Wednesday, 30 July 2008

Labour's Love Lost

It looks like David Miliband has rather botched his oh-so-unsubtle attempt to lever Gordon Brown-Trousers out of Downing St and, indeed, out of his job.

Unless you've been hiding in a darkened isolation tank, away from TV, newspapers, internet and carrier pigeons for the past few days, you'll have at least heard that DM has written some kind of letter / article / shopping list about how the utterly discredited Labour party should progress etc. You will also probably have heard that, in setting out his vision for the future, he mysteriously failed to nominate his boss, the McBean, Gordon Brown-Trousers himself, as the number one choice to lead all right-thinking Labourites into this glorious future.

Not entirely surprisingly, this hasn't gone over awfully well with the Prime Minister's supporters, although I was a little surprised to hear that he still had any. In fact, there have been increasingly strident - and enraged - calls for Miliband to "clarify" his position, praise the PM and categorically deny that he will challenge the Brown-Trousers leadership.

This he has failed to do to any significant degree, and the situation is really crystal clear - David Miliband wants Gordon Brown-Trousers' job, and now everyone who's read the letter, or read of it, knows what he proposes to do when / if he gets it. He's got his proposition out way ahead of his rivals, gained a LOT of free publicity from just about every media source in the UK and can still, if push comes to shove, claim that he was just trying to encourage the party to get over its recent disasters. Neat trick, eh?

Of course, he's also made a lot (well, ok, about three) of enemies amongst those still loyal to the PM, but that will change. Gordon Brown-Trousers is currently about as popular as a mousetrap in a lucky dip, and the chances of him actually winning a leadership contest are not all that good. His supporters must know that, and must also know that if / when he is defeated, his successor will be their boss. It's never a good idea to annoy the boss, and despite the "outrage" at his very public disloyalty towards the PM, I should imagine that quite a few Ministers wouldn't mind working for David Miliband - although they'd probably prefer him to work for them!

Until then, though, Gordon Brown-Trousers IS their boss, and it's never a good idea to annoy the boss! Hence the strident calls for him to sack Miliband for disloyalty, (which, if he has any sense whatsoever, the Prime Minister will not do) and the various other displays of anger against David Miliband. As the Telegraph quite rightly points out, Miliband's letter has plunged Labour into civil war.

Clearly, young Miliband, David, is ambitious. Sadly, he also has ideas above his station. He may have a strange name, but that doesn't qualify him for high office. In fact, outside of his own circle of cronies, I very much doubt if many people know who he is or what Cabinet post he holds - for the record, he seems to be Foreign Secretary, although I didn't know that until I checked.

But, thanks to his own letter, almost everyone in the country now knows him as the scheming, devious politician who wants power so badly that he was prepared to stab his absent boss in the back while he was on a much-needed holiday to get it. Nice. Honourable. Charming guy. Just the sort we need for Prime Minister. Not.

So, in a way, the odious David Miliband has done the country a favour. He has given us a very practical demonstration of what, exactly, is occupying Labour politicians' thoughts as the country plummets into economic and social crisis: POWER. Theirs, to be exact, and the means of hanging on to it at any price. Labour MPs are so terrified of having to find a real job that quick fixes, like dumping the equally odious Gordon Brown-Trousers in favour the first power-hungry Blair-alike they can find, seem smart.

Little do they realise that with every plot, every scheme, every attempted dirty trick - whether real or merely perceived - they are just reinforcing the public's already strong mistrust of their entire party. It no longer matters whether or not Gordon Brown-Trousers is their leader - "They're all the same, the bloody lot of 'em!" is pretty much how the public think of the Labour party, and stunts like Miliband's letter confirm it for them in their own minds.

Barring an almost unimaginable disaster, or some equally unimaginable attempt to NOT hold a general election some time between now and mid-2010, Crazy Cameron will be the next elected Prime Minister (unlike Gordon Brown-Trousers and whoever usurps his position, who will never be able to claim a democratic mandate), and his majority will be huge.

Labour had better get used to the idea of losing, because it's going to keep on happening, no matter how often they change leader, until they are finally drummed out of power altogether. About time, too!

Billy Seggars.

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