Tuesday, June 20, 2006

In the name of Gord, go

The pressure on Tony Blair is cranking up again following last weekend's Compass conference and continuing dismal opinion poll ratings for Labour.

This morning's Guardian leader renews the paper's call for the Prime Minister to stand down this year in the interests of the party, and even fellow blogger Skipper, who has hitherto been notable for giving the PM the benefit of the doubt, has now joined the growing chorus.

It seems to me so self-evident that Blair's continuance in office is badly damaging his party that only someone who was completely self-deluded could fail to see the truth of it. That would be our Prime Minister, then.

As the Guardian piece puts it: "Mr Blair's continuation at the top of his party increasingly appears like an act of vanity."

Blair-must-go watch update:

  • This is the current list of Labour MPs, newspapers, political commentators, bloggers and pollsters who have publicly called on Tony Blair to stand down this year.

    Andrew Smith
    Frank Dobson
    Michael Meacher
    Ashok Kumar
    Glenda Jackson
    The Guardian
    The Daily Telegraph
    The Economist
    The New Statesman
    Polly Toynbee
    Matthew Parris
    Jonathan Freedland
    Stephen Pollard
    Paul Linford
    BBC Newsnight poll
    Times Populus poll
    YouGov poll of Labour members

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    janestheone said...

    but the Filth (sorry, Guardian) has an interest in bringing down the Labour Government, and having a leadership struggle is one way to help do it. They hate the Labour government, just like they hated the 1970s ones. I can remember ther sort-of-apology in their editorial when Thatch got in in 1979 - they confessed they had spent the past three years slagging off Jim Callaghan and now they were sorry they had a Tory government instead. Like f*** they were. They are evil.

    Anonymous said...

    But this is very often what happens with a certain sort of middle-class socialist or progressive - they won't vote for Labour (or stay in the party) when it doesn't meet every of their requirements, knowing very well well that it won't be them who suffer if the Tories get in. For the middle-class progressive (especially the sort who have dinner parties in North London), it won't matter if the minimum wage is left to wither on the vine (assuming the Tory pledge not to abolish it outright is sincere, a very big if), workers are deprived of the right (introduced by this government) to join a trade union where 50% of the workforce want it or to have leave in a family emergency.

    They also, of course, forget that the LDs denounced the recent rise in the minimum wage as 'setting a dangerous precedent', or the cuts to public services introduced by LD councils (not to mention LD-controlled Liverpool City Council banning Big Issue sellers from the city centre).

    There's plenty of stuff which has disappointed me about this Labour government. But (with the one exception of ID cards) I look at all the disappointments (like making debt cancellation in Tanzania dependent on privatising the water supply, and the failure to repair the track-train split introduced by rail privatisation) and know that it would have been (and, inded, would be) worse under the Tories - there'd have been no doubling of overseas aid, no debt cancellation, Failtrack would still be in place, and air traffic control would have been fully privatised, not just part-privatised.

    As a social democrat from a lower midde-class background in the provinces, I already had a certain amount of contempt for Crouch End Man, when they're often like working-class Tories, ie they feel the need to not just live down their backgrounds, but also to prove their ideological zeal. Whenever you hear a silly comment at a Labour Party conference fringe meeting (like unilateralism was a vote winner), you can almost guarantee the delegate who came out with it will come from a CLP on the south-coast (or in the Home Counties) where Labour came third. Much about Mark Seddon (the man who made Tribune into something resembling Labour Briefing) is explained by the fact that he began his life as a Labour activist in Trowbridge Branch Labour Party.

    Devil's Kitchen said...

    I want Tony Blair to stay for as long as possible: the longer he is there the more utterly destroyed the Labour Party will be.

    Besides, Polly Toynbee has called for him to go -- although only because she patently wants to get stuck into Gordon's sex -- and therefore there is absolutely no way that I could possibly join this list.