08 June 2009

strange bedfellows

I'm in the rather strange position of agreeing 100% with Frank Field. This from Frank's latest blog post on the Brown crisis:

Labour cannot win with the present Prime Minister. I was one of the seven who would not support his coronation after Tony Blair was shoehorned out of Number 10. But even I didn't think a Brown administration would be as inept as this one.

The Brownites are attempting to terrorise Labour MPs into inaction. If they succeed then we deserve our fate.

It is simply absurd to argue, as does No. 10, that the next leader must call an immediate general election. A new leader, when being invited by the Queen to form a government, should inform the Monarch that he or she intends to return in April of next year to call for a General Election on May 6.

I couldn't have put it better myself.

Meanwhile, on closer analysis, what Jon Cruddas said about Brown was very sensible. He did NOT, as reported, say it would be madness to get rid of Brown. What he actually said - in the Sunday Mirror - was "to suggest we'll tackle [our] problems simply by chucking Gordon Brown overboard is madness". Which is absolutely true, of course. It would be possible - in theory - to make the necessary reforms to the voting system and to MPs' expenses with Brown still in charge; equally, it would be possible to change leader and have someone just as inept - or maybe even worse. But the most likely scenario for a Labour recovery still involves getting rid of Gordon and replacing him with someone who can do the job properly. And I think Jon Cruddas knows that; he just didn't want to stick the knife in before a clear alternative arrives on the horizon. Fair enough.

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