Saturday, 9 January 2010

Wondering about the Mandelson Defence of Brown

Peter Mandelson believes that Gordon brown is the best person to lead Labour into the general election.  No ifs, no buts, Mandelson's actions are as good as his words, for without him Brown would be long gone.


 Does he  want the Labour party to be the political arm of the union Unite?  He says Labour must represent the interests of all the people of the country, yet Unite's interests are only those of public sector employees and the few present, and many former,  employees of UK industry and manufacturing.  

Is he, then,  determined to make Brown hold still while we deliver his so well-deserved kicking?  To make Brown and Balls and the union Unite, and all the fellow-travelling long marchers receive their "nyet"  from the only source they have been unable to subvert, the mass of the electorate, albeit a kicker that only gets to act rarely. A calamitous object lesson in the end for Labour if it abandons social democracy for authoritarian statism and barely concealed socialist and internationalist tendencies.

Is there still something Brown can deliver for Europe and for global governance in the next few months that will otherwise be lost, or put at risk?  It would have to be a very short time scale because Labour is not going to win in 2010, not under Brown.  And Brown's announcement that he is seeking a five-year mandate suggests Brown will stay on even after defeat short of anything but a Conservative landslide.

Imagine Brown after the election, still Leader but with nothing to lose and still the political leader of a  Unite core political party arm.   We'd be back with the Who Runs Britain? confrontations of the Heath/Callaghan years.  (Wilson remains an enigma, so I don't count him in).

Does Mandelson want to ensure that even in defeat the Labour rump Opposition will be the least co-operative the Conservatives could face?   Does Mandelson see New Labour as a ruling faction only,  incompetent and under-resourced in Opposition?

Will the shredders be unable to work fast enough as the Labour regime exits and there is some dreadful corruption of our governance for which Brown must still be in place to be blamed?   After all, Brown could not replace Darling with Balls - his true darling ( even though Balls had cleared his desk and everything), and Darling must be drawing on more than merely personal inner strength in profiting from this week's letter - a simple letter from a couple of former ministers -  to set Labour policy to 'cuts the most severe for 20 years. '  Are there bodies in the Treasury that need to be properly attributed?

Whatever it is, Mandelson is preventing Brown's removal, and to the detriment of the current Labour party, and to the detriment of any serious social democratic party in our country.


Nick Drew said...

mustn't put Wilson to one side, HG, because he's the only recent example of a GE loser allowed to carry on to win again.

Churchill was sui generis

the days of Baldwin, Salisbury, Gladstone & Disraeli don't offer much by way of useful parallels as far as I can see

maybe consider the long-term tenacity of Koch ? Mitterand ? again, difficult to draw parallels (not least because they became party leaders in opposition)

Nick Drew said...

I meany Kohl, not Koch, of course

hatfield girl said...

Are you suggesting that Mr Brown will continue as Labour Leader after an election defeat, ND? I can believe he will try, as long as his efforts do not involve him facing a Party ballot, but that's precisely what he will be required to face. Labour won't make that monumental error again. So, the voting structure of the Labour party being what it is, he will not be able to win a ballot; but Ed Balls will.

I rather admire Kohl, he was engaged in a far more admirable and worthwhile political journey than Brown.

I had hoped for a Drew version of Invictus but then realised that as a comment on Brown - self-selected, no less - even you might feel unable to better it.

Anonymous said...

You're all missing a couple of key facts. Firstly, the Labour Party is still in debt to the tune of millions, and secondly the Party is internally structured in a very curious manner. If the Labour Party were to go bust, the principle officers of the Party are personally liable for the Party's debts, and this liability is unlimited. Mandelson isn't one of these principle officers, but Brown and Harman are. Furthermore if an MP goes bankrupt, they are automatically expelled from Parliament.

Currently the only thing keeping Labour afloat is payments from Unison and Unite; the Government gives International Development grants to the TUC, which then filters this money to the public service unions which then kick back a majority to the Labour Party. Come the election, and Labour is going to get a kicking. Furthermore the money supply to the TUC is certain to get turned off, which in turn will lead to the public service unions going into survival mode and cutting most of the funding to the Labour Party; it is to be expected here that most other funding sources will also cease bribing a party which has no possibility of influencing things for at least a decade.

Up to now, the banks to whom Labour owes money will have been patiently milking the sad old cow for what they can get. With the imminent cessation of this supply in sight, they will immediately call in the loans, before the Party principle officers can make an escape and parachute in scapegoats; this will bankrupt the Party, and probably bankrupt one or more officers too. The Labour Party will thus cease to exist as a political entity, and a new one will rise phoenix-like from the ashes of the old, and guess who will be around in the background organising this?

Mandelson is playing a long game here. He wants to be in power, he wants and needs to be in control of the Labour Party, but he doesn't want the current one with its baggage of crippling debts and assortment of uber-leftie dinosaurs; in particular he wants rid of Gordon and his clique of airhead females. Supporting Brown into a ferocious kicking at the election will allow Mandelson to kill the present Labour Party and start up a new one, modelled according to his desires and wishes, free of all the old guard.

hatfield girl said...

Thank you Anon. Part of the trouble is how difficult it is made to access almost any internal Labour party document, from the Rule Book onwards. True of the unions too. Go to their websites and all is bland as bland. You can almost always recognise a Labour/fellow traveller organisation by that mix of presentation in multiculti mode and total lack of useful information - like the accounts, personnel, and who is responsible to whom.

roym said...

"He says Labour must represent the interests of all the people of the country"

surely this argument by them is a bust when 300 odd RBS bankers can destroy a once fine institution leaving 150,000 normal bods to sweat over their futures, and the rest of the country to pick up the tab?

anon, what a picture! won't mandy be a bit old by the time they get their chance again?

Odin's Raven said...

See how the government is financing the trade unions who finance them from the foreign aid budget :

New Labour = Old Spanish practices?