Monday, June 25, 2007



It's official

Gordon Brown is now officially the leader of the UK Labour Party - and he's already signalling a more leftward direction. Meanwhile, the deputy leadership election (conducted under preferential voting, though with a grossly undemocratic "electoral college" system which saw the vote equally weighted between the party's three "estates" of members, affiliates, and MPs) has seen the left triumph with the election of Harriet Harman, who had opposed the renewal of Britain's nuclear arsenal and called for higher taxes on the super-rich. In another poke in the eye for Blair, his preferred candidate, Hazel Blears, was the first eliminated. Jon Cruddas, the left's preferred candidate, came third, and it was the transferred votes of his supporters which saw Harman elected. Which I think tells you where the Labour Party's members and affiliates stand on Blairism...

But despite all this, Tony Blair is still Prime Minister, at least for the next two days. Hopefully he'll spend them pondering his rejection by the grassroots and wondering what he could have done to retain them. But somehow, given his arrogance and antinomianism, I doubt it.

Hopefully he'll get a very rude goodbye from Downing Street.

9 comments:

I/S, can you say anything nice about tony Blair at all? or are you so extremist you can't see anything good from a moderate left winger? at least he governed britian good enough to stay in office for 10 years, not an inconsiderable achievement. and helped the Northern ireland peace process. Also, to me, brown doen't look like hes much more left wing than Blair is. The wikipedia article you link to for Blears lists a number of supporters, but doesn't include Blair amongst them.

Posted by nicholas o'Kane : 6/25/2007 04:33:00 PM

I would dispute Blair's status as a moderate left-winger. By his own definition he is a 'centrist', and several of his policies put him to the right of the Tory government he replaced, such as privatising the bank of England. On the British political spectrum he is at best a moderate right winger. On an international stage, particularly if viewed from a conservative country like the USA, he is perhaps further left, but if Blair were a New Zealand politician, he would be in the National party - chumminess with Helen Clark aside.

But I actually suspect that Idiot's dislike of Blair is less to do with his domestic economic policies, and more with his leading the UK into Iraq and enacting the most draconian anti-teror laws in the Western world - that's right, more draconian than the Patriot Act. Not strictly something on the left/right spectrum, for although most leftist leaders were sceptical about Iraq, so were quite a few rightists (The German Christian Democrats, the Canadian Liberals)

Posted by Daedalus_x : 6/25/2007 05:25:00 PM

notice how the TV3 reporter was unable to remember Gordan Brown's name during their story.
Thats why "tony blair's um er prediscesser" is going to get destroyed in the next election...

that and the way everyone seems to think advertising David Cameron is a great way to defeat him.

GNZ

Posted by Anonymous : 6/25/2007 06:27:00 PM

Blair was electable. Unlike most of the socialist cretins, so that Labour will lose next time.

Posted by Anonymous : 6/25/2007 09:45:00 PM

But I actually suspect that Idiot's dislike of Blair is less to do with his domestic economic policies, and more with his leading the UK into Iraq and enacting the most draconian anti-teror laws in the Western world - that's right, more draconian than the Patriot Act.

Um, yes, and correct me if I'm wrong but Brown and Harman voted for every clause in those anti-terror laws. Sorry, but whatever problems I have with Blair (and they're considerable), I don't really find the Orwellian volte- face on show in recent weeks any more attractive - and I'm yet to be convinced that any changes in the smiley-faced authoritarianism of New Labour will be in substance rather than form. Put some new lipstick on a pig, and its still a pig.

Posted by Craig Ranapia : 6/25/2007 09:49:00 PM

Absolutely Craig. I've yet to see any evidence of Brown's differences to Blair that isn't easily attributable to spin trying to play up the 'fresh face' angle. My reading of it is that there were personal rivalries between the two of them but politically they are not that far apart. Still, my hope is that the parliamentary party will pull Brown left.

Posted by Daedalus_x : 6/26/2007 06:22:00 AM

I think not remmbering Brown's name is a reflection on the TV3 reporter - who probably hasn't got a vote, unless they were a resident UK citizen in the last 20 years.

Blair was a competent, if authoritarian, Tory Prime Minister. Unfortunately we tried to elect a Labour one.

Incidentally, how does NZ Labour elect the leader - isn't it caucus like the Nats? It's quite unusual for parties in Westminster-derived systems to have the membership elect the leader - apart from the Greens and UK Lib Dems.

Posted by Rich : 6/26/2007 08:09:00 AM

Rich,

and it would be a reflection on each of the voters who can't remember browns name when they go to vote - but putting it that way wont help him.

Can you remember those years when the conservatives put candidates against tony and no one knew who they were?

OK sure if you were a political hack in the UK you knew but a lot of the voters that really matter don't care about politics much.

I remember the story of the conservative leader being on a plane and greeting some soldiers (i think) and then afterwards them asking who he was and guessing wrong.

Brown probably won't get quite that level but he is part of the way there.

GNZ

Posted by Anonymous : 6/27/2007 06:15:00 AM

He'll be PM for the next three years - I think all but the dimmest brits will have heard of him by then..

Anyway, have you heard a Tory MP has defected to Labour - presumably the Conservative Party were too left wing for him?

Posted by Rich : 6/27/2007 08:34:00 AM