Martin Bright says that the party labels its enemies as ‘mad’ for Freudian reasons: ‘projecting’ its own collective and individual mental disorders upon foes and rebels alikeWhat is it with New Labour and accusations of psychological weakness? No sooner had Hazel Blears announced her resignation from the Cabinet but dark murmurings bubbled up from Downing Street that the Salford MP ‘couldn’t handle it’.
Labour had a good night on Sunday. Not Gordon Brown, not Ed Balls, not the Milibands, nor any other of the other ministers who will have been bundled out of office within the next 12 months. They are, of course, doomed. For them ahead lies nothing but months of humiliation, followed, for many of them, by unemployment. But for the Labour party as an institution it is another matter. In spite of suffering an even heavier drubbing in the local and European elections than had been predicted, the Labour party on Sunday ensured its survival and recovery to power some time in the 2020s.
Anne McElvoy spots a new political type: the ‘Labrators’ who have more in common with Cameron than Brown, and may co-operate with a Tory governmentThe Labrators are coming: cross-bred symbols of shifting political times. Labour by background and allegiance, they empathise with many of the New Conservatives’ aims and obsessions. As for the political divide, they don’t so much straddle it, as just ignore it.
Melissa Kite says that the PM is ill at ease with female colleagues. No surprise that it was the women — Blears, Flint, Kennedy — who rebelled while the men hid under the tableRemember the Brown Bounce? Yes, there really was one. It was back in September 2007 and Gordon was riding high on a wave of popularity. Honestly, I’m not making this up. A YouGov poll gave the Prime Minister a commanding 11-point lead over the Tories after his appeal to traditional values at the Labour party conference.
Irwin Stelzer says the PM should seize the opportunity presented by this stay of execution: plot a path to fiscal sanity, cut red tape and restore Britain’s stature on the world stageNow that Gordon Brown is determined to go down with the Labour ship, or to sink it, if you believe his harshest critics, he might want to consider a few things he can do in the short time left to him at Number 10 to enable historians to be kinder to him.
Jon Cruddas, tribune of the left and foe of the BNP, tells James Forsyth his support for the PM is not unconditional, and praises James Purnell for being ‘true to himself’Jon Cruddas, the Labour MP for Dagenham, isn’t your typical 21st-century politician. He’s relaxed, unconcerned about his appearance: the amount of spare cloth in his suits would appal a Cameron or a Clegg, and his hair is more barber-shop than salon.
So, why the great shock? Why the hand-wringing? It’s not as if they weren’t warned. Why all those metropolitan journos disembarking at Barnsley station on the 11.47 from King’s Cross and gingerly approaching the local Untermensch with a sort of disgusted awe: what is it about this ghastly place that resulted in 17 per cent of its benighted inhabitants voting for Hitler’s bastard offspring, the British National Party? It must be simply that they don’t like the local darkies, think that there are too many of them and, poor dumb creatures that they are, feel threatened.
Matthew d’Ancona says that, by sticking with Brown, Labour has opted for a mad collective delusion. The party is still in thrall to the trio who invented New Labour and cannot think beyond the Blair-Brown era — an incapacity for which it will pay a terrible priceIn Westminster this week, I have felt like the boy in the movie The Sixth Sense. You remember the character and his famous line.