Monday, June 08, 2009

The Parliamentary Labour Party needs a collective slap

I'm no huge fan of Gordon Brown, but I think that he is confronting quite the most deluded shower of internal opponents.

Anyone who thinks that Labour's problems at the moment are a crisis of leadership really do need to have their bumps felt for them. And not in a nice way either.

The way a small number of MPs have behaved over the years (in the full knowledge of a larger - perhaps dominant - number of MPs) made a difficult job impossible. No PM, in the current economic situation would have weathered the dung-storm that people like Hazel Blears have had thrown at him.... after the disgusting spectacle of her waving a cheque around as it it conferred some sort of absolution.....

...and then her stupid smarmy resignation with her self-indulgent 'Rocking the Boat' badge ....during an election campaign

...and one that returned a blackshirt in her own back yard a small number of votes 

I really think that, at a time like this, the PLP could do with a spot of humility about it’s own behaviour rather then laying it all off on the PM (and I’ve not heard many MPs apologising to the PM for making his job impossible in recent weeks).

We have a political caste that dominate our party now. People who have done very little outside of politics, people who are quite simply on a different planet from the rest of us. I wouldn't mind if they'd exhibited any of the qualities of an effective representative - independent thinking, debating skills, an ability to communicate with the people around them.....

I really don’t think most - and I do mean most MPs have fully grasped this yet.

These are people who were often shoehorned into safe-seats to represent people with whom they have no affinity. People who - like Georgia Gould a few weeks ago - got clever mates with connections to run selection campaigns for them, knocking out strong local candidates on the way. 

If this shower of tossers really thinks that leadership is the problem, maybe they should ask themselves why they've spent the last decade singing from songsheets and presenting the public with a clone-army that is incapable of communicating with the public except through a controlling leadership? 

As anyone who has done a real job will tell you, a single point of failure is the result of an unforgivable bit of planning. Yet MPs have slipstreamed on the communications skills of a tiny little cabal for years now - and they somehow think that they deserve to keep their jobs on the strength of it.

There are some really honourable exceptions to this, but there are plenty of people in the PLP that don't deserve to be there.

Labour's biggest problem has always been it's selection processes. I wish that every MP that chooses to criticise the PM at this point would ask their CLP to re-open selections for a full and open process in advance of the next election. I suspect that some would have a very unpleasant surprise when they saw the results. 

In a lot of cases, the party would be a great deal stronger without them.


Simon said...

Lot to agree with there.


mikeovswinton said...

Generally, and probably unlike Pete and Prof Geras, I'd agree with much of this Paulie. (Incidentally, as Norm doesn't allow comments I'd note that the question to UFOs should be are you vegans, not vegetarians. I'll leave readers to work out why.)
BUT, I would point out regarding Hazel Blears: firstly, if Wikipedia is correct, then she did have a "real job", working as a local council solicitor for the best part of 20 years prior to becoming an MP. And secondly, for quite a while she didn't live on another planet, but about half a mile from where I lived at the time. Before she was an MP. Ironically, the area concerned saw a massive increase in house prices throughout the early/mid noughties, but thats another story.

cian said...

While I agree Labour's problems are not purely one of leadership, it has exacerbated the problem.

What was bizarre about this coup attempt was that it was led by Blairites. As if a further move to the right was going to help at this stage. Insanity.

mikeovswinton said...

Hey Paulie. She did say she was sorry in the Manchester Evening News. So that's alright then.