Our Gordon, who art in Number 10
Hallowed be thy mental illness
Thy party conference come
Thy will be done, in Manchester as it is Westminster
Give us this day our daily policy
And forgive us our requests for nomination papers, as we forgive them that nominated you previously
And lead us not into Toryland
But deliver us from election wipe out
For thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory, for ever and ever.
Via a co-conspirator
White however tells us, and he got it directly from McDonagh, “she acted on her own in writing privately to her boss, chief whip Hoon, 10 days ago. When Sky News got to hear about it, her choice was to confirm or deny it. She took the honest course.” The startling inference could be made that it is possible that Hoon, the Chief Whip, was responsible for the leak.
Gordon “has been saved for now at least not by anything he’s done but by an atmosphere of weary resignation that has taken over much of his party.”
This is a statement they are releasing tomorrow* signed by a dozen Blairites – Janet Anderson, Karen Buck, Patricia Hewitt, George Howarth, Eric Joyce, Sally Keeble, Stephen Ladyman, Martin Linton, Shona McIsaac, Margaret Moran, Tom Levitt, and Paddy Tipping.
LABOUR BACKBENCHERS DEMAND BOLD NEW NARRATIVE
In a joint article for Progress Magazine, 12 Labour backbench MPs, including six former ministers, urge the leadership to develop a convincing new narrative which has to be more than a series of policy initiatives in order to restore Labour’s fortunes.
Writing in the Labour Conference edition of the magazine, they say that Labour has no explanation yet as to how it will steer the economy through the troubled waters ahead claiming that one-off taxes and pay-outs, no matter how justified in their own terms, do not amount to a strategy. There is a yawning chasm which the Labour party needs to fill, or the government will suffer a hammer blow.
They suggest the government needs to be better at communicating what it’s going to do about the things that affect people day to day, noting that Harold Wilson’s pound in your pocket and Thatcher’s likening of the economy to a household budget may have been derided by the pundits but understood by the public.
The MPs label recent policies to deal with the crises of 10p tax and the housing market defensive and suggest instead Labour needs to be championing change, leading the debate about new ideas and renewing confidence in our economic competence.
They note the government’s strong investment in public services, but suggest there is a malaise. They write: “We have spent money, diversified, provided choice. But Labour needs to do more to give the public a sense of ownership of public services and a say in how we design and deliver services. This does not mean, they caution a return to a top-down command economy in the public sector but instead urge the government to shift power away from centralised institutions to the individual.”
The backbenchers criticise the failure to create a wholly democratic legislature as unfinished business and argue there is a lack of coherence in the devolution of powers to subsidiary tiers of government, and what should be the final settlement for Scotland. They suggest that fixed term parliaments could provide some certainty to voters and redress the balance of power between the executive and citizen.
They don’t actually say “Brown must go”, but you get the drift… particularly since many of the signatories are the MPs who have requested nomination papers.
*Full article in its entirety here. Guido called Progress for a copy of the statement, they said rather churlishly that they wouldn’t give him a copy of the embargoed press statement. So Progress – you can stuff your embargo – this was obtained through investigative reporting comrades.
Is it just a coincidence that her constituency website has only this one picture prominently displayed on the front page? Blair is smiling…
UPDATE : According to Guido’s usually reliable Labour insider, Siobhain McDonagh wrote on the nomination papers for Gordon Brown in 2007 “Gordon Brown will be a disaster” – not knowing that the papers were numbered and she could be identified.
UPDATE II : Some in the comments seem to have misunderstood the last update – she didn’t vote for Gordon, she effectively spoilt her paper – and was identified as doing so.
Later this morning we learnt from Sky that some backbenchers had requested nomination papers. Clearly not everyone is resigned to going down with the Prime Mentalist…
With a budget of £2 million Policy Exchange is aiming to be a Washington style policy powerhouse, this appointment should bring some stability after the recent churn at the top. Nic Boles left to run for London Mayor, his successor Anthony Browne’s tenure saw embarrassments (not of his making) with faked evidence used in one report exposed on Newsnight and a second clumsily spun report was seized on by Labour to paint Cameron as anti-Northerner – resulting in Dave describing the report as “insane”.
Sky’s Political correspondent Joey Jones is reporting that “a small number of Labour MPs have requested Labour leadership nomination papers”.
Carswell, the Clacton Cassandra | James Ford
Love Bomb Carswell | ConservativeHome
Denis MacShane’s Ex is Now Hacked Off Spokesman | Speccie
How the Carswell Story Unfolded | Sky News
How to Defect | Telegraph
Carswell Defection Will Dismay Thoughtful Tories | ConservativeHome
Carswell: Darling of the Tories, Labour and Now UKIP | Speccie
Where is the Love? | Tom Watson
Tory Eurosceptics Weakened | Speccie
Thacker Played Down Scandal | Times
How Clegg Lost the Women of Britain | Sophy Ridge
Douglas Carswell’s side-kick Dan Hannan MEP pours water on the obvious question:
“I won’t be joining UKIP, though I wish Douglas Carswell all the best. He has been a superb MP, and it’s honourable to stand for re-election.”
Owen Jones says:
We also need Zil lanes.