contest the election, and their only anwer to every question is they want a Leadership contest?

Detective work is needed to understand this mysterious development. Who said politics was dull?

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8 Comments

  1. Tony Makara
    Posted September 12, 2008 at 8:11 pm | Permalink

    Siobaihn McDonald is typical of the non-entities who make up this failed government. This a government that allows itself to be shaped by events rather than leading the way and a leadership contest would eventually lead to more of the same, whoever won. What we need is a general election so that the government can seek a mandate from its people, if it dare!. Should Labour change leader and not call an election the opposition parties should refuse to sit in the house, this would put sufficent pressure on Labour to call a general election.

  2. not an economist
    Posted September 12, 2008 at 10:36 pm | Permalink

    Have you heard the interview she did on radio 4's PM progamme? Everything was "Golly gosh this" and "Jolly that" like sthg out of a 1950's Jackie comic. How the girl managed to get so high up in party politics I don't know.

  3. Johnny Norfolk
    Posted September 13, 2008 at 8:15 am | Permalink

    You know I do not think the Labour leadership has yet understood just how bad it is. They are going on spending as if nothing has changed. There is no way back for them but the penny has still to drop..

  4. tim holden
    Posted September 13, 2008 at 9:57 am | Permalink

    The gravy train cannot continue to roll if the leadership changes. To those who are not particularly fond of Labour, their dilemma can be enjoyed even though it entails a degree of suffering. With Brown in charge their party faces certain obliteration in twenty months, and yet with a new leader they will have to hold an election fairly quickly – and even that does not necessarily preclude a similar wipeout inflicted by an angry and disappointed electorate.

    So it's all about not having an election. And there is a way, unfortunately. A scenario for survival may already have been devised. Brown needs to narrowly win a leadership contest. At that point those who vote against him can claim they did so, and claim he never had their support. Thereafter, should his abysmal popularity rating persist, Brown can become ill so that various substitutes can be tried out whilst the PM remains in office but out of sight – and perhaps even accumulates sympathy – prior to an honourable resignation once the least worst of the surrogates has been determined. And they will still lose, but later and not so badly.

  5. adam
    Posted September 13, 2008 at 12:05 pm | Permalink

    I heard a brief bit of her, she sounded like an airhead. Deputy chief sounds like an important role.

    Milibug is clueless, disliked as much as Gordon, has already been humiliated in the role of foreign secretary, the latest incident when he decided to phone up the Russians and lecture them how to run their country and got shouted at and told (to get lost -ed)

  6. Tony Makara
    Posted September 13, 2008 at 1:17 pm | Permalink

    Tim Holden, your sick-note Brown theory might actually be a good idea if Labour wants to buy time in the hope that the world economy might improve, however I think even the most optimistic Labour supporter must realise the public now understands that the so-called miracle economy of the Brown chancellorship was built on credit and now that the credit has dried up we see the true state of the economy under profligate government. Now that credit is exhausted the onlyway to regenerate the economy is through aggressive tax-cuts for business and reining in public pending. Something we can be certain a Labour government will never do.

    Labour's problem is that it has allowed focus groups to do its thinking and has been too reliant on the Blair/Brown axis, so there has been no new intellectual current flowing through the party for close-on fifteen years. I think Labour need a period in opposition to learn how to fight again and to develop themselves as an antithesis to a Conservative government. Labour needs to purge itself of all the careerists who have hijacked the party like Siobhain McDonagh, who by her own admission has never uttered one moment of dissent until now. What Labour needs are a new generation of Eric Heffer's, people who protest and hold their own party to account. Political parties need an angry voice from within, or they become lazy and lose the ability to think and the ability to fight.

  7. mikestallard
    Posted September 13, 2008 at 9:36 pm | Permalink

    We all know – even the Telegraph Leader this morning knows – what should be done.
    We all know, too, that it will not be done by this incompetent and blind government.
    As I see it the future is this:
    1923 for the Liberals = 2010 for the Labour Party. They will become a small rump like the Liberals used to be. They have no future because Socialism has now become yesterday's idea. The working class has been put out of work by the Chinese/Indians. People who live where the working class used to live in town centres are now immigrants of one sort or another. In the Council Estates/suburbs, there seem to be a lot of people who live unproductive lives – college, school, dole, workshy people, retirees (like me), public service, incapacity benefit, several (BUT NOT ALL) single mums – and they are not beholden to the Labour Party any more.
    Because the workers (apart from a few people in the North) are no longer a coherent class held together by Methodism, whippets and pigeons, Socialism, TU affiliation, male voice choirs, the village band, the pub, and so on, the TUs will gradually become detached from the Labour Party. That will, finally, mean the end of the Labour income. A lot of firms here will not employ TU people.
    Tony Blair breathed new life into the labour corpse by his personality, by Alistair Campbell and Peter Mandleson working the media, and by associating with very rich people. He has now gone.
    I suspect that, to everyone's surprise, the Lib Dems will become the opposition. They are Green, they are Lefty, they believe in Chattering Class sort of things. They understand how to run a good dinner party. And they have a history of dissent.
    But, meanwhile, we all have to sit on our hands until this tyranny be overpast.

  8. nigel jones
    Posted September 14, 2008 at 1:09 am | Permalink

    Tony,

    "Labour’s problem is that it has allowed……"

    It cuts deeper than focus groups, or narrow positioning. Their ideas don't work and don't cut with the grain of human nature. When you look at the way they live and educate their children you can see that not even they believe their own outpourings, but they are happy to subject everyone else to things they won't put up with.

    If anything they were a rolling PR campaign selling something wonderful but never made clear and all financed by the family silver. They may have junked Clause 4 but at the bottom of their thinking there's the assumption that the state can and should tackle every problem and interfere in everything, using technology they don't understand and can't control. The state has a choice between doing a few things badly or more things very badly, or trying to do everything and doing everything very badly.

    They've encouraged the nation to live a dream financed by debt to further their nonsense. This idea had to collide with reality sooner or later. Debt and deception have been used to keep reality at bay.

    "Labour needs to purge itself of all the careerists…….."

    Labour should be a lost cause. Whether or not Brown continues they will almost certainly cling to power to the last and be exposed. The longer the better, because the longer the more complete the exposure and the more obviously it will be laid at the door of their failed creed. Shame about the country, but it will survive.

    However, careerists are hardly a Labour monopoly and unfortunately I don't see the Conservatives as being much different at the present showing. Given the mess they will have to sort out, and the necessities of gaining power, maybe not much more should be expected.

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    John Redwood won a free place at Kent College, Canterbury, and graduated from Magdalen College Oxford. He is a Distinguished fellow of All Souls, Oxford. A businessman by background, he has set up an investment management business, was both executive and non executive chairman of a quoted industrial PLC, and chaired a manufacturing company with factories in Birmingham, Chicago, India and China. He is the MP for Wokingham, first elected in 1987.

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