Scot Keir Hardie Labour Party founder & first leader 1906
Labour lost their core vote, so make no mistake about it, but this Election loss on such an epic scale puts into question the very survival of Labour as a major force let alone one of the big two. Traditional Labour supporters from the working classes have moved up in the class environment, to be replaced by immigrants at the bottom who will never be labourites.
The blame game is now well underway in the Labour ranks, isn’t it? Which of their entrusted souls caused their humiliating defeat by the triumphant Tory David Cameron, eh?
Leader Ed Miliband immediately fell on his sword – no surprise there then, he is not stupid and the scale of his defeat at the hands of the electorate, gave him no credible hope of staying on, did it? He will carry the can, but is he truly culpable, or is he just the cheap fall-guy? Are the others now hiding in the shadows even more blameworthy, and if so who are they, and why, you might ask?
The most vocal in the media say “you can’t blame the electorate”, but is that really right? Perhaps not? As usual the ‘lazy’ labour supporters were far too laidback to bother to trudge down to the polling station to vote – and they will now spend the next five years crying into their beer about how unfair it all is and how hard life has treated them.
The Labour Party appointed US election strategist David Axelrod as a strategic adviser on their leader Ed Miliband’s 2015 election campaign – was it that man’s poor input that brought the house crashing down then?
Perhaps Miliband was dragged under by Ed Balls, who also lost his seat and his job as Shadow Chancellor – was his competence on the economy the root of Labour’s problems? Or did smart good-looking single man ex lawyer and Nigerian-born Chuka Umunna ex Shadow Business Secretary’s smooth talking on Britain’s finances fail to convince? What part did Ball’s wife Yvette Cooper ex Shadow home secretary fail to play as a Scot in getting Labour elected? Or did Deputy Leader Harriet Harmon send out the wrong message travelling around the UK in a pink (nearly) mini bus?
Or was the gravestone of pledges stunt dreamed-up by Lucy Powell vice chair of their election campaign (who then admitted they might NOT be kept!) the thing that killed that campaign? Or was it braying Andy Burnham ex Shadow health secretary the one who failed to make the claims of the NHS’ terminal illness fail to stick, the cause? Or did his underling Shadow health minister new girl and Blairite Liz Kendal undermine the Brownites? Even it could be Union supporter Merseysider Angela Eagle ex Shadow environment secretary & Labour Chair that somehow spiked the Labour election bid?
It probably wasn’t the non-performance of Mary Creagh ex Shadow international development secretary, an ambitious nobody when it came to winning the Election. Chiselled-faced Cambridge toff Tristram Hunt ex Shadow education secretary might not be blameless as he failed miserably to expose the government’s abject record on our world position on empowering our kids.
No, the sole culprit for Labour’s demise isn’t in the London Labour set at all is it? No, indeed it is someone living some four hundred and forty miles north of the Capital.
No, it is not Nicola Sturgeon Leader of the SNP, star performer of the Election, and purloiner of all but one of Labours seats in Scotland. No, it is not Johann Lamont ex-Leader of Scotland’s Labour Party, who jacked it in, while verbally abusing her Party, only seven months before the Election. No, it isn’t even her successor Jim Murphy, defeated himself as an MP, who failed miserably to empower or marshal his troops and political arguments, but instead of resigning in shame intends to soldier on regardless.
No, it is not either carrot-top Danny Alexander LibDem coalition government treasury chief secretary, another seat loser, who had denigrated Labour’s economic competence. No, it is not even Douglas Alexander Labour’s General Election campaign manager and Shadow foreign secretary, who’s election strategy even lost him his own seat to a wet behind the ears kid of twenty. No, surprisingly it isn’t Labour’s former Shadow scottish secretary Margaret Curran defeated herself by more than 10,000 votes.
YES, it was although the one big GB supporter – and that does NOT stand for Great Britain here! YES, it was the one and only dour Scotsman, hailing from Fife, and ex-Prime Minister Gordon Brown no less! So why is his name in the frame, then you might ponder?
Well, Brown is a remarkable man certainly, but one who’s unlimited ambition completely outshone his considerable but limited abilities, don’t you think? He was right miffed when Tony Blair upstaged him to become Labour Leader and ultimately Prime Minister. Gordon took-on though the major minister of state role as Chancellor of the Exchequer and was a brilliant performer at it so say most observers (and the longest serving one ever in that position). But as he sat next door to No 10 he morosely ruminated about his continuous unabated aspiration to the top job. He then gathered around him in the Treasury and elsewhere his gang of supporters who despised and denigrated the success of smoothy, smartarsed, astounding public communicator, loved by the public Blair, and his ultra successful ‘new labour’ image for the Party.
So he plotted, he schemed, he secretly briefed, he backstabbed, he undermined, until he eventuality got his way –Tony Blair finally got fed up and stepped down in May 2007 to make way for the abusive Brown as an ‘unelected’ Prime Minister – who immediately blew it of course when it became opportune to go to the electorate and then he incompetently struggled on to manage and run the Labour Government for a full three years. He subsequently not only badly lost the 2010 General Election to Tory upstart Cameron, but he wouldn’t form a Coalition to continue in government – arrogance and pride overriding public and party duty perhaps?
Oh yes, Brown still left though a legacy of course, based on vindictive jealously, in the form of an ongoing destructive Party division. His handpicked band of anti Blairites, and anti ‘New Labour’ clan (nevertheless the political central positioning which had won them power), included the Brownite, career politician, ex Treasury lackey (sorry Special Advisor), ex Energy Secretary, and left leaning Ed Miliband, who with the help of the Unions, was ‘first past the post’ in the leadership race against his elder and more experienced brother, and one time holder of the major office of state Foreign Secretary David Miliband (who some say will come back in years to come to finally claim the crown he was denied). Ed Miliband carried on the purge of the Blair believers, buried new labour, abandoned the middle political ground, crippled the Labour movement, and got soundly trounced as a consequence at the Election, don’t you think?
Miliband’s top team, without any indication of self criticism or indeed any hint of conscience, are now denouncing his leadership, criticising his politics, destroying his credibility, rubbishing his strategy, ungrateful of his personal support of them, and all else, in their self protection and desperate positioning for personal power. Disgraceful, but that’s politics for you in the twenty first century you see, isn’t it?
[Ed Miliband’s immediate resignation and p’ing off to Ibiza on holiday can be likened to a captain jumping ship when it hits the rocks. The courageous thing to do was to resign but stay at the helm and provide some leadership under pressure until a new leader could take over. And we thought he would make a credible Prime Minister, eh?]
Scot Gordon Brown leader & destoyer of the Labour Party 2010?