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A third reason Brown won't go is the lack of an obvious successor.

(and we should be glad. The longer he's there the better)

If I'm not mistaken, that's the biggest lead Populus has ever given us. The last one was a 40/30 split, and that was considered the largest at the time.

Yes David (one of many), you are right.

I know a lot of Labour supporters and I am always probing them to try and find out what they are thinking. My conclusion being that they want Labour to lose the next election so they can have a clean break with Blair/Brown opportunism and start again with a clean sheet and become a left-wing party again. Most are now embarrassed by the Blair/Brown years and feel alienated from the party as it currently stands. So its no surprise that they want Gordon Brown to resign, not that they would want any of his acolytes as leader either. Only Charles Clarke carries any currency with them.

I know a guy at school who is a member of the Labour Party, but who is considering not even voting for Labour at the next election!

It must be bad when even your own members starting refusing to vote for you at election time.

Purnell/Milliband/Balls would be mad to go for it - ruining their reputation with party loyalists and still possibly heading for defeat. That leaves the old stagers, Straw, Clarke but do they have the support of 71 MP's? Doubt it.

We're all stuck with Brown until the bitter end. Still, should make for entertaining viewing with a 're-launch' every month or so.

I have Populus down as one of the pollsters that tend to overstate Labour's strength. Coming from such a source, this result is very good indeed.
Ipsos-MORI would no doubt still show the lead in single figures, whereas YouGov (the most accurate predictor of the London Mayor election) would probably show us 19 or 20 points ahead.

Alan S at 20.40:

"and we should be glad. The longer he's there the better)".

Agreed but within reason. This man is now doing the country real harm.

After last week there's only one pollster that really matters: YouGov.

The other pollsters were either wrong or too frit to put their numbers 'out there'.

This is the tipping point. If your own voters do not support you, you're a dead man in politics.

Labour will not combat another leadership election, they'll sink the ship instead and go into opposition. The party may even die out, forcing a new socialist party and a centre right party.

Brown is our best electoral asset, we need to keep him as Labour leader for as long as possible.

Daniel, I cannot see the Labour Party dying out. These are the sort of statements that people make at times like these, just like people asked whether Labour could ever win again after the 1992 GE.

However, there is definately an element within the Labour Party that would like to return to Opposition, where they feel more comfortable and are able to be more vocal and anti-establishment. Whether or not this element is able to gain any dominance within the party is another matter...

Agreed- it would be nice for us for him to stay but he is harming the country now....and guess who will have to sort it out (again!).

So I hope he goes real soon therefore.

"I know a lot of Labour supporters and I am always probing them to try and find out what they are thinking."

Let me help you out Tony.

Accepting that supporting a political party is an exercise in choosing the least worst rather than the best – and accepting as a democrat that a sensible, judicious, fair minded voter puts his community or country ahead of the party – this Labour supporter is quite worried about the personality politics poisoning the national debate.

It’s pointless to figure out what “Labour voters are thinking” since, like any national party, there are factions, I’m disappointed with the PM and so should you be but not for the mad, imbecilic and inconsistent reasons offered to us in the popular press.

Tory bloggers have slandered a Prime Minister day and night and then howled about the increased cost of PR. The Conservatives have seized criticism that he is at once a Stalinist, top-down, micro-manager yet at the same time a “directionless ditherer” and allows departments to go without leadership. Both of these can’t be right.

The Conservatives have screeched about the freedom of markets and individual responsibility yet complained about non-intervention on personal debt and bailing out banks (never offering a solution themselves – as is their jobs as HM opposition). You cannot have credibility on these issues.

You’d like a policeman on every street corner but howl at the possibility that an ID card scheme would lead to a police state.

You claim that Labour is creating a “client state” to get as many people as reliant on handouts as possible in order to stay in power but the very instant an opportunity arrives to play the poor man’s friend (10p taxband) you’re on their side having opposed the minimum wage! You were all over the CGT and Non-Dom changes which were announced AFTER Brown’s last budget and let the 10p rate slide until it became a press story.

I’m clearly defending by attacking etc but here is what I’m thinking: You’ve been a wonderful opposition for getting press coverage but a lousy set of servants as a Loyal Opposition. The glee demonstrated on these pages as the country suffers so people can score cheap, grubby political shots is a damning indictment of all politically minded people.

When I consider most of your 11 years in opposition – failing to prevent UK involvement in the Iraq invasion, failing to support the minimum wage, failing to vote for the spending increases on the NHS, failing to offer a timely idea on Northern Rock, failing to offer the dissenting view on how it occurred and failing to oppose the removal of the 10p rate – to name but a few it can be widely agreed you failed on given opposition in the House – the idea that Gordon Brown is the only one with some explaining to do strikes me as a little bit rich.

Enjoy your poll leads fellas – I’m sure they’re a comfort after so long without power…but they won’t last. I only fear that when people examine the “alternative” and especially when they examine your record – even more still will ask “Why bother?”


First of all, slander is spoken, libel is written. And secondly, something is only libellous if it's untrue. The fact that Brown has displayed astounding control-freakery as well as a Stalinist grip on his subordinates is without question.

The policies you mention the Tories voting against are only bad calls if you happen to agree with the policy. And, believe it or not, when a government as a majority of 150+, the opposition voting against something has precisely no effect. Finally, I apologise on behalf of the Conservative party for not coming up with solutions to help Gordon out of the various holes he has dug himself into.

Well Hugo, the Labour Party dying out isn't impossible.

I know a few socialist groups who are going to work like madmen to try and swing the Old Labour vote to them before the Lib Dems get to them, they now feel that a Conservative victory is now inevitable and wish to make the best of it.

For all our sakes, Brown must stay and guarantee victory.

For the Tories.

Being elected in '92 was the worst thing that could have happened for the Tory's in the long term, but the best thing that could have happens for the UK long term.

Now, Labour being re-elected is the worst thing that could happen for both the UK and the Labour party.

And therein lies the difference.

StevenAdams, how exactly was '92 good for the UK long term? It let in Labour!

This has meant 11 years of war; a bloated public sector; record levels of enterprise sapping taxation; the raiding of private pensions (whilst public sector pensions have been ring fenced and augmented); the sale of gold reserves at rock bottom prices; the poorer getting poorer; tinkering with the Bank of England checks and balances that saw a rush on an English bank that had not been seen for 160 years;and finally partial devolution that has destabilised the UK itself.

How exactly has letting in Labour been good for the UK?

Tory bloggers have slandered a Prime Minister

Oh, stop whining. Don't you read the stuff that Labour supporters dish out about their opponents? At least our criticisms - however much you dislike them - are factual. Labour spent the nayoral campaign routinely attacking Boris as "racist" even though he's married to a woman who's half Sikh.

I still think Straw will be PM by Christmas.

Madame Tussauds is giving YOU the chance to decide whether Prime Minister Gordon Brown should be immortalised in the world famous attraction.


Tony Hannon, it's not the job of the Conservatives in opposition to save Labour from themselves.

However, you touch on one important question. How exactly, would a Conservative government improve things?

Here’s some Labour thinking about Gordon:

‘Chronic indecisiveness; an inability to perform the art of juggling many conflicting demands at once; a reluctance to delegate and chronically poor judgment in who he appoints to his court.’

Then there is the usual anti-Tory snipe about lack of coherent policy or message:

‘Add to that an even bigger problem. Does anybody really know any more - least of all ministers - what Labour's message actually is? "Listen and lead" implies that this is all a management exercise, as if ideology and an overriding vision have little to do with the "business" of running the country.’

But applied to Labour. By Labour. For Labour.

Source: Yvonne Roberts. The Guardian. Yesterday.

'However, you touch on one important question. How exactly, would a Conservative government improve things?'

Agreed. We would seem to have two options where the only coherent message is a desire for power.

"spending increases on the NHS"

Tony Hannon, Labour like to set the focus on what they have spent rather than the end result of that spending. Take the New Deal for example, 3.4 Billion spent and youth unemployment is up by a shocking 20%, with regular JSA unemployment now higher than it was when Labour came to power. All this after having spent 3.4 Billion. Yet, the Labour government has the nerve to claim that we have 'full employment' on the official Labour website.

If we have full employment as the government claims then why do we even need the New Deal? The reality is that the New Deal exists for one reason, to enable the government to doctor the unemployment figures. As part of the New Deal there exists a 13-26 week compulsory 'work-experience' programme, this is work experience which is paid at an exploitative rate of 50pence an hour, for 30 hours a week of work, on top of benefit. The interesting thing about this is that any person on the 'work-experience' part of the New Deal doesn't sign on and isn't included in the offical jobless count as they are obscenely classed as being 'in training', even though they are just as 'on benefit' as they ever were. It doesn't take a genius to see that whenever the Labour government wants to engineer an apparent fall in the unemployment figures all it has to do is draft increased numbers of the jobless onto the 'work-experience' programme where they disappear for upto 26 weeks.

It is this type of dishonesty from the Labour government that has made them despised across the country.

First of all, Tony Hannon, it illl-behoves the party which developed the 24/7 narrative of "total politics" in the run-up to the 97 election to now criticise the development of the Conservatives into a credible opposition.

Re "police on the streets" v "howling about ID cards". I think you might just have put your finger on a key dividing line in modern Britain. Yes I do want more police visible on my streets; but more, I want them under the control of a democratically elected borough commander or civilian borough police chief. I don't understand why that means I need to sign-up to a reversal of centuries of British tradition and agree to carry an ID card. I'm not a criminal and I won't ever produce my papers at the instruction of any state functionary. The police are our public servants and they police by consent. ID cards would turn that on its head.

Fraser Nelson is spot on. The mechanism to remove Brown makes it almost impossible to push him own, and he will never ever quit.

"and I won't ever produce my papers at the instruction of any state functionary."

So how do you get through passport control Graeme?

(also not a supporter of id cards)

Tony Hannon:

There is a very simple response to your whining.

If you can't stand the heat. Do us all a favour and GET OUT OF THE KITCHEN

Brown has had his chance with the electorate and blown it.

Chad- I thought of that counter-example as I pressed "Post"! I guess the point is that I don't require my passport to move around the country of my birth, and that I use it for the purpose of those other countries to which I'm (voluntarily) seeking temporary admission.

I shouldn't pretend, though, that my visceral antagonism to ID cards is a matter of intellectual cogitation. I simply won't have one, ever, and no government will ever compel me so to do. No doubt we can chat about it when they lock us both up, Chad!

"No doubt we can chat about it when they lock us both up, Chad!"

Although the thought of Cleggy being in there too puts me off a bit.... ;-)

Graeme - I totally reject that Labour invented the "24/7 total politics" - media fragmentation did that.

On your second point - fair enough. I'm just drawing attention to the general contradictions that arise when an opposition sticks the boot in at every opportunity often damaging their own credibility.

I don't want an ID card but I'm supposed to be able to take solace in a credible opposition being consistant in their dismantling of the case. You haven't.

John - I'm not whining. Thank you for your valuable and well thought out contribution.

Tony M - one of family members is a specialist in the NW Health board in Ireland. She has travelled to the UK on projects and speaking for many years. She says the NHS is vastly better than the Network of flea pits she regularly saw when she first started coming over in the mid nineties.

That cost a fortune to achieve - perhaps we could have done better but when your party opposed the finance having left it underfunded for so long - it's a little crap to now claim to BE THE part of the NHS. In the discussion about how MUCH better it has actually gotten to how much better it OUGHT to have gotten well I look for credible analysis. It's no ones job to praise the improvements remember - it doesn't make press stories so who is a serious reader to turn to? Not the Tories - no credibility.

On the New Deal - I won't bluster or bluff -I know little about it.

(one of many)Davids - libel/slander you're correct of course [Debate point handed over]. Now read your point about "Stalinist grip" before navigating to the main page of this site where a Tory newspaper accuses "drift" etc. There's the inconsistancy which undermines the credibility of both attacks.

Alex Swanson - you're correct - gutter politics has also come from the left but, as I know you're a LabourHome visitor, perhaps you'd care to read where some of us have been happy to call for a higher level of discussion on Boris.


Remember aswell Ken was portrayed as some kind of anti-semite. I'm not whining and not blaming the right - which is why I mentioned personality politics poisoning the national debate.

Anyway - all these attacks are, as Alex points out, written and on the record. When your turn does come to govern - these attacks will no doubt be dredged up and used against you as you find it's far easier to criticise a government than actually run one.

"as you find it's far easier to criticise a government than actually run one."

Tony, I don't doubt that for a second. It is the very essence of things. But the fact remains that in your original post you pretty much state that the job of the opposition is to vote for legislation which makes the government look good, and to possess some sort of magical foresight to vote against things which will eventually make the government look bad. There doesn't seem to be any consideration of the fact that the government has passed a lot of junk, or indeed how the opposition feels about particular policies.

"But the fact remains that in your original post you pretty much state that the job of the opposition is to vote for legislation which makes the government look good"

David - I've read and re-read my post and don't know how you arrived at that "remaining fact".

I said your job is to effectively oppose but you seem to opportunistically oppose making you less credible. Often, you just look and sound foolish coming down on all sides of major arguments (except the Government’s).

That’s my point.

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