« London Tories still prefer Thatcher to Cameron... | Main | Beijing deserves no veto of British national interests »


The line about 12 months was his comment that conventional wisdom was that 12 months was it and that he felt it was a reasonable amount of time. He wasnt really giving Blair 12 months and thats it. He was commenting on what the press were thinking.

Oh wait a sec...its in the article...Ive gotta start reading the articles before commenting on the headline!

I'm surprised the memo doesn't specify the farewell anthem too. Talk about stage managed!

About the only thing missing from the Blair 'final phase' memo is the suggestion that the a new national holiday be established to to celebrate TB's final day in office and that it should be called 'Ascension Day'

I'd buy a ticket if the farewell tour is promised to be over by Christmas

... and the Government could start to consider the fate of British forces in Iraq & Afghanistan, the state of the NHS (we are fast approaching this years budget overspend round), the increase in violent crime, the Sudanese offensive in Darfur etc.

Speaking entirely selfishly, as a candidate in a Labour-held council seat in next May's elections, I dearly hope Blair soliders on at least until the day after polling day. Like it or not, they are bound to get at least a short term boost by replacing him.

Gareth, I think next May's results will be dire for Labour if Blair stays. I could easily imagine their national equivalent vote share down to c.23%.

Yet more smoke and mirrors from NuLab, this is probably the result of a focus group testing the water and seeing how the nation reacts to the potential loss of its leader.
It smacks of Nero and the alleged fiddling, or more exactly the last weeks in the Fuhrer Bunker whilst the Russians attack and Hitler moved ghost divisions around expecting a miracle.
Frankly i would like B-Liar to stay on, as this will increase the in-fighting and hopefully NuLab will implode into various factions all at each others throat.
This sort of news should not be given space, its a ridiculous piece of rubbish put out by desparate arse-lickers who fear for their future job-prospects under a new regime.
OH for a revolution and a vista of occupied lamp-posts.


I entirely agree. If Blair is still there, next May could well the their first truly awful set of local election results - their version of 1993 - 96. Here's hoping Blair has the stomach for a fight!

Gareth, Sean

Fully agree from a purely party political view but concerned we seem to have a lame duck PM and issues that need an authorative one. At least when Margaret was fighting her leadership battle you knew she wouldn't be deflected from Gulf War 1 and the security of UK forces was something she was deply concerned about. Blair seems to be on another planet.

The bit about trying to agitate&destabilise the Brown camp will go down like a lead balloon.....

I feel like Abraham pleading with the Lord to spare Sodom if He finds even 10 righteous persons in that city (Gen 18:16-33). Is there not even one Tory MP with the standing and integrity to speak for the people of this country, and to express the disgust and outrage that I, and I am sure many ordinary people, feel at the astonishing catalogue of mal-administration, half-truths, lies and corruption of which this New Labour administration is guilty? Someone righteous enough to echo Cromwell's words when dismissing the Long Parliament of 1653 ( http://castorblog.com/archives/000275.html from Wikipedia):

"It is high time for Me to put an End to your Sitting in this Place, which you have dishonoured by your Contempt of all Virtue, and defiled by your Practice of every Vice;

Ye are a factious Crew and Enemies of all good Government; Ye are a Pack of mercenary Wretches and would, like Esau, Sell your Country for a Mess of Pottage; and like Judas, betray your God for a few Pieces of Money; Is there a single Virtue now remaining amongst you?

Is there one Vice that you do not possess? Ye have no more Religion than my horse! Gold is your God: Which of you have not bartered your Conscience for Bribes?

Is there a Man amongst you that has the least care for the Good of the Commonwealth?

Ye sordid prostitutes! Have you not defiled this Sacred Place, and turned the Lord's Temple into a Den of Thieves by your immoral Principles and wicked Practices? Ye are grown intolerably odious to the whole Nation.

Your Country therefore calls upon me to cleanse the Augean Stable, by putting a final Period to your Iniquitous Proceedings in this House, and which by God's Help, and the strength He has given Me, I now come to do.

I command ye, therefore, upon the Peril of your Lives, to depart immediately out of this Place;

Go! Get out! Make haste, ye Venal Slaves, begone!"

Sums up this government's corruption perfectly, I think. Colonel Tim Collins for Lord Protector, anyone?

Overall it would be better for Conservatives if Blair hung around and the rows got worse.

If however he went now then the anti-Blair Labour voters would return home bringing a big cut in LD support. That could help a lot of the LD/Con battleground areas next May.

We win either way!

I think you're right hf.Having spent the last 12 years watching Blair with increasing loathing and contempt I'm beginning to hope that he fights on and on wrecking his party in the process.I don't think it will happen 'though.One can tell a lot about a man by the company he keeps and the senior Blairites are whatever your politics a fairly loathsome lot for whom qualities like honour and loyalty are foreign concepts. When Maggie was pushed out there were many in the party who would have fought in the last ditch for her.Would Blair have the same? I think not.Only Fatty Falconer and perhaps Byers would battle on for Blair and then only in the sure knowledge that either would be finished the day Blair steps down.
I had always thought Blair at least until 2003 was a complete political coward not I hope he finds the courage to fight until his party is well and truly wrecked.

Yes , Blair is repulsive .

No , I do not think that he will step down at any time in the near future . He will hang forever - already far too long but he is incapable of understanding that . This really is a case of an isolated person , surrounded by sychophants who tell him what he wants to hear . They complement his arrogant , ignorant personality nicely and together they will go on a while . The infighting in the party of the " brothers" is all too typical of past episodes in the same party - they love it !

They have problem . The only viable alternative at present is Brown and yet Brown is not a particularly attractive personality , is Scottish and has no following in England ( or in Scotland much ) and will pitch the West Lothian question into full view if he becomes Labour leader . His economic record is - despite the Brown propaganda - poor . He doesn't have the guts to present a straight challenge to Blair and the longer he does not do it the weaker Brown becomes .

Blair will try to hang on until a reasonable alternative to Brown hoves into view . His immediate problem is the Party Conference and then the May elections . I think that , in fact he will fumble his way past both of these obstacles fairly successfully- at least he probably reckons that he can !

There is another consideration . Blair must have skeletons in the cupboard - many of them . Given his defective personality , it is likely that he has done illegal things over the last 10 years which , as of yet , are unknown . It is highly likely that , like Chirac , he is scared to resign for fear of an examination of his actions - and his bank account .

When Maggie was pushed out there were many in the party who would have fought in the last ditch for her.Would Blair have the same?
She was pushed out though in circumstances when having been talking about the fact that she wouldn't go on forever and that she was on the lookout for a successor, she then decided no one around her met her standards and then she started talking about being in for 10 years and then it was 20 years and of course the satirists latched onto it and started doing sketches about her going on for ever and in the end she wouldn't have had the same problems if she had taken a view and stuck to it, someone saying they're going and then going back on it is the worst thing they can do, Michael Hestletine had been campaigning against Mrs Thatcher and was impatient, when Mrs Thatcher decided there was no one suitable in place to succeed her it bruised a lot of egos, if she had simply said nothing about the leadership but had just defect questions then maybe she would still have been leader going into the 1992 General Election and might well have continued another few years after that - health reasons made it unlikely that she would have gone on long beyond the 1992 General Election in the end.

It is highly likely that , like Chirac , he is scared to resign for fear of an examination of his actions - and his bank account .
The position of Prime Minister confers no immunity from prosecution because they are not a Head of State, MP's cannot be prosectuted for anything they say on the floor of the House of Commons but this is not something exclusive to the PM, the Queen on the other hand cannot be prosecuted while in office because she is the embodiment of the Crown, equally Jacques Chirac is immune from prosecution while he remains President, the US President on the other hand while he has powers to block prosecutions he\she can still be prosecuted while in office.

Labour MPs are deciding to make the decision of when Blair goes for him.


It's getting embarrassing with Blair sending out his minions with messages to try to bargain through the media with his parliamentary party for another 9 months in power - to do what besides let him have his farewell tour?

Intriguing, Labour want rid of Blair to give Brown a clear run against David Cameron, Conservatives want rid of Blair to allow David Cameron a clear run at Brown. It'll be a shock if it is Alan Johnson, Alan Milburn or John Reid. But for once the Labour backbenches want the same as the rest of us - to see the back of Blair!

Good point Ben, both sides want to see Brown-Cameron. I reckon he'll go after the local elections next year.

Apparently Miliband said on Today this morning that he thought TB would go before conference 07, so about another year away. This would make sense for a orderly handover, half way through the term, with the new leader having conference to launch his premiership.

It'll be a shock if it is Alan Johnson, Alan Milburn or John Reid.
Alan Milburn doesn't have the neccessary commitment, he becomes a minister and then next thing he stands down to spend more time with his family and he keeps doing that, he doesn't want to be a frontbencher but only pops up now and again to help out Tony Blair. John Reid isn't all that media friendly and there is a lot of past dirt on him, Alan Johnson I think is aiming at the Deputy Leadership and doesn't feel himself ready for the role - not all MP's want to be Prime Minister, some have a particular role in mind and work their way up to that.

Personally I wouldn't be at all surprised if Labour follows our lead and skips a generation.

Does anyone know how the Labour party actually elects a new leader? Because the respective influence of the Trade Unions and the party membership at large will surely play a part in who would win such a contest - assuming, of course, that another big beast (ie not John McDonnell) steps forward and challenges Brown. The potential permutations given all the possible candidates is fascinating.

3 equal constituences of MPs, Trade Unions & CLP Party Members. Trade Unions & CLPs have to hold individual ballots of their members. So in theory for example the CLP Activists & Union Members could vote different leader to the MPs (so Alan Johnson wins the membership, Gordon the MPs) which could be intersting.

Because the respective influence of the Trade Unions and the party membership at large will surely play a part in who would win such a contest
It's an Electoral College apparently with Trade Unions, MP's and Party Members each having a vote in their section which is a third of the total each (it used to be 40% for the Trade Unions and 30% for the other two until it was altered in the 1990's), sort of a percentage of a percentage - obviously some Trade Unionists aren't Labour Members and some MP's have a vote in all 3 parts of the college.

For someone's candidacy to lead the Labour Party to proceed then they need to be an MP and to have collected a minimum number of signatories among Labour MP's backing their candidacy - 12.5% of the parliamentary Labour Party in the event that the Labour leader has stood down as leader triggering an election, otherwise I gather it is a minimum of 20% of MP's to start a challenge against an incumbent.

Once someone has the signatures neccessary to run then all they need is more than 50% of the Electoral College with there being a run off if no one gets more than 50% in the first round, that of course is not neccessarily a majority of those voting and each Labour MP as an MP has a vote amounting to close to 0.1% of the total vote - win all 353 Labour MP's over and someone already is onto a third of the Electoral College vote.

win all 353 Labour MP's over and someone already is onto a third of the Electoral College vote.
Of course that would be improbable because for the contest to have gone ahead someone else would have had at least 44 MP's endorsing their candidacy, otherwise the person who carried the MP's would win by default, then again I suppose it's always possible that some MP's would donate their signature because they felt that there should be a contest.

Thanks for the info. I presume it works so that if say, Brown and another candidate split the MP vote, then they'd get 16.667% each of the total vote. I was getting confused because I'm more familiar with the American electoral college where if you win more votes than anyone else in a state, then you get all the electoral college votes from that state. Obviously if Brown, for example, won a majority of the Trade Union votes, he wouldn't get 33% in total, he'd get the proportion that he won accordingly weighted.

The comments to this entry are closed.



ConHome on Twitter

    follow me on Twitter

    Conservative blogs

    Today's public spending saving

    New on other blogs

    • Receive our daily email
      Enter your details below:

    • Tracker 2
    • Extreme Tracker