Friday, June 05, 2009

The Final Countdown

Not quite a whitewash but almost!

I'm just back from flying around in some rather miserable conditions - I heard one poor chap putting down in a field on the way home - and hear that Thanet is now almost uniformly blue in terms of the elections results, with only one 'Green' survivor, (Mrs Elizabeth) who beat Mike Taylor in Ramsgate.

It's possibly the biggest single swing in electoral history and Labour have now lost 'all' their counties across the nation. Defending 500 seats, they've reportedly lost 300!

I also hear that Geoff Hoon has also quit the Cabinet this evening, joining, Blears, Smith and Purnell. Caroline Flint, has done a complete 'Volte face' since announcing her undying support for the Prime Minister, last night and has also announced that she is not prepared to act as 'Window dressing' for his two-tier Government.

What comes as a surprise, is that Coventry MP Bob Ainsworth has emerged as perhaps the biggest winner from today's chaotic Cabinet reshuffle after being propelled into the job of Defence Secretary.

'Bob', currently a junior defence minister, will replace his former boss John Hutton, who threw the reshuffle into disarray when he confirmed his intention to stand down from frontline politics this morning.

I first came across 'Bob' on the BBC's Newsnight some years ago when I was asked in by Jeremy Paxman, to debate, RIPA, the Regulation of Investigatory Powers Bill, with him. I can't imagine anyone, less up to the job than 'Bob Ainsworth', a fundamentally unimaginative Labour stalwart and a natural bureacrat.

Not a good day for the Liberal Democrats either, a real body blow losing their homeland county seats in the Southwest and being hammered by the independents elsewhere.

For KCC, Chris Wells is back and so is Robert Burgess and I hear that Cllrs Hayton, Kirby and Bayford also made a strong showing and were returned.

They are now joined by new boy, Mike Jarvis. In Kent that leaves only two Labour county councillors remaining!

Labour's Clive Hart, Alan Poole and Iris Johnston never really stood a chance, thanks to the shambles at Westminster over the last week and I hear the result is much the same across the whole country but I need to watch Channel 4 News in a minute to find out more.

It will be interesting to see how the Euro-elections pan out. Here in Thanet, UKIP made a strong showing as one might expect and this may logically extend to the European results.

How Gordon Brown can resist the call for a General Election after all this I don't know. I'm sure he'll try though. His biographer has described him as a "Stalinist and a Marxist" and the ultimate political plotter. It all conjures up in my own mind, an image of the final days of Nu-Labour in the bunker, deep under No10, with local, county and Euro elections results raining down like the thunder of distant artillery!


Anonymous said...

Gordon Brown's clinging on to the levers of power is becoming tiresome. He reminds me of some extra from Night of the Living Dead. Stumbling around like a zombie with the knives of former cabinet ministers plunged into his back. The beast will not die. This does no good whatsoever for the country and just highlights how many politicians are only interested in their own selves.

From a Conservative standpoint his stubborness to concede defeat is a bonus. The longer he hangs in there the more damage he does to the zaNuLabour project. However at the same time he is damaging Britain's interests and for the sake of the country he should quit while he is behind.

I agree with you the results of the Euro elections will make grim reading for Brown and I suspect the Tories will not be as pleased as they are with the local elections. Hopefully it will be the straw that breaks the camel's back and Brown will do the honourable thing.

Anonymous said...

The first person to jump ship was the former skipper Tony Blair. He is not even waving at Gordon from the horizon now.

I achieved one of my pre-retirement ambitions this week. Symptomatic of the constitutional mayhem that is being obscured by all the other mayhem (economic, social, defence, law enforcement).

The Senior Law Lord hid behind his secretary who was directed to write that it would "Not be appropriate" for the Lord Phillips to sign his own letter.

The New Labour catch all meaningless response to matters of fact and law, "Not appropriate to answer".

I wrote to Lord Phillips as a Justice and as the "Monarch in Parliament".

And apparently it is no longer appropriate to acknowledge HM the Q as sole fount of justice or to acknowledge the authority of the Crown to hold police and politicians to account on behalf of the people.

David Cameron has a task ahead. Not least to tell the country that if you are not part of the solution you are part of the problem (public sector employees, their pension pot, the financial sector etc)

Tony Beachcomber said...

Thursday was definately a bad night for the Labour Party, but those of us who have been around a bit have been down this road before. Take 1977 for labour and 1995 for the Conservatives, both were bad years.
The focus may be on the Labour Party and on Thursday it was the Conservatives night.But I would think Conservative strategists even though they are confident of a general election win must have one eye on the 38 % share of the vote they got because the success was not a result of the Conservatives on the up it was a case of the Labour party being on the down. The opinion polls have constantly put the Conservatives in the 40 to 41% bracket enough to win a general election, yet in 1996 Tony Blair was pushing through the 50 % barrier. Considering that the Conservatives have come nowhere near making policy statements which tend to dent ratings once opponents have some ammunition. So is not surprising the Conservative are gagging for a general election.
As for the general election I believe it will be a case of what will be, will be.
It is the Thanet District Council elections in May 2011 I think will be the one to watch judging by some of the majorities in the recent elections if this is the conservatives at the top of their Game and the Labour Party at their lowest ebb it is not exactly a strong buffer for the Conservatives if there are a few strategicaly placed independants ( look at the recent Minster result) and a Labour Party on the up in 2 years time. All I can say to local Conservatives is enjoy the moment because the real battle at local level has nowhere near begun and that is two years away,.

Anonymous said...

Correct me if I'm wrong, but were you not a Blair government advisor?

DrM. said...

Guilty as charged.. well sort of...!

It was the proximity to Blair's Government that encouraged me to join the Conservative party as I didn't like what I saw. The writing was on the wall even then!

Before this, I was apolitical, as I had to be and my own role was a very modest one, involved with the effort of turning Britain into a modern, broadband society; Government transformation; eGovernment et al.

In fact, what goes around, comes around, because having explored the possibility of returning to a role at the Cabinet Office earlier this year in a meeting with the Government's CIO, I was subsequently told that it's not possible under the rules, because I'm now firmly 'political' as a councillor here in Thanet and the civil service code won't allow it.