Saturday, 31 March 2012

If only Blair hadn't expelled Galloway.....

Galloway is galloping down to London to make another embarrassing return to Westminster. His arrival will make all the mainstream parties rather uncomfortable; none more so than Labour.

I watched Harriet Harmon's response to Galloway's shock victory. It had a perfunctory tone; the result was "a disappointment", and "lessons will be learnt". It was the habitual post-bye-election sound-bite from a defeated party.

Perhaps, I read too much into a youtube video, but I sense She has had enough. She looked tired. She couldn't however conceal her indifference to Galloway and his "historic victory". Retirement is beckoning; there will be no more ministerial boxes, at least for her.

With Harman going through the ritual explanations for a terrible result, there must be an awful realization running through the New Labour leadership. It had profoundly under-estimated Gorgeous George and his capacity to harm the party. He is the rebel that just won't go away.

The tragedy for Labour is that he had started out so well for them. In the 1980s, he nicked a Scottish seat from the SDP, humiliating that irredeemable class traitor Roy Jenkins. He had talent; stage presence, and sharp debating skills. He could have been one of their heavy hitting front bench stars. He was on the leftist edge of the party, but his views were by no means irreconcilable with the New Labour project. Unfortunately Blair couldn't see it. He deported George to the darkest corner on the back bench.

Things started to go pear-shaped after Blair's second election victory. Even then, Blair could have brought George in from the cold. According to Wikipedia, he was only the 9th most rebellious Labour MP during the early years of the Blair administration. Surely, Blair could have offered him a minor ministerial job to keep him quiet? Seems not.

Then came the Iraq war. Rather than tolerate a grain of principled dissent and judiciously overlook Galloway anti-war stance, the Labour Party went after him. In 2003, he said something stupid. Instead of quietly ignoring George, Blair insisted that party expel him. After that, Galloway opened up an account at the Bank of Payback. For the last nine years, he has built up a healthy deposit.

George's victory has almost certainly sealed Mr. Miliband's fate. Does anyone seriously think he will be the next Prime Minister? Labour will again be torn about by a vicious leadership battle. Mr. Miliband will hold onto the bitter end, and as he clings on, any hope of an election victory will evaporate.

Galloway do his part. Like an ill wind, He will now be on Labour's back, relentlessly attacking any attempt to realign the party towards the centre. He will exact further punishment for his crassly judged expulsion from the worker's party. Labour's voter base is fragile. Respect only has to take few percentage points in a couple of key marginals to do some serious harm to Labour.

Isn't there a line somewhere about having your adversaries inside the tent pissing out, rather than outside pissing in? That is an apt description for Mr. Galloway and his tumultuous relationship with Labour.


J Bonington Jagworth said...

My partner reckons that Miliband is a dead ringer for Wallace (Gromit's master). I'd love to see the cartoonists run with that!

Anonymous said...

Wallace? I can see it.

Lou said...

I think GG is a one of a kind. I cannot remember ever seeing a politician being carried by his jubilant supporters. He's a character and extremely good at self publicity.

My suspicion is it had far less to do with Respect than with George. He speaks their language, he meets with them on their terms. No bodyguards and no pretences.

Sure it's a mid-term by-election and he tried twice before, however there's something that should be said out loud. Some people have a very big problem with either Milliband and it's to do with their religion.

If Respect do manage to gain traction out of Bradford West it's far more likely to centre around that issue.

On the other hand - and hardly noticed - is two parties went up in Bradford, the 2nd was UKIP that went from 2% to 3.31% and they're far more likely to be a major problem for Tory and Lib/Dem at the EU elections in May 2013 and at marginal seats in May 2015

dearieme said...

"Some people have a very big problem with either Milliband and it's to do with their religion": good. Labour disgustingly played the anti-semitic card against Michael Howard, so it's good to see some payback.

Anonymous said...

"Who will rid me of this turbulent priest" could be applied to the whole cohort from the north. Without them there would be no opposition.

The arithmetic is that the Union gifts Labour the potential to win. It allows the Liberals to ease into coalition. Without the union, it cannot happen.

Perhaps this is what Peter Cruddas was hinting at.

Electro-Kevin said...

He could do us all a big favour.

Ed Miliband is the only reason why I think the Tories could win the next election.

Cameron is deeply distrusted by an underwhelmed traditionally Tory public.

With Dave Miliband leading Labour the next election could be theirs - admittedly with record low voter turnouts.

Then the Tory party would have to reform. Hopefully in true Redwood/Hannan style - or else fragment and a 'Continuity' Tory party emerge.

The Coagulation was not a success for Cameron The Tories have lost elections since Major and will continue to do so.

They do not represent their traditional voters. That's why.

RenterGirl said...

Countdown to his next crass foot in mouth mistake. he is vain, deluded and entirely without principles. And while people vote for him as they think he is a leftie (and the drift to the centre has alienated many Labour voters) it won't be long until he screws up royally for himself, shaming not Labour, by association respect. Oh and Alice: it's that I disapprove, and but 'pissing into the tent.' That sooooo unilke you!

farmland investment said...

A pox on Labour, Tories and Lib Dems. What the UK really needs is something like the Tea Party in the States, a party that represents more limited government and free enterprise. Who knows if that will ever happen, but it could spring from a good chunk of the traditional Tory constituency who feel the party have lost touch with their beliefs.