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03.04.13

Labour will need both Darling and Johnson at the next election

I had this on Labour Uncut yesterday.

Unity should run through Labour like a stick of rock. Following David Miliband’s departure, we should reflect on what this might mean for figures like Alistair Darling and Alan Johnson in the general election campaign.

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01.02.11

NHS: Cumbrian case study shows Labour, not the Tories, are the reformers

I wrote this for Labour Uncut last week.

Labour’s compassion built the NHS under Attlee and Labour’s investment saved the NHS under Blair and Brown. But it is Labour reform that has kept Cumbria’s community hospitals open and achieved better health outcomes in so doing. These successes are now threatened by Tory incompetence.

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18.06.09

Realities that suggest a positive way forward for Labour

Some political realities need to be acknowledged if Labour is to move forward. These are:

First, Gordon Brown will lead Labour into the next General Election. The reaction (or, at least, non-resignation) of other leading figures in the party – particularly, Peter Mandelson, Alan Johnson and David Miliband – to James Purnell’s resignation finally confirmed this.

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10.05.09

Where now for Labour?

The Sunday Mail reports that support for Labour has fallen to 23 percent – the lowest since opinion polls began in 1943. If Labour polled this badly at a general election, the party would lose 200 seats to the Conservatives, who would hold a massive, carte blanche majority of 220. The survey was also the first to record that the majority of voters want Gordon Brown to stand down now as PM.

These are desperate times, indeed, for Labour and while the expenses revelations “will hurt the reputation of all politicians”, argues Andrew Rawnsley, “the damage is likeliest to be greatest to Labour at the next election”. Another poll supports Rawnsley’s view. There have been many highs and lows under PM Brown. But each low seems lower and more desperate than the last one. I didn’t think it was possible to go any lower than the McBride affair but recent days have probably managed it.

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13.02.09

David Cameron’s “Flashman tendency”

Michael White and Alan Johnson have this week both compared David Cameron with Harry Flashman. What’s going on? Did they arrive at this conclusion independently? Does Samantha Cameron concur? Having a politician for a husband doubtless puts a strain on marriage and family life. But a politician with a “Flashman tendency” must be doubly difficult. Indeed, it seems the kind of thing that a country ought to be “f*cking warned about” before it has such a chap as its Prime Minister; as Boris Johnson warned Keith Vaz of his not being “very good on details” before he appeared before the Home Affairs Select Committee. Presumably Boris didn’t think the people of London deserving of the same courtesy before they elected him Mayor. So London has a Mayor elected under false premises. White and Johnson are, naturally, keen that the UK doesn’t elect a Prime Minister on the same terms.

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13.02.09

David Cameron's "Flashman tendency"

Michael White and Alan Johnson have this week both compared David Cameron with Harry Flashman. What’s going on? Did they arrive at this conclusion independently? Does Samantha Cameron concur? Having a politician for a husband doubtless puts a strain on marriage and family life. But a politician with a “Flashman tendency” must be doubly difficult. Indeed, it seems the kind of thing that a country ought to be “f*cking warned about” before it has such a chap as its Prime Minister; as Boris Johnson warned Keith Vaz of his not being “very good on details” before he appeared before the Home Affairs Select Committee. Presumably Boris didn’t think the people of London deserving of the same courtesy before they elected him Mayor. So London has a Mayor elected under false premises. White and Johnson are, naturally, keen that the UK doesn’t elect a Prime Minister on the same terms.

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26.10.08

Cads attract enemy radar

Alan Johnson observes that David Cameron wants to transform the Conservatives from “a party of proud Etonians and closet gays to a party of proud homosexuals and closet Etonians”. Indeed, the Conservatives may have come to accept that gays do not attract enemy radar but they are discovering that cads certainly do.

http://uk.youtube.com/watch?v=l7a1xIVoEF8

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26.10.08

Cads attract enemy radar

Alan Johnson observes that David Cameron wants to transform the Conservatives from “a party of proud Etonians and closet gays to a party of proud homosexuals and closet Etonians”. Indeed, the Conservatives may have come to accept that gays do not attract enemy radar but they are discovering that cads certainly do.

http://uk.youtube.com/watch?v=l7a1xIVoEF8

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