Today is likely to be a significant day, with a significant message sent to the main parties.
It isn’t entirely clear just how organised the Government is at the moment. Gordon Brown’s leadership is in utter disarray, ahead of today’s Local and E.U elections. It would appear that disgruntled back bench Labour MPs, who stand to lose their seats at the next General Election, have began circulating a petition among themselves, calling on the Prime Minister to step down. They of course, would need to find a challenger, to stand against Brown. To force a leadership challenge, 70 Labour MPs must nominate a potential challenger.
The letter, obtained by the BBC, says directly to the Prime Minister:
“We believe that in the current political situation you can best serve the Labour Party and the country by stepping down as party leader and prime minister.”
It is hard to argue with that. There are two ways to look at the situation, firstly, backbench Labour MPs are showing just how unstable the Party actually is, there is no unity, and the electorate will pick up on that. The Government cannot appear to be in control, if the backbenchers plot mutiny. With Brown gone, there would exist a leadership vacuum, no one comes to mind who has the potential to take over. There isn’t a Blair, or even a Kinnock. However, Labour are heading down the road of becoming a 2009 version of the 1997 Tories. Unelectable, Useless, and disengaged if Gordon Brown (whom I believe, is Labour’s greatest liability right now) is to remain as leader come the General Election.
Communities Secretary Hazel Blears resigned yesterday, joining Home Secretary Jacqui Smith, thrusting a metaphorical knife into the comatose Labour body, just one day before the Polling booths open. She could have waited until the moment polling stations closed, and then resigned, thereby limiting the potential negative election fall out. She chose the time to go quite deliberately. I can imagine the scenes in Number 10 when Blears resigned, were like scenes in a morgue.
Meanwhile, The Tories have reverted even more to the Right, by announcing plans to kill off the tram lines in Nottingham, if they take control of County Hall this month, by pulling out of it’s £28million share. It would put at risk the development of the NG2 Business Park, as investors have considered the tram lines part of the plans, and a valuable source of transport for custom. Investing in infrastructure, in terms of transport, getting people out of their cars and into the trams (of which i’ve done many times whilst in Nottingham) is a progressive, first class way to promote public transport.
The leader of the Tories in Nottinghamshire, Kay Cutts, said that the tram system cost, was not fair to ask all tax payers in Nottingham to pay for extensions to Clifton via Wilford and Chilwell via Beeston, if they do not intend to use it. If that is the Tory attitude, then it is unfair to ask taxpayers to publicly fund roads, bus routes, schools, hospitals, policing, fire stations, if we do not use them. Same old Tories.
The Conservatives move to cut spending in this vital area, thus putting hundreds maybe thousands of jobs at risk, whilst encouraging people to use their cars instead, is a disaster, and a sign of things to come when they inevitably win the next general Election.
It’ll be interesting to see how these elections have affected the make up of British politics.
It’s a story that keeps on giving.
And if you’re interested, I voted today. In the local elections, I voted Liberal Democrat. In the E.U Elections, I voted Green Party.