Wednesday, January 06, 2010

Hoon and Hewitt challenge Brown's leadership.

Geoff Hoon was considered such a donkey at university that his nickname was "Buff" Hoon.

He today joined Patricia Hewitt in issuing an extraordinary call for Brown to be replaced as Labour's leader.

In a dramatic move that could see Labour plunged into a leadership contest just months before a general election, Geoff Hoon, the former chief whip, and Patricia Hewitt, the former Health Secretary, have called for a secret ballot on Mr Brown’s leadership. They have written to all Labour MPs, asking that the leadership question be resolved “once and for all”.

Some Labour backbenchers had already raised the question of Mr Brown’s leadership, suggesting that the party would perform better at the next election under new leadership. But the attack by Mr Hoon and Ms Hewitt came as a surprise to MPs today.

This strikes me as utterly suicidal for the Labour party. I don't think for a second that Hoon and Hewitt have any chance of success, but they have succeeded in making the Labour party itself look unhappy with Brown's leadership, which begs the question of why the country should back Brown if he can't even unite his own party.

In the letter both Hoon and Hewitt said that the party was "deeply divided over the question of the leadership".

Inevitably, Labour MP's have lined up to back Brown, but the damage these two buffoons have done is immeasurable.

Conservative Party chairman Eric Pickles said Labour MPs were "turning on the prime minister".

"It's irresponsible to have such a dysfunctional, faction-ridden Labour Party running the country."

And Liberal Democrat leader Nick Clegg's chief of staff Danny Alexander said Labour had "given up hope" of winning the election and were now in "a desperate scrabble to save their own seats".

Plaid's Westminster leader Elfyn Llwyd said Labour's "petty internal squabbling" showed how out of touch they were.

SNP leader Alex Salmond said Mr Brown said Mr Brown needed to have a vote on his leadership to clear the air.

I always thought it likely that the Tories would win the next election, despite the fact that no-one can tell me what the bloody Hell it is that they are proposing.

Hoon and Hewitt have just made that much more likely. And they have done so for no more honourable reason than trying to save their own skins.

And, the irony is that they have made many more Labour MP's vulnerable by their actions. I would be so pleased if this included their own seats.


It now seems official that this rebellion has come to naught and some papers are left questioning the logic of the plotters:
But there are some glaring problems in the reasoning of the plotters.


Is the replacement of one unelected prime minister with another likely to be cheered in the country? Or would it be taken as yet more evidence of arrogant Westminster elites taking the public for granted?
One of the big complaints regarding Brown's premiership was that he was chosen to replace Blair without any vote from the British public, so Hoon and Hewitt believing that Brown could be replaced without a huge public backlash is a fatal flaw in their reasoning.

Click here for full article.

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