Brown and out?

May 23, 2008

crewe.jpgAs much as stunned Labour MPs wander around like Corporal Jones telling each other not to panic after the dreadful result for them in Crewe, many of the newspapers believe Gordon Brown’s days are now numbered.

The Guardian, under the headline “Brown faces meltdown,” says he is facing the gravest crisis of his premiership in the run-up to the Autumn party conference. Like many other newspapers it says the decision to dress Labour activists in top hats and deride the Conservative candidate as a “toff” was a fundamental mistake, albeit one endorsed by Brown.

“Deciding who was responsible for the approach will be a central part of any Labour inquest,” the paper said.

The Daily Express says Brown is now likely to face a “stalking horse” leadership challenge in the Autumn, possibly from a former minister like Charles Clarke or Alan Milburn, with a view to getting rid of him well before the next general election.

Any attempts to unseat Brown will not be forgiven, the Daily Mirror says potential rebels have been told. The paper says Downing Street fears Blairite supporters will be giving interviews this weekend trying to undermine the leader.

Several papers believe Brown will have difficulty coming up with a raft of new policy announcemenets to rejuvenate Labour, having already unveiled many plans in last week’s draft Queen’s speech and moved to defuse the 10p income tax row.

A snap cabinet reshuffle looks unlikely for fear of appearing a panic measure, comments the Independent.

The Daily Mail says some estimates suggest 70 to 90 Labour MPs have given up on Brown altogether with another 120 wavering. But it notes that with the week-long Whitsun recess now having bugun, there is unlikely to be any immediate move to unseat him.

The Mail is among several papers to point to John Major as an example of how difficult it actually is to get rid of a sitting Prime Minister, however unpopular.

“Mr Brown’s fate will ultimately be decided by the Parliamentary Labour Party which meets on Monday week to mull over the result,” it declares.

The Sun calls the result a “Crewe cut” for Brown and says voters punished Labour for soaring household bills and uncontrolled immigration.

The Daily Telegraph likens Labour to the Titanic: “with Gordon Brown at the helm, it is heading staright towards the iceberg that is the next general election,” its political editor Andrew Porter writes, noting that Brown’s best hope — an upturn in the economy — looks increasingly unlikely.

Crewe was a protest “on an epic scale” for the Financial Times

“There will be no shortage of advice for the prime minister, much of it conflicting,” writes Philip Stephens. “He should give definition to his premiership, show purpose for his government; he should swing back onto Blairite reformist ground; or perhaps he should lurch to the left to win back the core vote. He should smile more; or perhaps he should just be himself.”

The paper finds one glimmer of hope for Labour — that those knocking on the doors in Crewe and Nantwich found little evidence of a groundswell for the Conservatives, it says. The voters were more concerned to bash Labour than embrace the Tories.

But Stephens adds: “The comparison that will haunt him this weekend, though, is with the Eastbourne by-election in the autumn of 1990. Margaret Thatcher lost the seat to the Liberal Democrats on a 20 percent swing – and within a month she was gone.”


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It doesn’t matter whether Brown stays or goes. People voted Labour in the good times and ignored what they were actually doing to the country. Now that the good times are gone those same people have opened their eyes to what has been going on and see the ugliness of what has been done.

Labour’s finished. We must just hope they do no more damage before they go.

Posted by Mike T | Report as abusive

Mike T comments “Labour’s finished. We must just hope they do no more damage before they go.”

I wish that were likely!

The greatest possible danger is the Lisbon Treaty,, the destruction of the Westminster Parliament and therefore Britain’s democracy, will be accomplished within the next few weeks.

The powerful forces in control of the EU and therefore manipulating Britain’s politics will be determined to ensure the Labour Party under the manifesto promise breaking Gordon Brown continues to accomplish this effective coup d’etat.

Once Lisbon is ratified by Parliament and if the Irish then vote Yes, there will be no going back and the UK will have been delivered, incredible as this may seem, to increasingly fascist and non-democratic control.

Posted by Martin Cole | Report as abusive

Brown is his own worse enemy. He rushed to get Blair out by promising a ‘New Labour’ with a government that was responsive to the people. Instead he failed to deliver what he had promised. Now immigration has become out of control, Brown refused the referrundum on the EU Constitution now a treaty with about 99% of the content being the same, and the economy has hit a rough patch. To makes things even worse he is trying to stick the blame on America but neglecting the fact while as Ex-Chequer he was in charge of Britain’s economic policies which are now having an impact on this economy. America’s mortgage crisis is only one of many factors that is impacting this economy most of them, I believe, are under Gordon Brown’s control to change.

Gordon Brown has one of three choices: Brown steps down, Brown calls for an early general election, or Labour unseats Brown in hopes of remaining in power. If something drastic does not happen soon Labour will loose their majority and the Conservatives under Cameron will come into power. Will the Conservatives do any better than Labour? Probably not. However their promise of changes may be enough for people to abandon the sinking ship known as Labour with Gordon Brown as it’s captain.

Posted by chuckles | Report as abusive

No one likes an unelected Prime Minister.
He has no mandate.

Posted by Will G | Report as abusive

We can all agree that Brown is finished, but our faith in our politics can never be restored until we also jump off the horrible European juggernaut that is rolling so disastrously down the hill. The “jobs for the boys” approach to government at all levels must stop, once and for all, and while we may start by getting rid of Brown, we must then turn our attention to Brussels, with no options ruled out and no holds barred.

Posted by Matthew | Report as abusive

This Labour government has failed to deliver on numerous policies it has created, complacent with the sentencing of criminals, not building enough prisons, disallowing the public to vote on the Lisbon Treaty, inspiring the benefit handout culture. 10p tax reform U turn, increase in stealth taxing, undermining married couples, not paying the Police by giving a fair at inflation pay rise. Increased taxing of the middle class to support benefits to the socially inapt and unfit parents, encouraging the sickness and benefit scam culture. Unnecessary Road tax increases in the name of the environment, inability to protect consumers from rampant Energy price fixing. The list is endless, plus the most recent policy change to allow lesbians and gay couples the right to have misfit children using IVF at the expense of Married couples who can’t afford to have children because they are taxed to the ground! I am a disgusted, disillusioned and sceptical and will be voting for the Conservatives to get this unelected/Dictator PM and his party out!
Nu Labour says they listen but they don’t, we should not be in the EU! but they vetoed our choice to have a say and to top it off they introduced the Human rights bill which allows terrorists & prisoners to sue the Tax payer –who is the victim now! The victim is the honest hard working tax payer who is being robbed at the benefit of the teenage mothers with multiple kids from numerous fathers no wonder this country is going down the pan! This Government really sucks and is the reason way so many want to emigrate.

Posted by Charles Johnston | Report as abusive

Why people panic, Tories are after money, donot forgoet Brown has not got the caring face or personality of Blair, but he as chancellorfor 10 years. He lead us out of 3million unemployment and 15% interest rate, do we the public want to go back and regress, to the ‘BAD OLD DAYS’ I think not, there has 3 recessions in my 40 years I can remember, all under Conservative goverments, lets not return !

Posted by Keith Standen | Report as abusive

Let New Labour keep Brown at the helm. It will give the tories a better victory come the general election.

Posted by Frank Miller | Report as abusive

Brown is a poor Prime Minister, that is clear but is Cameron a real leader? Frankly, I wouldn’t trust him to sell me a tube of toothpaste even though he will promise that it gives me the cleanest, whitest teeth I’ve ever had. Where is the real Tory agenda of cutting the Labour quangos that have gromn like Topsy over the last 10 years. One example- the Health & Safety executive prosecute the Met Police over the Menezes shooting? So one Govt body takes money from another- BOTH paid for by the tax payer. There are 100’s of examples of this, I simply quote a high profile one. Bureaucrats control other bureaucrats everywhere. And on top, all these civil servants get golden pensions paid for by future taxpayers. So my thought is, will the real Tory party stand up- a new new Labour disguised as an Eton dinner party does not begin to be worthy of running the country

Posted by Oliver | Report as abusive

This Labour Party has brought us down to the ground, they are real experts in betraying people`s trust, instead of doing something for the real tax payer, this gov is giving everything away to the criminals, in fact that does not surprise me because they rule from the same book.
Why the increase on road tax?, why the increase in stealth tax over the environment?, why the 10p tax reform U turn?, why not listening to the people and their opinions? why do we need to be monitored in all aspects of our private lives?, why blaming the global economy when in the good old times this gov. had the chance to save?, why is the council tax increasing so drastically when we do not get what promised?.
Mr. Brown was not elected by the people, he elected himself for his own purposes, to rip off the tax payer.
If this Country goes under EU rules than we will all doomed like many other countries in the EU, they lost power and regret the day they signed under EU regulations.

Posted by nando | Report as abusive