UK Politics just keeps getting 'curiouser and curiouser'
British politics feels as though its been spinning on its head in the past few weeks. Like Alice falling down the rabbit hole, it feels as though we are seeing the light at the end of the tunnel get farther and father away as we approach an uncertain, backwards landscape, where nothing is as it seems.
Firstly, we had the defeat of Labour in the Glasgow East by-election. It created, what the SNP called, ‘a political earthquake’. For Labour to lose a seat which they have held for over 50 years isn’t just a case of poor candidature, although, Margaret Curran did seem quite happy to take this defeat purely on her shoulders. No, this has been the culmination of widespread political turmoil for the Labour party in Scotland and South of the border. It could have been described as a valiant move on behalf of Margaret Curran- to put herself forward for election in Glasgow East, because it was never going to be an easy ride. However, Scottish Labour was without a leader and with more than a whiff of scandal still lingering, it seemed the Glasgow East seat was something of a hot potato. Simply, Margaret Curran needed to put herself in the ring just to save Labour incurring more ridicule. Still though, for her to suggest these wider party issues had nothing to do with her defeat is commendable. All being said, SNP deserved to win Glasgow East- not only on the brilliant campaign they fought but the credibility of the candidate (something Margaret Curran lost the first day of her campaign) and the record on which the new SNP government can stands.
Did previous budget mistakes force Darling's hand over 10p tax rate?
So, if things were going wrong for Gordon Brown before Glasgow East, they were about to get a whole lot worse. In the alternate universe that is Westminster, rumblings about Gordon Brown’s leadership credibility began to shake cracks in his iron support. Let’s face it, he didn’t do himself any favours when he eradicated the 10p tax rate and increased the car tax rate- after all, can we really believe Darling had any elbow room in his first budget?
Everyone seemed to be looking forward to their holidays, and Gordon Brown slid out of the heat of the kitchen to peaceful Suffolk. Meanwhile, those shaking in their constituency boots waited for someone to stick their head above the parapet and test the waters for a leadership challenge. Hi-Ho silver for David Miliband, who, with all the subtlety of brick to the back of the head- prints a manifesto for change for the Labour party. We couldn’t have made it up if we tried, but in this article didn’t mention one word of Gordon Brown’s role as leader, now or in the future.
But, it seems David has been a little naive. No sooner had he dotted the i’s of his Guardian article than the Brown supporters had taken aim with their cross-bows and shot him down in bloody, embarrassing pieces.
Miliband will have to work hard to keep his head in the imminent reshuffle
Now we are hearing loud cries of ‘off with his head’. It seems that Gordon Brown will not be shifted from the office he waited ten years (at least) to hold. Now, if David Miliband is ejected in the suggested Cabinet reshuffle to come- it seems there is indeed a high price to be paid for not painting the roses red.
There have been strong messages that people DO want the sort of change David Miliband wrote of in his article, both openly and covertly. Even if some people in the wonderful land of wonderland, where expenses flow and smoking is permitted indoors, don’t want a change of leadership-shouldn’t it be opened up to the people to vote? Gordon Brown and his people seem to know better than any of us of course, and insist he is the right man for the job. It makes me a little nervous that he will never call a general election.
No Alistair, we would NOT like a nice cup of tea, unless you can help us with the cost of boiling our kettles?
If Labour stay as stubborn as this then they may as well hand over the keys to number 10 over to David Cameron with compliments of Gordon Brown. To say that they are sleepwalking into political oblivion is probably an understatement. To have a government with ten years of some success, but more memorably, huge mistakes and now to do nothing to help the UK’s most vulnerable or accept some fundamental changes- is surely kicking New Labour into the long grass and out of government for many years to come.
Alanna Fiona O’Donnell