Peter Hoskin

Field laments the “nothingness” that is Brown’s government

It’s hardly surpiring when Frank Field writes damningly of Brown’s government – but his latest blog post still deserves mention.  Even by Field’s standards, it’s particularly unequivocal and incisive.  Here are some choice passages:  

“Harold Wilson asserted that the Labour party was a moral crusade or it was nothing.  The McBride affair has left Labour members looking at nothing.   That is the reality check that McBride has wrought on the party…

…Week after week MPs have been turning up but with almost no serious work to do.  There is the odd bill to be sure.  But there is no legislative programme to speak of.  Even the debates that are put on to fill in time are ones that deny MPs a vote.  The whole exercise is vacuous…

…Labour MPs are left staring into the abyss – that nothingness of Harold Wilson’s statement.  There is a wish amongst all sections of the PLP for the government to start governing.  We wouldn’t care too much whether the ideas were Blairite or non-Blairite, as long as we could give the impression of supporting a government that was using the next year to mark out why we should stay in office…
…McBride sat on the Prime Minister’s political War Cabinet.  If this is the war the Prime Minister thinks the country wants he is in for a very rude awakening.  In the meantime, Labour supporters are left bewildered and wondering what happened to the moral crusading side of our mission. 

Poor old Labour party.” Field is truly one of the good men of Westminster, and the disconnect between him and the brutish elements of the Labour leadership could barely be wider.  For Brown, the worry has to be that Field will try to reignite Labour’s “moral crusade,” embarrassing the PM in the process. 

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