Labour’s Life on Mars

September 20, 2008

Fresh from being the LabourHome poll of being the most competent cabinet member with a hardly blistering 6.18 out of 10, Alan Johnson is reported in The Times as stepping aside the battle to succeed Gordon Brown in favour of David Miliband.

(The high point of 6.18 out of 10 does bring Wendy Alexander, the ex-leader of the Scottish Labour MSPs, back to mind with her self-marked 10 out of 10.

If the best regarded Labour politician can score – from their own supporters, mind! – a lowly 6.18; well – is Alan Johnston less than two-thirds the politician Wendy Alexander is?

And the rest of the cabinet not fit to lace her boots?

Or is Wendy Alexander just self-deluded?)

Of course, Alan Johnston has never made a secret of the fact that he doesn’t want the top job:

He once told GMTV the idea of him entering No 10 was similar to “the idea of putting the Beagle on to Mars – a nice idea but doomed to failure”.

Beagle 2

He obviously doesn’t want the Secretary of State for Innovation, Universities and Skills job either.

Some people already think Gordon Brown is living on another planet. And that’s just the Labour MPs!

Now its up to David Miliband to reach for the skies.

Alan Johnston has just cleared the runway.

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Labour turn on Gordon Brown

September 19, 2008

The Independent conducted a poll taken from those members of LabourHome, a site that provides a home for Labour’s online supporters.

They found that 54% of them wanted Gordon Brown to step aside for someone else.

Understandably the paper bigs up its own poll. See Grassroots turn against Brown.

What I find extraordinary is that the number against Brown is only 54%. It suggests that Gordon Brown’s conference showing might well be crucial – either to get his support in the Labour Party to increase with a good performance (and try get over 50% of Labour membership to support him), or on a bad to so-so performance see the numbers against him rise to a tipping point.

Especially when you look at the ratings given by Labour supporters to the Labour cabinet published on LabourHome.

Sept ’08: Only 8 members of Labour’s cabinet have made pass marks. The highest mark being Alan Johnston’s 6.18 out of 10.

And the bottom four:

Des Browne: 4.31 / 10
Gordon Brown: 4.3 /10
Ruth Kelly: 4.12 / 10
Alastair Darling : 4.07 / 10

Even among his own supporters Gordon Brown can’t get pass marks.

The lowest score Alastair Darling shows what a mess Labour has made of the economy. Even Labour supporters – presumably those that would argue that everything’s global and its not our (Labour’s) fault! – can’t even hide the fact that the chancellor is doing particularly badly.

(The Independent’s figures for this are slightly different, I guess because they took a snapshot over just 3 days.)

Motivation to campaign for the Labour Party is now at 4.8 / 10.

Something perhaps borne out last night when the SNP won the Baillieston by-election for Glasgow City Council, a council ward in the Glasgow East seat recently won by the SNP.