Sunday, September 14, 2008

Brown On The Ropes In The Name Of Progress

The stalking horse reared up, then it became a stampede. That's Progress for you.

Battle lines are being drawn for a leadership challenge and it's all in the name of Progress - the New Labour group that worships at the shrine of Blair with the shadow of Mandelson lurking in the background.

Even the name 'Progress' conjures up old style New Labour spin and hype. Blair's disciples are using that catchy little phrase to put their names to the call for a "progressive narrative" from Labour. One of those meaningless phrases that when you scratch the surface, you find is all style and no substance. 

In this political game of poker, the Blairite MPs are crawling out of the woodwork in a move designed to force Brown's hand. But it is unlikely to succeed without a cabinet minister breaking ranks - again. Or unless Brown just gives up altogether.

The Blairite strategy has been to accelerate as many of Blair's policies as they can, before they are booted out of power, It is happening already in schools, hospitals and foreign policy. This is a last ditch attempt to cling on to power, in the dying days of their precious and debunked Project. 

But Brown, under pressure from the funding purse-strings of the unions, just isn't going fast or far enough for the Blairites, And he's useless. So it is time to strike. 

The group of 'Progress' MPs has Alan Milburn as its honorary president and the gang's all there, including ministers Andy Burnham and Ed Miliband. 

Brown was there on the side-lines at the birth of the New Labour Project and helped in its delivery. But the rapidly dwindling Brown cabal will do its best to cling onto power ahead of the Labour Party conference. 

There's much speculation about the 70 MPs needed to force a challenge to Brown. But that's not how it would happen. The end, if it does come, will be behind the scenes, trying to prise Brown out of office as happened to Blair. 

The tactic is to try to force the Party to issue nomination papers to all its MPs ahead of the Manchester conference. 

However, the distaste for Blair and the New Labour Project is widespread within some Labour MPs and the true Labour Party. And the Conservatives, SNP, true Labour and LibDems, without Clegg, all have something to offer.

Voters, should be allowed make up their minds, without the rancid smell of New Labour lingering in their nostrils. 

No comments: