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Labour: Your time is up. And not just in Crewe


crewe1.jpgIf the message on the streets up here in northern England is anything to go by, Labour will be sent packing at the next election.

Yes, it was just a by-election. Yes, Labour is suffering from severe mid-term blues. But the swing was a massive 17.6 percent and it wasn’t the Liberal Democrats who gained from Labour’s troubles, as is traditional in by-elections.

From speaking to people on the ground, the Labour vote has collapsed and the Tories are out in force. When pensioners who’ve voted Labour all their lives switch to the Conservatives, it’s time for Labour to worry.

Rising living costs and the perception that Labour has encouraged a benefits culture that is bleeding taxpayers dry were high on voters’ grudge list. Then there was the 10 pence tax ”fiasco” as one called it, or Labour’s “cynical, condescending” campaign against Tory toffs, as another said. 

Brown and out?


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.

Candid Balls ramps up Labour row


balls1.jpgEd Balls had intended, by briefing political journalists on Monday, to take the media focus off personality and put it back on policy. Instead, he turned up the heat on an internal row with a bit of character assassination of his own.

In retaliation for Frank Field’s attack on Gordon Brown’s personality, Balls effectively accused him of acting dishonourably in his fight for compensation for those who have lost out from the abolition of the 10-pence tax band.