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Frank Field talks sense on a lot of issues. I sometimes wonder why he doesn't cross the floor of the house.

I would think that this poll is in line with the industry guidelines but there is a feeling of an in house poll about it. Deborah Mattison's article around the time of the Brown leads amongst floating voters research they produced didn't inspire me with confidence that they were approaching research without preconceptions. It's a bit like the 90's polling on the Euro; one camp would produce a poll of "industry leaders" showing support for the Euro, then another camp would come up with one among "industry leaders" showing the opposite.

We won't know until Brown is PM whether he has the qualities for the job - Frank Field obviously doesn't believe so while others do. It's Autumn this year when we will start to see how he responds to crisis & whether he has the leadership abilities able to bring the mass of the electorate along with him.

One of Brown's weaknesses which rarely gets mentioned is indecisiveness. I understand that decisions on policy proposals are often delayed for a long time. Has any one noticed for example how the PBR often got deferred from November into December? And how often Brown appears to sit on the fence on important national policy debates?

Gordon Brown ,has his own constituency in Scotland ,no one voted for him in England,so if the Scots vote for the S.N.P. in the May elections(please God)will they find him a "safe" Labour seat in England?

Well, Eleanor, Sedgefield might be free...

Denham has always struck me as an intelligent and competent politician, and honest. But he has absolutely no profile outside Westminster or Southampton.

Perhaps he won't need a high profile; beating Brown in a leadership contest as the nation's finances creak and our under-resourced military fights unpopular wars might be pushing an open door....

Go on Denham, have a crack at it. You'd be doing the nation a favour.

I agree, John Denham meets the main criterion for becoming Labour leader/PM, i.e. he is not the Goblin King.

a survey of 100 figures in business, politics, the media and the voluntary sector suggests that Mr Brown is considered to have significantly more integrity than David Cameron by 82% to 59%, understood ordinary life by 49% to 30% and would set the UK in a better direction by 46% over 34%

This comes as no surprise at all. Brown - like him or not, and I personally don't care for him at all - is a man of substance; Cameron a mere gadfly.

These are men who actually put their brains in gear before pronouncing on the merits of Brown v "Dave"

Those who put their faith in the fickle and totally unconsidered sympathies of the mobile vulgus should remember that those sympathies change as suddenly and unpredictably as the breezes which power that cute little windmill Dave put up on his roof.

A refreshing change, I suppose, from the verbal flatulence normally associated with this political dilettante.

What exactly did the Clunking Fist do for a living before he became an MP - does anyone know? There is a vague reference to work in TV journalism in an old Times Guide to the House of Commons, but it is also suggested that he served on the Scottish Labour Party executive from his mid-twenties - in other words, a full time party hack? If the "no work experience outside politics" allegation is likely to stick, there's no reason to hold back on using it alongside all the other weaknesses and flaws.

MR Forsyth talking his usual nonsense. Another day another moan about the next Prime Minster David Cameron.
Those who took part may be those who put there brain in gear before they put forward an opinion which I assume means Mr Forsyth was not one of those taking part.

I wonder if Mr Field will be the first defector to the Tories? It would be something of a coup for us if he does, he's one of the few people on the Labour benches who seems to talk a lot of sense.

I think the best thing for the Tories would be if Denham (who comes across as very intelligent, considered and business-like) runs on a moderate and anti-war platform against Brown and narrowly loses. This would leave Brown looking even more unattractive and leave him with very little mandate to run the country, though he will not be able to afford (with £20bn of debts to pay) to call an election.

It seems to me that this is just a propaganda exercise on the part of the Guardian and the Sun, to try and boost-up Brown, because 100 people is not representative of the huge population in the city. And even then the figures are hardly an overwhelming vote of confidence!

David Cooper's post of 10.41 is interesting, perhaps some research there would be interesting!

Alex Forsyth's comment - 'A refreshing change, I suppose, from the verbal flatulence normally associated with this political dilettante.' - is so obviously biased if not actually snide, because if a comparison of 'verbal flatulence' was to be made between Brown and Cameron, Brown would win hands-down as the most boringly verbose speechfyer - put him and his colleague Prescott on the platform in the HoC's, and it would 'enshewer' a peaceful siesta for the House.

This "poll" would never have seen the light of day if it hadn't been supportive of Brown.
Interesting to see that Murdoch is still sticking with Brown at the moment- despite not having a sinle instinct in common. Quite a gamble on his part. When we do get in again his monopoly of the print and broadcast media should be a priority.

I like and respect Frank Field but I think that the sheen has rather worn off Tony Blair's "empathy". Too many fibs over the last ten years. As for backing David Miliband, the average Dalek has more personality.....

Why doesn't Frank Field himself stand? I know people would say he is impracticable but he is better known to the general public than John Denham.

Frank Field is a very brave man. I would much rather senior figures in the Conservative party would court Frank into crossing the floor rather than a lightweight like David Laws. The problem is I suppose is that Frank has become used to speaking his mind, not a great quality for a prospective Cabinet Minister.

Frank is a 'talker' not a 'doer'. If he was serious about welfare reform, he would have joined us years ago. A cowardly lttle man, IMHO.

Malcolm, I agree.....but his problem is that he has no time for the metropolitan elite to which the likes of Laws belong. Justin, I disagree....Frank Field has long been an advocate of firm and quite small-"c" conservative steps to reverse the adverse effects of the welfare state in its current form. It was those views which got him sacked by Blair/Brown.....both of whom have a vested interest in an ever-growing welfare state. I cannot see Frank Field's views being any more acceptable to Oliver Letwin and Francis Maude.

As I recall, the 'business' community supported NuLab 10 yrs ago, but now most are complaining.

What happened, did Ronnie Cohen get a bunch of his execs together and tell them the answers they had to give?

I have always had a lot of time for Frank Field. Guido has a good piece on the poll in the sun...

Justin your comment 'a cowardly little man' says more about you than anything your many detractors on this site ever could.

And a Happy New Year to you, too, Malcolm!

Justin that's a terrible thing to say about Frank Field! He has consistently stood up for his principles, firstly against the marxist nutters wot tried to deselect him & then in his inability to speak anything but good sense on the poverty trap that the Means-Tester-In-General has so vastly expanded since getting his inelegant, clunky mitts over the levers of power.

Frank Field and that great woman from Brixton via Northern Ireland, my dream team for Lab-to-Conservative floor-crossing (sounds like a pun, nearly, but isn't).

Michael: due to a witches' brew of nostalgia and comfort, you're wrong to compare Milipede with a Dalek, because even though they're the most evil creatures in the uni-veeeeerse, many of us can't help but feel fond of daleks, since they've been part of our consciousness for nearly all our lives. Whereas David Miliband ( Bloggers R Us! ) is just another New Labour creature, blethering on about nothing to no positive effect, softly killing our imagination and hopes for the future every time he speaks. Though I believe he can climb stairs without the use of a floaty-hover-pad type thing.

Malcolm, quite agree with your remark re Justin. Frank Field is a politician of integrity and vision and deserves more than childish snide remarks from immature contributors!

Malcolm, quite agree with your remark re Justin. Frank Field is a politician of integrity and vision and deserves more than childish snide remarks from immature contributors!

If Field and Hoey are so sensible/principled/likeable (you get the picture), what are they doing in NuLab? If you live by the sword, you die by the sword (William Hague, MP, 1999).

Justin, as ever your remarks, however genuinely held really do show you for what you are! It perfectly possible for people of a different party to hold not dissimilar view on certain issues but not feel the need to cross the floor! Apart from one or two exceptions, most who have done so are not of the most principled nature , but political chancers!

Blaming Cameron like some do here is not the answer to the re-establishment of the Tory Party as a viable political party capable of winning a General Election.

The problem lies at the grass roots, i.e. Local Politics.

The person in the street votes for what they see happening about them. It is no good just comming out of the long grass at election time with unfullfillable promises of how to reduce Council tax or improve Law enforcement.

At local elections I get nothing through my door from any party, probably because my drive is 150 yards long, which is why I don't get any free local papers either.

I have just had a couple of mail shots now that the Scottish Parliment elections,
as well as the local elections, will be upon us in a couple of months.

Active politics is forever, not just prior to elections. That is where the BNP scores over other minor parties. They have people going about helping the needy and infirm with gardening, shopping and various
other local amenities.

It's so easy to do and is so visible. That's what sticks in peoples minds come election time, not Cameron going about on his bike with a St Georges flag sticking out of his you know

I am in a BNP free area but I know that in other areas they have people out EVERY weekend leafleting and often house calling in the evenings as well. Why do they have the most visited political web site? They must be doing something right to have had the increase in popularity that they have enjoyed over the past year.

That can't be said of UKIP, in fact quite the opposite.

Labour - even with the Nu - is a Socialist party. If they are not Socialists, why did they join it? Can you imagine someone who opposes Capitalism wanting to join the Conservatives?

Right as usual, Graeme. I was too harsh on the Daleks. Am I alone in finding Miliband a bit sinister: he is the kind of intellectual-turned-politician-bureaucrat whom I can see signing death warrants should the political need arise?

George White. What do you want us to campaign for the expulsion of all non-whites and the estabishment of a master race. For gods sake. These people are nazis. You don`t learn from them you oppose them and defeat them!

Quite so, Jack Stone, quite so!

Knee-jerk nonsense from Jack Stone. So far so predictable. The point George was making was surely not that the BNP were nice (they are not) but that they were effective by virtue of their approach to pavement politics. You could say the same thing about the Lib Dems. You really do have an obsession about the BNP, don't you, Jack. Anyone would have thought that they were on the brink fo seizing power.

Michael I believe we have nothing to learn from the BNP. The BNP try to appeal to the worse in people we should be about appealing to the best in people.
As for reaching power. I agree I don`t believe the BNP stands a chance of reaching power but as they say for evil to truimph good men just have to stand back and do nothing.

for evil to truimph good men just have to stand back and do nothing.

What are you doing about it then, Jack?

As I've said before I don't believe you're even a member of this party.

Prove me wrong.

Jack, there is plenty to learn from the tactics of opponents one despises or even detests. After all, most modern politicians have absorbed the lessons in propaganda taught by Josef Goebbels. That doesn't mean they support his policies.

David Cooper @1041
What exactly did the Clunking Fist do for a living before he became an MP - does anyone know?

He spent some of his time editing a set of Communist essays known as the Red Paper on Scotland.
It might also be of interest to some that Frank Field was once a member of the Conservative Party.

"It might also be of interest to some that Frank Field was once a member of the Conservative Party."

Any idea when he switched sides and why? According to Wikipedia (which I know is not 100% reliable) he stood for Labour as long ago as 1966.

The poll srikes me as ridiculous and a desperate attempt to keep Brown's show on the road. As said by others its not a representative sample. It certainly doesn't reflect what businessmen are telling me everyday. Brown strikes me as a disaster and "clunking fist" is about right. I think someone described him as a crash in slow motion. He is behind most of the problems we have with the present Govt because although Blair was fond of spin and image, Brown instituted all the bureaucracy and steered many of failed projects from the treasury,


For what it is worth i was athe Anti-Tident demonstration inGlasgow on Saturday. The several thousand crowd had a huge Labour element in it. When Gordon Brown was mentioned a gret boo went up. Complicity Brown is just as unpopular as Blair with the thinking political classes in Scotland. I don'tbelieve Brown can win a General Election.
How's this for a prophecy? Blair will stay in power interim but will call a General Election before he goes at which Labour will get trounced and Gordon won't ever get to No 10. Some more bugger will have to pick up the pieces of the British economy however and public fimnances which are ruined now for a generation.

David Miliband is full square behind Gordon Brown as are a growing number of cabinet ministers, John Reid and Charles Clarke both have stated that they cannot see anything else other than Gordon Brown emerging as winner and the only cabinet minister or ex-cabinet minister who might stand against Gordon Brown is John Hutton, if Frank Field wants to see a challenger other than John McDonnell or Michael Meacher then it looks like he'll have to do it himself.

Tony Blair could not now go into an Autumn Labour conference as leader or PM, if Tony Blair were to attempt to remain Labour leader now then he would have to call a General Election and hope he secured a mandate, many inside Labour would start moves to force him out. He will go as Labour leader on the night of the Local Elections and as PM by the end of July.

I don't expect any sudden changes in public percentage, this year will be difficult for Labour, but they will start to come out of mid term crisis, with 2008 improving and 2009 probably seeing Labour and the Conservatives both gaining votes and seats and the Liberal Democrats slipping back, I don't think David Cameron will ever be PM although Labour's not going to have majorities such as it got in 1997 and 2001, think Labour will win again in 2014 under Gordon Brown and in 2017 Ed Balls or Caroline Flint will succeed Gordon Brown and win again in 2019 but with a reduced majority and maybe with the Conservatives getting more votes than Labour by then with Priti Patel having succeeded David Cameron in 2014, I think she will be PM for 20 years from 2023 or 2024 and that Labour will have a long spell in opposition lasting decades.

Alex. I am most definatly a member of the party. With your views and disloyalty I certainly hope you are not!

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