Wednesday 30 December 2009


Over at (Finding the Killer Instinct) the ex-Home Secretary lays out his views on the dilemma that Labour finds itself in today with regard to both policies and personlaities. I’ve never been a fan of Clarke’s but I found myself nodding at a large number of the comments he made.

Of course, as an English MP and an Englishman, he made no comment about the situation in Scotland, or for that matter in Wales, which I thought was a trifle remiss if he was indeed committed to an analysis of the overall situation. But Englishmen do see the situation in terms of England, and that is why we seek to have our own country, so there was no great surprise there.

Additionally at no time did he address himself to the inbuilt majority that Labour has. We know that around 10% lead to the Tories will give them a small majority, whereas a 6 or 7% lead to the Tories will bring in a hung parliament. A 3-4% Tory lead would probably still mean a Labour government.

These failings apart it is a good article and worth the read. He certainly says it like it like he sees it!!


  1. It is a good assessment as far as it goes, and it would be good to hear what he thinks about the situation in Scotland with the SNP and what he thinks would happen to the party countrywide if they lost Scotland to the SNP. After all no Labour Government has ever taken power without Scottish MPs (other than Tony and Gordon of course) and only one Tory Government has ever needed Scottish MPs to govern (I can’t remember which).

  2. It seems to be an issue that even Clarke isn't prepared to deal with Munguin. I find that strange given that for the first time in a long time there is a real threat to the Scottish Labour hegemony and it ‘s just got to be something that they are worried about. Actually they have lost ground in Wales too to both Plaid and the Conservatives. Maybe Brown is determined to think of the UK as one country, but surely more stable heads in the party are aware of the Celtic Fringe!!!

  3. So Clarke believes "Since 1997 Labour has built a stronger and fairer society and transformed the lives of millions of people for the better. Our record is one to be proud of."

    Record unemployment, an economy in ruins, public sector borrowing out of control, public sector employment exceeding that of the private (wealth generating) sector for the first time ever. The loss of more civil liberties than in the last 1000 years, most cctv'd nation on earth, loss of sovereignty to the EU, a deliberate policy of mass immigration to destroy society and rebuild it on multicultural grounds, selling our gold cheaply, raiding the best managed pension fund in Europe and wrecking it in the process, green (useless) taxes, 2 foreign wars that we're still fighting, bombs in London and Glasgow, the rise of the BNP............I could go on, but if this is how Clarke measures a success to be proud of.

    Labour deserve to go in the dustbin of history for the last decade alone.

  4. I don’t think that he goes totally off message. How could he? He is after all still a Labour MP and one that possibly is looking for re-election. Whatever the mess Labour have made you can add to that list some positive things especially if we factor out Gordon Brown and his economic incompetence and Tony Blair’s slavish desire to be an international statesman by doing whatever George W Bush told him. Devolution for example, a more egalitarian and tolerant society for minorities despite the recent rise of the BNP which I think has more to do with economic decline and the fact that in England they are moving towards a more American style of politics with no real difference between the two main parties, thus giving the increasing number of people on the margin no choice.

    And if you think about the previous Tory administrations of Major and Thatcher what comes out of their 18 years that is not negative and did not in the end have a terrible effect on British society? I can’t think of a single thing that does not have horrendous strings attached in the longer run.

  5. 'some clutch, bizarrely, at the straw' Well Charles Clarke certainly does changing the leader a few months before an election will not make any significant difference.

    The die is cast as they say and now you have to see it through oh Dear! scary! Ohh!

    I always wonder about politicians who believe being elected is more important than having 'beliefs' which they carry out in office.
    To vote for anyone just to keep them in power doesn't in the least impress me or most people.

    As for the Class war the Torys are as ever totally Fu'king relentless in carrying it out.
    whilst we are supposed to lay down and let them carve us up.

    Raise inheritance tax threshold for their high class supporters and at the same time cut public spending on the policies designed to help the poor the sick and the elderly.

    I am tired of talk that comes to nothing. It makes my heart sick when I remember all the good words and all the broken promises. There has been too much talking by men who had no right to talk-~ Chief Joseph: Nez Perce 1840-1904

  6. QM: I think that you and Munguin got it right between you. If you take Brown out of the equation (which in reality of course you can't), and you take out Blair’s' obsession with Bush (he probably did believe that God and Bush had conversations), there are good things that have happened. By the same token the horrific culture of "me me me and the devil take the hindmost" that Mrs Thatcher espoused there’s not much to pick between them.

  7. Munguin: You make a good point there. The rise of the BNP may be because some people can't abide foreigners, but it's largely because they are desperately looking for something that will offer a solution to the problems that neither of the main English parties address.

  8. Niko:

    Nice to see you again. Where have you been hiding?

    I think that probably for most politicians, who have made it a career instead of taking it up in middle age becasue they felt strongly about something, getting elected is more important than anything else. It's like your job that comes up for renewal every few years.

    I agree so much with your last paragraph:

    "I am tired of talk that comes to nothing. It makes my heart sick when I remember all the good words and all the broken promises. There has been too much talking by men who had no right to talk-~ Chief Joseph: Nez Perce 1840-1904"