Friday, 23 May 2008

Crewe'd Contempt For Gordon Brown-Trousers

It's not looking good for Gordon Brown-Trousers, the most craven, incompetent and, above all, ridiculed British Prime Minister in living memory.

In the fallout from Labour's spectacularly catastrophic failure in the Crewe by-election, the Government's skin-deep show of loyalty to its embattled leader is already showing some serious cracks. Of course, it's not unexpected that a few likely lads and lasses would be calling for a leadership challenge - there are ALWAYS some malcontents in any political party, no matter how suicidal that would be.

Nor is it particularly surprising that Jack Straw, formerly Gordon Brown-Trousers' leadership campaign manager, is rumoured (despite denials) to be in the thick of the political back-stabbing. According to the Sun, "Last night Mr Straw’s team strenuously denied rumours he has appointed a leadership campaign team. And they insisted he remains 100 per cent loyal." So there you have it - I wonder who he'll be campaigning for?

Not that it really matters - they're all much the same, and similarly unelectable. No, the real interest lies in taking a step back from the mud slinging; look at these people, the folks who are supposed to run the country in our best interests.

In their hands - literally, in the McBean's case - the British economy has gone from reasonably healthy to terminally ill. It's all very well for the Prime Minister to bleat about international factors such as the price of oil. One of the many things influencing the price of oil is the unstable situation in Iraq - and who was very, very senior indeed in Blair's government, with specific responsibility for economic matters, at the time of the invasion? Wouldn't be Gordon Brown-Trousers, would it?

The fact is that Britain under Brown-Trousers is a mess and, worse, is perceived to be a mess. It's been a mess for a while, of course, with constant spin and deception required to keep the population sweet - or, at least, uninterested. But Blair was good at that. He was highly skilled at hiding the true depth of his problems, and keeping enough plates spinning to distract attention away from the more worrying parts of his policies.

Brown-Trousers is not, and as the ever-sharper pinches in their wallets cause people to cast a more critical eye over the government than they have for years, he is utterly incapable of inspiring any degree of feel-good factor whatsoever. And THAT is what's worrying the Labour rebels - not the economy, not the true impact of the 10p tax debacle, not the price of food or fuel, but their fear that Brown-Trousers can't win the next election.

They're right, of course. He's shown himself to be a ditherer, to hold the British electorate in utter contempt and to be incapable of fixing an economic crisis that has been shaping up since long before he left the Treasury. He is unfit to govern, and should not, under any circumstances, be re-elected.

But, again, that doesn't really matter. The Labour party, at this time of undeniable national economic and political crisis, is concerned only with itself. Again, according to the Sun, one Cabinet Minister, in discussing the possibility of ousting Brown-Trousers, said: "We have a collective responsibility to do the right thing by the Party. We have big problems and they have to be sorted out."

And Labour backbencher Graham Stringer told the BBC: "The real debate that goes on within the Party is, 'Is it more damaging for the Party to change leader, or to hope that things will get better in the next two years?'."

Did you ever hear a clearer admission of our Government's self-serving interests than that?

The Telegraph covers much the same story, but also comments on fears about planned hikes in fuel duty and car tax, which, it claims, has been likened to a poll tax on wheels. Alistair Darling, the Chancellor, is apparently facing yet more calls to abandon this autumn's 2p increase in petrol duty after a month of record prices at the pump and a recent surge in the price of oil.

An unnamed junior minister said, "Every MP is getting it in the neck about the cost of driving and it isn't going to be enough to keep talking about world oil prices. We should be thinking about what we can do to help. It's going to cost money but we found money for 10p tax so if we have to borrow a bit more for this, so be it."

What kind of example is THAT to set to a public already drowning in credit bills? And, more worryingly, it sounds frighteningly like the old-style tax-and-spend Labour of the 1970s than Tony Blair's shiny-toothed New Labour. But then, so do the "class-war" tactics that served Labour so badly in the Crewe by-election. And, funnily enough, I keep seeing references to Gordon Brown-Trousers and Michael Foot in the same article - often for the purposes of direct comparison. Not a good thing for the PM, I should think!

So, will there be a leadership challenge? Maybe. After all, if they lose their seats, some Labour MPs might have to get a real job, and that would never do, would it? Desperate times call for desperate measures, and anything's worth doing to keep their seat!

But it's a risky business, and likely to get more so as the smarter members of the Labour party realise just how bad their internal bickering looks to the rest of the country. It's already starting to look like the Labour party cares more about its own affairs than our wellbeing, and the added distraction of a leadership challenge - and at a time of crisis, yet! - would just go to confirm that.

And once that is confirmed in the eyes of the electorate, it doesn't matter who they put in the top job because the next election will already be lost. Joe Public does not, by and large, care about highbrow ideals and political theory - mind you, neither do most politicians. We want someone who will get on with the hasslesom job of running the country for us whilst we get on with our lives, and politicians want power. It's a nice, symbiotic relationship that works fairly well.

But, when their cockups start to impact upon our lives, we don't like it and their days are numbered no matter what they do. Today, the Sun reports that soaring fuel prices mean that the average cost of Fish and Chips could rise by 50% from £4.05 to £6.75. That, along with the cost of fuel at the pumps, is something that hits just about everyone. The folks we (well, not me, but "we" as a people) put in charge are costing us money and fighting amongst themselves. Time for a change.

When the few remaining smart people in the Labour party realise that this is how the population as a whole is thinking, the knives will be out for those demanding a divisive leadership election, and I should imagine that the internal squabbles might become quite vicious. Of course, the good news for Crazy Cameron - and for those of us who have despised the devious, manipulative politics of New Labour from the start - is that, no matter what happens, Labour is in deep trouble.

The bad news is that, whatever they do, we're stuck with a doomed and inept Labour government for another couple of years, and it's going to get expensive. Still, at least the political fireworks will be worth seeing!

Billy Seggars.

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