Two missing words deny a disaster

GORDON Brown's latest emailed epistle to the faithful detailing his heroics for the British people has two words missing from it: Norwich North.Last week's by-election catastrophe has been erased from the collective conscience in the Downing Street bunker.

Graham Dines

GORDON Brown's latest emailed epistle to the faithful detailing his heroics for the British people has two words missing from it: Norwich North.

Last week's by-election catastrophe has been erased from the collective conscience in the Downing Street bunker. Number 10 is in denial.

Instead, party members have been treated by the Prime Minister to a catalogue of the Government's achievements as they are prepared to embark on an autumn and winter onslaught of campaigning before the final push at the election next year


You may also want to watch:


No matter what spin Labour puts on its humiliating defeat in Norwich last week - my favourite is that with straight faces, party spokesmen were pedalling the line that the Tory vote actually fell in the by-election and so David Cameron cannot celebrate a great victory - the truth is that nothing can or should disguise how Norfolk voted.

Yes there were special excuses which could be trotted out by Labour, including the circumstances which caused the by-election - Labour's treatment of a popular MP because of his expenses claims. But although I'm the first to acknowledge that in the past 40 years, swings against the governing party in by-elections have been enormous, the outcome in Norwich so close to a general election cannot be dismissed.

Most Read

Brown's email says, rather blandly: “This is a challenging period. We are taking tough choices but always putting the hard working majority at the heart of our decisions. And as the next few months unfold, people will see that our actions are bringing the results that they demand.”

Media talk once again is that the Prime Minister will face a leadership challenge at, or shortly after, Labour's annual conference in Brighton. It will be just talk - I can't see anyone wanting to sup from the poisoned of defeat.

Labour will allow Brown to do what Margaret Thatcher was denied by her own party - lead it to defeat. We'll never know if she could have won in 1992 because she was treated appallingly by the Conservatives.

Labour should let Brown carry on through the election - who knows, he might even win.

THURROCK'S Andrew Mackinlay is one of the few gutsy backbench Labour MPs in the Commons, who tells it as he sees it. He's also one of only 13 Labour MPs in the East of England but he has become so disillusioned by Parliament that he's quitting at the next general election.

Mackinlay's seat is being drastically redrawn at the next election, but even so he is so well known and respected - indeed even liked, a rare commodity for MPs - that he would have been odds-on to win the new seat of Thurrock West.

Now Labour will has to find a new standard-bearer for 2010, who can't take victory for granted. The Conservatives have a gutsy candidate in place - Jackie Doyle-Price - and although I don't think she could have defeated Mackinlay, the odds on her beating a Labour placeman or woman have shortened considerably.

|

Become a Supporter

This newspaper has been a central part of community life for many years. Our industry faces testing times, which is why we're asking for your support. Every contribution will help us continue to produce local journalism that makes a measurable difference to our community.

Become a Supporter
Comments powered by Disqus