03 June 2009

Finally, It Seems Some Momentum To Remove Brown.

Labour MPs have let us members down, they have let the voters down and they have let the country down. I am not talking about their dubious expense claims, but their failure to give members a say over party leader, and their failure to remove Brown quickly once he started to mess up.

The Guardian lead comment today puts it in terms so blunt and concise that it is quicker to quote than paraphrase;
"The public is calling furiously for a better system. People want an honest parliament. They want leaders who are prepared to act. They loathe the old system, and many of the people who are part of it.

...the prime minister demands the right to carry on, even as the cabinet implodes around him. The home secretary, the chancellor, and perhaps even the foreign secretary may go, and Labour faces its worst defeat in its history on Thursday, but the prime minister does not recognise his direct responsibility for the mayhem.

The truth is that there is no vision from him, no plan, no argument for the future and no support. The public see it. His party sees it. The cabinet must see it too, although they are not yet bold enough to say so. The prime minister demands loyalty, but that has become too much to ask of a party, and a country, that was never given the chance to vote for him. Had there been a contest for the leadership in 2007 - and had Mr Brown called a general election - he would probably have won. He decided not to do these things. And he has largely failed since".
The Guardian is also right to argue for a leadership election (something I argued about with Polly Toynbee last week);-
"There will have to be an election for leader, and clarity from the candidates about when they want to hold a general election. Labour's constitution is murky, and some argue that it would be impossible to hold a contest quickly. They worry that the party might squander much of the time it has left in power in debates and union votes.

They are wrong. The 2007 contest for deputy leader took less than two months. Former party officials confirm a contest now could be held in 23 days; the new prime minister could be in place by early July. Several ministers would make a better leader than Mr Brown, and want to stand. They should say so early next week.

After such a contest, parliament could sit longer into the summer and return early in September, as Nick Clegg suggested in the Guardian last week. A bill should allow a referendum on electoral reform on the date of the next election. There should be a guarantee that no former MPs and party officials will be sent to the House of Lords. A bill should be passed to establish fixed terms for parliaments, as works well in Scotland, setting the date for the next election.

The opposition will want one immediately, but a new leader can make the case for some time to establish themselves, for reform laws to pass and for parties to pick new candidates. They could also argue that David Cameron needs to be tested properly. An election now would see Britain stumble into the future without any idea where it will lead.

Before polling day, the public also needs to know the score on all MPs - not just that proportion subjected to the Daily Telegraph's treatment so far. The most open way to do this would be for every editor, and broadcaster, to be sent the disc now in the hands of one paper, with the onus of meeting data protection and defamation laws on the publishers. Parties will need time after that to find new candidates.

...This paper believes Britain has often been at its best when Labour has been at its strongest. People who disagree with that will welcome its implosion, knowing that it will make a Conservative landslide inevitable. That is why they are not clamouring for Mr Brown to go. Progressive thinkers do not have this luxury".
I really hope the 'bedwetters' in the cabinet and spineless backbench MPs do not rate their last 8 months salary more than they rate their duty to the country. Brown has to go in the next week.

Alan Johnson is playing the waiting game - he knows he cannot be seen to be disloyal, maybe others in the cabinet are doing that as well. But if SOMEONE doesn't plunge the knife (backed by significant number of other MPs) Labour are doomed for a generation or more.

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