Brown not down, not yet

Nulabour old problem

Brown down?Brown down?
Now that the House of Commons is having a well deserved break for summer, or if you prefer, having a break, tradition has it that we are into the 'silly season', the period when daftness takes over. But with Gordon Brown and Nulabour's problems it seems that 'man bites dog' has been with us for months. It all began with Boris becoming Mayor of London, then there was the Crewe and Nantwich by-election, next the disastrous result at the Henley by-election when Nulabour polled fewer votes than the BNP, finally, for now, Glasgow East. Each of these events brought forth a lot of comment but the silliest so far has been post Glasgow and on the subject of how to get rid of Gordon. Few journalists and a surprising number of Nulabour MPs seem to be able to grasp that the party rule book, latest edition 2002, prevents a quick change of Leader. So look at rule 7 -

Elect the Leader and Deputy leader by the party membership .

This shows that an exchange of phone calls plus meetings by disgruntled backbenchers may set some people off in a flurry but is not allowed as basis for electing a Leader. The party membership may have dwindled considerably over the years but they, the rank and file, as they were once called are involved. So a time consuming and costly ballot of party members would be essential. This would follow a reasonable period of campaigning by the wannabes. Who would need time and money to set up the means to campaign. While this may excite the remaining party members it would bore two pairs of pants off the nation who, for as so many polls have shown, they have already made up their minds on the party. The publicity gained from all this would be of no value at all, probably counterproductive to party and wannabes alike. Anyway Jack Straw is on holiday. So the rule book rules for now.

I'll grant you that in the EU the 'rules' appear to count for nothing but I would suggest that Nulabour is far more conservative in nature so while the fascination by Nulabour for all things emanating from Brussels looks generally to be limitless here is one thing that cannot be modern and continental. The subject of electing Nulabour's leader will be, like the present incumbent, boring and done by the book. Take a look at the outcome of the recent three day meeting at Warwick University - Weakened Gordon Brown gives in to union demands, says the Times, well who would have thought that would happen? See full article HERE.

But then Nulabour is still wired up to the union movement just as in the old days. One can only assume those scars on Tony Blair's back, from injuries caused fighting for 'reform' have not only healed but faded, so are now forgotten. Probably not but Nulabour is in such a state financially it needs the unions and their money. So as far as the unions are concerned their time has come, so who can blame them for feeling chuffed. The Times quotes one unnamed union man as saying -
Straw going on holidayStraw going on holiday
“This is only half time, it is not the final whistle,” he said.

Should we be surprised? Not at all, now look again at the party rule book, rule 2 -

Combine constituencies, unions and other affiliated organisations, and agree to the party programme.

Finally see also rule 3 -

Arrange sound financial structures based on revenues from members and affiliates.

The fact is when it comes to Gordon Brown and Nulabour, the party is stuck with him and the nation is stuck with them both for a long time to come. This goes for the unions too but perhaps to claim a victory now is wrong. Also the unions may be better informed on the party rule book than most of us but what do the unions know of the EU? Not as much as might be thought if the following quote from the Times is to be taken seriously -

Public sector unions claimed victory over a pledge to fight any moves by the European Union to create a single market in health care. They also won a greater commitment to using in-house services for hospital cleaning, with hospitals given more power to terminate contracts with providers.

As sure as night follows day any pledge by Nulabour regarding the EU stands to be broken, just as the Nulabour manifesto commitment on a referendum for the Lisbon Treaty/Constitution was. As for contracts and in turn markets don't forget that Peter Mandelson is working on behalf of all the EU to make sure that what some unions call 'the race to the bottom', the chance for employers to lower costs by using cheaper labour, actually becomes law across the whole of the EU. So it is not within the power of Nulabour to grant 'commitments' on anything.

Meacher, going? probably Meacher, going? probably
So there you have it, a failing government dependent upon a trade union movement in denial about where the real power lies. So long as the voters in general and the euro sceptics in particular see this there will be anger. But, by contrast, the Nulabour MPs, themselves in denial, see nothing. Michael Meacher writing in the Guardian says -

The proximate causes of the meltdown for Labour are clear: rising food prices, rising energy prices, the seize-up in the housing market, the 10p tax debacle, and the perceived sense of a loss of government direction. Unless all of these are dealt with head-on, the slide will not be reversed.

Little there to indicate that Meacher understands that the fall in Nulabour's popularity began before Gordon Brown took over as PM and the credit crunch took off. I've not been aware of any protest by people concerned about any of the topics mentioned by Meacher on the scale of the protest at Westminster by those voters who wanted a referendum on the Lisbon Treaty/Constitution as promised by his and other parties, so yet more denial. Meacher should be aware that euroscepticism is alive and seething. Meacher goes on to suggest a 'cure' for the woes is more regulation, he says -

Raw capitalism has been allowed to run amok and re-regulation is clearly needed to stabilise financial markets. and -

Intervention should be used instead to make markets work fairly. For as long as soaring food prices last, supermarkets should be required to provide hampers of good-quality food for pensioners and others on benefit at cost price or below. A social tariff should be fixed for pensioners and low-income families so that they can purchase gas and oil at below-market price that they can afford. When homeowners are repossessed through no fault of their own, the state should step in to buy the house so that they can remain in it as rent-paying tenants. See full article HERE.

Has this man never heard of Peter Mandelson and his work as EU Trade Commissioner? Intervention in markets is not possible as he suggests, for a man who entered parliament in 1970 to be still unsure how the EU works is remarkable. So this is yet more amazing denial just like our union friends. I'm not against trade unions, helping low-income families or many things dear to the heart of the liberal-left. It's the stupidity of it all this 'comment' that is annoying. Politically the UK cannot devise strategies to suit itself. Is it denial to say otherwise, or perhaps they, MPs and others, don't understand this? Tradition has it the silly season ended in the autumn when the House of Commons got back to work but it looks due to run on and on. Perhaps to the next election when those who are never recognised, the voters who want to be out of the EU, will get their chance to remove those MPs who live in a trance.