Friday 8 January 2010


So suddenly, after months of 'Tory Cuts' v 'Labour Investment' propaganda from the figure of fun that is currently resident in Downing Street, it appears to be that it is ‘Tory Cuts’ v ‘Labour Cuts’, as Darling and Mandleson seem to have triumphed over Balls as the guiding hands on Brown's rudder.

The Chancellor, indicating a dramatic shift in his party’s election strategy, tells The Times in an exclusive (kindly shared with Munguin’s Republic) that severe spending restraints are “non-negotiable” if he is to bring down the £178 billion budget deficit.

So all that twaddle we were told about having to spend our way out of recession was just erm.... twaddle? When Ken Livingstone was on the Politics Show the other day saying that the cuts would mean a descent back into recession, and when he said that Brown was right to keep public spending levels high, he was misspeaking?

Darling told The Times: “The next spending review will be the toughest we have had for 20 years. Cutting the borrowing was never negotiable. Gordon accepts that, he knows that.”

Mandelson said: “We have got to win people back to our side. We are a national party, a party that represents people in every part of the United Kingdom, and we are going to offer policies that will benefit people in every part of the United Kingdom.”

Their remarks reinforce the impression that ministers used Brown’s temporary weakness on Wednesday afternoon to warn him that he had to be more collegiate to retain their support and to ensure that the party again fights the election as “New Labour”. The Chancellor’s language about cuts in his interview would have been unthinkable a few weeks ago.

So the real coup was not the seriously hapless joke launched by the two wannbe has beens, Hoon and Hewitt, but a much more serious and deadly one run by Mandleson and Darling.

How humiliating for Brown and his little poodle Balls. All the class warfare will go out the window. Appealing to the core vote is decidedly passé. In short, Brown has been reminded that, unless he can persuade the middle class voter with 2 cars, 2 holidays, and a daughter with a pony, living in a nice detached villa somewhere in the South East of England that they will be better off under Labour, then they are sunk.

Tough luck on all the people in the North of England, in Wales and in Scotland who thought that just maybe it might be their turn. Yeah! Like that was ever going to happen.

The new question has to be, now that he is totally humiliated and powerless, just how long can Brown last?


  1. Well done, the writer. Great post and all the right questions.

    Brown's as lame a lame duck as it is possible to be and yes, it's now official: Britain is f*****, just as we've always known. That they've taken this long to admit the damage they've done is testament to their dishonesty.

    But that's not the end of it. They've kept Brown on just for the election because no one else wants to be tainted with defeat. That's how cynical this bunch of careerist, motiveless malignancies are.

    God help us all.

  2. It's a bit late in the day to be turning to the middle classes aint it? They are usually a bit more savvy than working class voters (no offence intended)I mean by that more likely to be floating voters. Lets hope that this ploy will only succeed in alienating both. After all in Scotland they can both vote SNP and in England either BNP, Respect, UKIP or Liberal I suppose.

  3. So the real coup was not the seriously hapless joke launched by the two wannbe has beens, Hoon and Hewitt, but a much more serious and deadly one run by Mandleson and Darling.

    If it was engineered by Mandelson and Darling it was a machiavellian plot but it wasn't a coup because Brown is still in place. It was a way of putting the frighteners on Brown to extract concessions not an attempt to remove him just before an election.

    Hoon and Hewitt were the credulous cannon-fodder sent out as the warning shot. They may even have believed that they had the support of major Cabinet members and were the spearpoint of an actual coup.

    Mandelson and Darling have left Brown as leader and they'd better watch out.

    Brown is going to be very angry and very bitter and as a weak, insecure man any threat to his power and status is going to be taken personally. The missing week and his weeks long rage where he couldn't speak to Alex Salmond after the 2007 Scottish elections are a pointer to what's going on in number 10 at the moment.

  4. Thank you Denverthen:

    I always wondered why on earth anyone would want to take on the job of leading this lot to what seems almost inevitable defeat. Who wants to be PM for 2 months, lose an election and then spend 18 years in opposition?

  5. Munguin: I suppose this means that we will hear the end of the Tory toff routine from Brown, now he's pretending to be the party of the toffs again. I bet Balls is feeling really kicked!!!

  6. Doug: You'd hardly think they could manage something that complex... then you remember that the good 'Lord' was at the back of it.

    If they could just put all the effort that they use to secure their own positions into running the country instead, we might be a little better off.

    I don't think Brown in a threat to anyone now though. He may be the Prime Minister, but he's a DEAD duck, not just a lame one.

  7. Sadly it's the numbers game, you need the seats in the south of England to dominate the UK parliament. You can control it by a clique in Scotland or other areas but you still need the south of England as your base numbers.
    This is why Scotland (and England) will be better off running their own affairs. England (naturally conservative with a small c) will temper the socialist affliction of spending other peoples money on their core support. Whilst Scotland (naturally more communitarian) can use its wealth in oil to support more social legislation.

    I wouldn't hold my breath on it happening though, not any time soon.

  8. Expertly put Quite Man.... You've hit the nail bang on the head.

  9. What can I say about this disfunctional government? I hate its hypocracy? I hate the third raters who have risen to ministerialrank at the fag end of its existance? hate to strong? No, I dont think so. At 20 years old, this government is all i have known.

    ..Now dont get me wrong, the early years with Blair and the social reforms are to be broadly welcomed. But 2005 onwards it has totally and utterly lost its direction and purpose. I hate it all so much. Scotland, and the wider British isles deserves much better.

  10. So Mandellson is playing the whole cabinet like an orchestra. Very clever stuff. I'd hadn't considered that Hoon's putsh was 'an inside job'. Alastair Darling position is strengthened as Ian Bell says in today's Herald.

  11. Dean: Good point. You have yet to live through any thing other than New Labour.

    I think, with repect you will find that nothing much will change, and that after a few years most of what you say about this lot you will be able to say about the other lot. I speak as someone old enough to have lived in Tory times...


  12. Strathturret: Nice to see you here.

    Yes, it seems that Mr Mandleson in calling the tune (to continue your musical metaphor). It had never occurred to me till now, but you don't think that Darling wants to be leader, do you?

  13. I don't think Brown in a threat to anyone now though. He may be the Prime Minister, but he's a DEAD duck, not just a lame one.

    I wouldn't underestimate Brown. Brown's greatest failing is also his strength. His failure to engage socially means that where most people would take the hint and resign he won't and like a good monster in a horror movie he just won't die.

    Brown and Mandelson might have got some concessions but what are they? Darling has got a promise that he can actually be the Chancellor, Harman as deputy leader has been permitted to have some say on the GE campaign and Straw has got Gordon to promise not to ignore the middle classes.

    Brown is still in the driving seat and he can call the GE when he wants. There were some suggestions on politicalbetting that Gordon might call a GE for March just to put a stop to any independent budget from Darling.

    It's ferrets fighting in a sack in the Labour party at the moment but Gordon has been written off before within the Labour party and he's still here.

  14. Doug:

    I see your point. Yeah, it would be a fool who wouldunderestimate Brown's brains, or indeed those of his little mate Balls, and you're right, the final word in the General Election is his.

    They are all so incredibly awful, you really don't know which one is worse, do you? Ferrets in a sack, yes, that not a bad description.

    How will they go down in history?

  15. Ah but Tris, those 18 years saw Thatcherite government, Cameron proposes a One Nation government more akin to SuperMac or Heath than 'that woman'

  16. Dean: I really really hope it will be different. I suspect though that some of the same people, or at least the same type of people (the men in grey suits)will still be pulling the strings.

    But I live in hope.

  17. You know, Tris, I wouldn't be at all surprised if Brown pulled his Macavity act and did a runner at the very last minute before the election to avoid the humiliation of a landslide defeat and drop Labour even further in it than they already are. ;-)

  18. Hey Barking:

    Nothing that Brown does would surprise me. He might pull a health one on us and take to Chamonix like Mrs Robinson. It seems that when you have completely coked up, and made everything you purported to stand for a complete laughing stock (like Robinson and Brown), the antidote is a skiing holiday.

    This lot are putting the satirists out of work. You couldn't satirise this lot, could you?