Could Blair have won in 2010?

by Kevin Meagher

‘The biggest mistake Tony Blair made as prime minister,’ Andrew Adonis tweeted earlier this week, ‘was to stand down in 2007.

Instead, ‘[h]e should have continued and won the 2010 election, then Britain would be fundamentally better today.’

From the pit of despondency, on the wrong end of a four-nil run of election defeats, we can perhaps excuse his Lordship’s nostalgia. But is there anything in it?

There are three big assertions to unpack here.

The first, is that Blair ‘should have’ or, perhaps, could have stayed on as leader in 2007. Adonis suggests it would have been plain sailing, only it was not.

Blair was not in good shape, politically, at that stage – particularly with the various allegations about cash-for-honours swirling around him – and no shortage of his own MPs trying to manoeuvre him out. There was a sense, particularly after Iraq, that his time had passed.

Granted, Blair won a thumping victory in 2005, two years after the invasion, but it was later, when the full futility of the war became fully apparent, that the damage to his reputation really started to show.

The second question is whether he would have won the 2010 general election. You can cogitate on all kinds of hypotheticals, but it feels that, thirteen years into the job, Tony Blair’s appeal would have seriously eroded by then.

He might still have fared better than Gordon Brown did, but it would have been a case of diminishing returns. Between 1997 and 2005, the party lost 3.9 million voters.

But let us assume he did win in 2010.

For a modernised Conservative party under David Cameron to be stopped dead in its tracks by Labour would have precipitated a major schism in the Tories, who were already under growing threat from UKIP.

Might a fourth term Blair legacy have been the realignment of the Right?

But what about Gordon Brown? As his main rival – indeed, his nemesis by this point -Blair would have needed to sack him, but that would have seen civil war at the top of government.

In his defence, Gordon Brown’s instinctive push to recapitalise the banking system during the 2008 financial crash made him the right man in the right place at the right time. More in thrall to the private sector, would Blair have been as decisive?

The third point is whether Britain would be ‘fundamentally better today?’ The crash would have seen Blair’s political economy – embracing globalisation and paying for public service improvements through continuous growth – shot to bits.

Brown’s billions meant New Labour ministers did not need to make tough decisions. Opponents were always bought off. How would New Labour have coped when the debit card was maxed out?

Also, how would Blair have governed with a small majority – or no majority at all. Was he temperamentally suited by that stage to engaging and persuading his backbenchers and potentially the other small parties?

Would the SNP have wrung a concession out of him to hold an independence referendum?

Could he even have promised a referendum on the EU – and might he have won it?

What state would the party be in by then, given it was haemorrhaging members in the late Noughties, while the main unions were heading leftwards?

Would the Corbynite surge still have happened?

Perhaps the Left would have broken away to form a new party by then?

And what of Blair’s famously centralised approach to political communications in the age of social media?

The permutations are endless.

But even if he won in 2010, he would already have one eye on stepping down. So, who would have followed him? For Andrew Adonis, I assume that would have meant David Miliband.

Still, it seems plausible that Ed Miliband would have been in the mix and that a candidate emphasising it was time to ‘move on’ from New Labour would have prevailed.

How about this scenario: Blair stays on in 2007, knifes Gordon Brown, but still loses in 2010 – only for a broadly similar sequence of events to then unfold?

Could. Would. Should. And lots of question marks.

But at the start of what will prove to be a long journey back to power, indulging in a spot of fantasy government is still preferable to the drudgery of real opposition.

Kevin Meagher is associate editor of Uncut

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41 Responses to “Could Blair have won in 2010?”

  1. Anne says:

    It is perhaps interesting to speculate about what ifs, and we must learn from history, and mistakes made but not sure how helpful it is to the present. Gordon Brown was a good chancellor- he remained in the post for 10 years, but did not seem to have the gravitas when it came to PM which is a pity, because he is a man of great ability. He has been appointed by Starmer to head off Stergeon’s fight for Scottish independence. This is a good choice – he does have a following in Scotland. Should Blair have stayed on as PM? Everyone has their time, and Blair is a very competent operator – he probably sensed his time in office had peaked. He is a man of ability and contributes greatly to world affairs. Things might have been different if David Milliband had been successful in the leadership contest when Ed became leader – I think he might have been further successful in holding off Cameron. But who knows. Starmer is the right man for this time.

  2. Ann Onnimus says:

    Adonis is as out of touch with reality as ever. Cameron would have won an overall majority and we’d have left the EU in 2015. Brown might have led Labour back to power a few months after that, but probably not.

  3. A.J. says:

    They love him, they love him not, they love him, they love him not. Poor Tony. But – what if the unions had taken note of ‘In Place Of Strife’? What if Wilson hadn’t resigned? What if Jim Callaghan had gone to the country earlier? What if the Zinoviev Letter had never seen the light of day?
    Still, Blair might have been better than Cameron and (especially) Clegg. It was clear by then that Brown had nothing but contempt for Labour’s core vote. Nigel Farage must have been rubbing his hands with sheer delight as the TV kept on showing Brown’s political life leaving his body (as some journalistic wag put it at the time).
    More to the point, though, what if our beloved John Smith hadn’t died?

  4. John p Reid says:

    8 things

    1had Blair not won in 2010( he wouldn’t have), he’d have lost all control and Ed balls would’ve ousted him within a year
    2 what the me idea to would’ve been to have had austerity could’ve been partially implemented by Ed balls
    3 europe would also have cause a problem from former loyal people like Gisela Stuart

    4 yes the Tories would’ve lost their modernisers, who’d have been leader theresa May?

    5 I don’t know with Brexit would ukip have risen but then Ed balls would’ve bern or suprised for a leave/ stay referendum

    6 the libdems wouldn’t have gone in govt and seen so many of their members lesve them, join labour , who want to turn the Labour Party into a midflr class libersl party who’d lose the red wall

    7 as people who quit labour we joined with Brown, I doubt they’d hevd bern able to vote for Ed Miliband to be leader, so if Blair was ousted they wouldn’t have made him leader with no vote

    8 never listen to Adonis

  5. Rob Cooke says:

    Labour were tired by 2008/09. Cameron was a good communicator so would have easily took the mantle from Blair with more LD and SNP seats claimed from Labour in 2010 though maybe fewer Tory ones.

    Who knows thereafter?

    Blair 1997-2002 is one of best PMs ever. Blair 2003-07 has scarred Labour since then.

  6. I think it’s too easy to forget how toxic Blair had become by 2007. he was a Marmite figure and too many thought he was serial liar. We could compare him with Hilary Clinton and her presidential bid in 2016. Brown managed to insulate himself somewhat (but not enough by 2010) from the same accusation, but both Campbell and Mandelson were tarred with the same brush. Campbell managed to make a new start with the EU referendum, but also got himself expelled from the Labour Party. Mandelson is still regarded as a rather devious character by many. I’m not sure David Miliband would ever have managed to build enthusiasm among the members like Blair did, and of course Corbyn was to do later.

  7. A.J. says:

    According to an absurd poll published in ‘The Observer’, a ‘majority’ want Boris Johnson to step down, resign, disappear. Then, according to the ‘Sunday Express’, Tony Blair is plotting a De Gaulle-style return to ‘power’ (or something or other). Now, as Father Ted would say, here’s a mad idea. Why not just ask Johnson politely to vacate Number Ten and invite Tony to take over? Why bother with any constitutional procedures or anything of that footling nature?
    Seriously, though, why doesn’t this odious man now simply content himself with making money, like his other New Labour buddies?
    I can remember, to my shame, a time when I was actually quite impressed with Blair: around 1993. My second wife, however, had his measure all along.

  8. A.J. says:

    Those with long memories may recollect Blair on the front cover of ‘The Economist’: ‘The Greatest Tory Ever Sold’. Well, ‘The Economist’ never has been a particularly reliable journal. That perception, however, is what made him so very, very dangerous: the son of a bitch was plausible. Margaret Thatcher certainly read him wrong – but she was not a politician of great wisdom or judgement. I’d like to think that a Callaghan would have despised him, that Kinnock, John Smith and Roy Hattersley mistrusted him, if only on the basis that Roy Jenkins thought him some good.
    Better the Labour Party had died an honourable death before Blair – or, more positively, that Kinnock had beaten Major in 1992. Research reveals, however, that a number of Labour ‘grandees’ saw Kinnock as no more a plausible potential Prime Minister than they had Michael Foot.

  9. A.J. says:

    The more I think about him, the more I warm towards Jim Callaghan. My late father also approved of him for having his finger on the public pulse in the 1960s. I’ve just treated myself to Kenneth Morgan’s biography: a late Christmas present. Not cheap, but I think it’ll be a good read.
    We’ll not see his like again.

  10. A.J. says:

    I suppose in a way Blair did win the 2010 election as Cameron quite quickly got into his empty-headed ‘Heir To Blair’ phase. No ‘Frown Like Brown’ for goodness sake. Did Cameron really imagine that was why some fools were voting ‘Conservative’ again? No-one expected Margaret Thatcher to put on a pair of specs and sing music-hall ditties to assembled trades unionists, now, did they?

  11. A.J. says:

    New Labour: Never before had it appeared that so many ostensibly on the Left were so obviously on the make. A lot of them weren’t even circumspect about it. Then we were reminded by someone – I forget who – of Harold Wilson’s period: 1964-1976. (I think we can safely forget the miserable Heath government). Jenkins tended to get it in the neck for ‘silken living’ (choice phrase), but he never dined or probably even supped alone – and allegedly the claret addiction began while he was still an undergraduate.
    But then we slip even further back, to Bevan, the original champagne socialist, and John Strachey, a Marxist who told George Orwell he had his sons name down for Eton.
    Yet we can well imagine young Mr. Blair, pint of Fed twinkling in the sunlight, bag of pork scratchings discreetly left unopened. He glances – coolly, confidently – at his Rolex and wonders how long till the train arrives and whisks him back to the land of sun-dried tomatoes.
    A pretty straight-talking sort of guy – till the joke went round that you could tell when Blair was lying, his lips were partially open.
    The piece itself, though, reminds me of all that media-manufactured nonsense about Labour having chosen the wrong Miliband, when a brief glance at Davy Boy told you all you needed to know. Mind you, he might have had the nous to refuse the bacon sandwich. (Why didn’t Ed simply tell them he’d had his bowl of granola and leave it at that?).

  12. A.J. says:

    Mr. Meagher, might we have articles on the following subjects?

    1. The relative lack of debate concerning civil liberties/the sanctity of private property as linked to the Covid-19 ‘laws’/’guidance’. John Harris has published something worthwhile in ‘The Guardian’, but his article might have dug deeper, i.e. questioning the timescale, depth of public feeling towards, reluctance of successive governments, Left and Right, to keep the public informed. How did the concept of civil liberties play out between, say, 1815 and 1914?

    2. Rosie Duffield’s now widely-publicised intervention on the EU and its relationship to Keir Starmer’s present position.

  13. Alf says:

    That’s a very old video of Blair from long before he was mummified and turned orange. Also, it does not show his new rictus grin or dehydrated mouth-hole.

  14. A.J. says:

    A question I might have set for my A-Level Government And Politics students: ‘To what extent are New Labour responsible for the witless maundering that now passes for government in the UK?’
    Interesting that some are still debating freedom of movement whilst seeking to ban freedom of movement (or at least severely curtail it). Still, the cyclists among you can now set off on your 70-mile ride without the law coming down on you like a ton of bricks. Only trouble is, you might not have managed to attain the safety of your front gate again before some witless so-called ‘Tory’ changes his mind again.
    Gosh, when you look back figures like Sir Norman Fowler, Cecil Parkinson and John Selwyn Gummer appear sweet, reasonable and even vaguely intelligent.

  15. David Bradley says:

    Adonis said that “Tony Blair Would have won the 2010 election” would he to be honest i don’t care where he would or wouldn’t have.
    Adonis like Blair spend to much time telling every one how much better off we would be if only we just listen to them and do saywe are told rather than face up to facts and realise that the world has moved on and now they are yesterday’s men ops sorry yesterday’s people

  16. David Bradley says:

    Adonis said “Tony Blair should have continued and won the 2010 election” to be honest i don’t care where Blair could have or not won the 2010 election.
    Adonis like Blair should realise that the world has moved on and no one really cares what they say any more as the are yesterday’s men and Adonis should really accept that we are no longer in the E.U and learn to deal with it

  17. A.J. says:

    I sense that Starmer is trying not to present Labour under his leadership as some kind of SDP retread. Adonis, on the other hand, has form, does he not?
    As for Blair, it is amusing (just about) to imagine him as a De Gaulle figure; even more so as King Arthur, sleeping beneath some castle mound till his country should need him. We know, in fact, that he’s wide awake, cosying up to the loathesome Matt Hancock while he waits for the Queen to change her mind about his knighthood.

  18. steve says:

    Alf: “dehydrated mouth-hole”

    Very perceptive.

    Blair has turned into something of a zombie – in his political views also.

  19. wg says:

    Tony Blair tore up clause 4 – those Labour members who wish to campaign for re-nationalisation of our services remember this as a major blow to Labour’s credibility.

    The Blair/Brown government set a minimum wage – which then became a low bar down to which big business came. Wages stagnated from there on.

    The harm of a low-bar minimum wage was then added to as the UK’s borders were opened up “The Treasury told us to increase the free flow of labour because that was what brought down the cost of labour.” – John Reid, Labour Home Secretary.

    The Blair government took the working class of the UK back one hundred years, creating a dog-eat-dog race-to-the-bottom and throwing our young people under the globalist train (and don’t even get me started on the EU, Lisbon Treaty, and Iraq)

    No, I don’t know what the question is – but Blair will never be the answer.

  20. A.J. says:

    I’m beginning to think there’s a case for allowing Lord Adonis maximum publicity, if it enables some kind of long-term debate over not only Britain’s post-EU role in the world but also the nature of the society we live in or would wish to live in. The Guardianistas are once again treating themselves and one another to non-stop whingeing about FPTP as against PR. All very much tied in with Remainer/Rejoiner rhetoric. I suspect that what Adonis really means is that people in his ‘bubble’ might still be benefiting from reasonably-priced cases of claret and burgundy if only Blair and his chums were still running our affairs/ordering us about: following in the grand tradition that has affected the Labour Party for at least the past half century: telling the plebs what’s good for them, affecting to care a toss whilst seeking country house comforts a la Roy Jenkins. A great many voters, however, have preferred the more obvious crudities of Conservatism (as Lord Randolph Churchill recognized back in the late 19th century).
    Starmer needn’t bother his head too much about Adonis. He’s basically still SDP.

  21. A.J. says:

    Ah, so now there is a possibility that Blair is advising Starmer. That figures.
    Polly Toynbee was wittering away the other day about the likelihood of Johnson calling an early election, perhaps in 2022, thus bearing out some of Trevor Fisher’s pre-Christmas thinking.
    I’m sorry but, loathesome as the present so-called ‘Conservative Party’ is it’s vital that they should win the next election, whenever it comes. The combination of Blair, BLM, ongoing Labour council stupidity (take a look at Exeter), plus Starmer’s complete lack of credibility should make it a walkover even for whoever cleans out the gentleman’s lavatory at Central Office. In fact, Starmer – like Corbyn before him – should hope and pray that he does not win the poisoned chalice – especially with Blair whispering sweet nothings in his ear.

  22. A.J. says:

    In the New Statesman: ‘Labour’s search for new ideas’. Tricky. What might that mean in terms of overseeing the economy, nothing more than demanding pay rises for public sector employees? Nothing new there. It’s about as intellectually credible as Neil in ‘The Young Ones’ wanting to give money away to ‘anyone really nice’. A weird preoccupation with broadband and Erasmus? Hardly of much interest to someone on a council-house waiting list (as I have been, twice, in my life; unlike, I suspect, a good many of Labour’s membership). More devolution? Could be counter-productive? More regional farting about? Could be good for a laugh – unless you happen to be a victim of crime in Greater Manchester.
    Could it be, as some have claimed, that Labour more or less ran out of ideas even before Blair saw Jackie Milburn score a hat-trick?
    Not that the so-called ‘Conservative Party’ seems to have much up its sleeve either. But that probably doesn’t matter. Just refreshing my memory about Barbara Castle, who often had a feeling that voters were about to emerge from behind closed doors to give Labour a hefty kick up the backside.

  23. John P Reid says:

    Dont know why Toynbee thinks johnson might call a election
    Unless there’s massive fear that economically the country will be so bad in 3 and a half years that the public would blend the Tories they’ll get obliterated
    And going to the public so they can be in power for 5 years after 2022 is better than going to the electorate in 2024 , risk losing so they’re not in power till 2029

    Why would the electorate blame them for the economy
    Unless they feel they’d have to have a mandate to cut spending

    Of which they find dare admit that
    As the reason they’re ahead in the polls is due to being Blair’s first term with brexit lite

    Of course it would mean starmer would stay as leader who’d be better for them to face a 2nd time in 2027

    If starmer loses in 2024, then he’ll be gone and the Tories would have the problem of facing someone half decent like louise haigh in 2029

    Lastly AJ by Adonis being sdp, it’s more Libdem, of which starmer is trying to turn labour into
    The SDP of David owen a Attlee style party is back

    Starmer thinks he can get Ex libdems and that’ll be enough to win, it is t he needs tory voters and everything about labour being a 2nd referendum for remain Libdem party is why starmer is behind in the polls and will lose

  24. A.J. says:

    I don’t know about Clause Four – it was mostly symbolic even by Gaitskell’s time – but thank heaven someone has acknowledged the evils of the minimum wage.

  25. A.J. says:

    The average prospective voter – who, according to Owen Jones, spends about four minutes a week thinking about politics – must be as confused by Labour’s current flip-flopping as they are over Coronavirus rules. Anyone who spent perhaps eight to ten minutes a week thinking about politics during Harold Wilson’s time probably had much the same kind of problem.
    It’s exhausting. But it’ll get worse before it gets better – if it ever does.

  26. John P Reid says:

    2 and a half years ago Yaxley Lennon was nicked for contempt of court for live streaming a grooming gang case where the jury were already out he hadn’t called the accused perpetrators and was advised to plead guilty to breach of court and sent down , the secret barrister questioned Paul embery who said while not supporting Yaxley Lennon or even the possibility of contempt of court, the fact someone gets sent down without access to a lawyer and isn’t given the chance to dispute what went in even if they pleaded guilty, was worrying as it was getting away with the presumption of innocence
    Even more worrying Yaxley Lennon while in prison has Feaces out in his food by Muslims prisoners so lived in 1 tub of tuna day, to the point he lost 4 stone in weight
    Eventually he was acquitted of not being given a fair trial, there was a real worry he could have died in prison
    over his convictions that the state was covering up Muslim grooming gangs as it was afraid to arrest through fear of being called racist and the victims were only Chavs so it was if no fear loss if white working class girls were abused as they were lower down the food ladder
    I’d heard 1 known Asian supporters of Yaxkey Lennon warn there’d be riots if he died in prison they wouldn’t have just been Football lad alliance/ For Britain members, I heard a dozen different labour members say they’d riot if Yaxley Lennon had been killed , Half Corbynites, Half blue labour, while not supporting him or even his methods in revealing the grooming gang cover up, but on the fact if someones a embarrassment revels state cover up, as the victims are looked in as daughter of gammons/ white trash the state doesn’t care

    I was just thinking if the comparison to those rioting in Washington being revealed to be American cops
    There’s British cops who are annoyed at the fact Yaxley Lennon gets arrested, then de arrested hour later with no charge ,as the state doesn’t want it revealed it covers U.K. Muslim grooming gangs, so anyone who reveals it, is set up as falsely , a trouble maker and they make out wrongful arrests are justified
    That’d also more align Is those rioting trying to stop trump going in the USA, some of whom use to be democrats snd in the left of that party, it’s probably the equivalent of those who use to be on the left of labour saying they’d have rioted had Yaxley Lennon died while wrongfully detained in prison

  27. A.J. says:

    I re-read wg’s post after breakfast with great interest, remembering a meeting I once attended where Tony Benn and Phillip Whitehead were the guest speakers. This would be, I should think, the autumn of 1984. Benn tried to argue the case for further nationalization whilst Whitehead just sat and shook his head. “Of course”, said Benn, “we’re not talking about nationalizing every corner shop”. Behind me, the Toytown Trots were muttering that we should nationalize everything – just as, I suppose, the Thatcherites argued that if it moved it ought to be privatized.
    But reading suggests that nationalization was losing favour well before Attlee relinquished office, so that Clause Four was nothing but an emotional comfort blanket, particularly – although not exclusively, far from it – for ‘Keep Left’ and others: Bevanites, Tribunites, anyone who didn’t much like Morrison or Gaitskell.
    Can it be argued that Blair took the Thatcherite route? If so, Adonis, Duffield and a very significant number of others probably have no place in the Labour Party. They are believers in neoliberalism. In that case, Starmer might just about be facing in the right direction. Will he have the toughness of mind to see it through?

  28. A.J. says:

    If Blair had won in 2010, what kind of shape might Scotland be in now? Nicola Sturgeon and her followers have a bad habit of lying through their teeth about being anti-Tory rather than anti-English, so a New Labour continuation might have suffered just as badly. Perhaps, though, Lord Adonis draws comfort from the possibility that an independent Scotland might fall into the warm, willing embrace of his beloved EU – even if the permanent loss of all those former Labour seats make it virtually impossible for Labour to ever again form a majority, UK-wide government. That has to be bad, in the long run, for our democracy. So-called ‘Tories’ (and genuine Tories) may gloat, but should think again and in less partisan terms. Just look at the morass we’ve sunk into since Gordon Brown’s defeat: a reasonably successful period of coalition government followed by spineless chaos.
    And what was Labour’s riposte? Miliband, then Corbyn, then a choice of three daft women who no-one in their right mind would trust to feed the cat over the weekend and a smoothie lawyer.
    One almost pines for the days of Kinnock and Hattersley.

  29. A.J. says:

    We now have John Rentoul wondering why Yvette Cooper didn’t run for the leadership in 2010. I don’t think, by then, that her husband was of much use. He possibly wasn’t as ‘toxic’ as Bill Clinton – I remember reading that some thirty five per cent of Americans would sooner vote for a dog than Mrs. Clinton – but Ed Balls can scarcely have been an asset.
    Does anyone take Rentoul seriously?
    Sir Keir, however, seems to require a definite answer from someone on whether buying a cup of peppermint tea is a. legal in the first place or b. only constituting a criminal offence if sipped whilst wearing, say, hiking boots. My wife and I fancied a bag of chips on Saturday last and must have travelled at least three miles from our front door to buy them. Plod was evidently having a rest – else buying his chips elsewhere.
    Meanwhile there is an unholy alliance forming between the readership of ‘The Guardian’ and that of the ‘Daily Mail’ aimed at turning England into some kind of satellite of Albania in the bad old days. Shop thy neighbour, for instance.
    Comforting to learn from Roy Jenkins’ biographer, though, that the position of Home Secretary is only occupied by second or third-rank politicians or those on their way down.

    Bye, Priti.

  30. A.J. says:

    According to ‘The Independent’, Boris Johnson is a ‘Blairite’. Now that I can believe. He certainly isn’t any type of Conservative I can recognise. So, Blair’s malign influence goes on and on. The next thing we know, Alistair Campbell will be advising Number Ten.

  31. A.J. says:

    I suppose the Shadow Chancellor cannot help the way she looks but, as Charles Moore said of Olivia Colman, she has a left-wing face. Even her hair looks left-wing. Nice private education, PPE, Remainer, Second Referendum believer-in. What’s new, what’s radical, what seperates her from the New Labour types? Who on Labour’s front bench has ever done a proper job aside from overpaid white collar work?
    I should very much like to see the likes of Ms.Dodds out and about on some northern council estate, trying to make friends with a pit-bull terrier with one hand whilst juggling a bag of chips, saturated in vinegar, with the other.
    Anyway, the ‘New Statesman’ seems to like her. So, apparently, does John McDonnell (which should give everyone cause for concern).
    Meanwhile, over in Toy Town ‘Tory’ land – the domain of the chocolate teapot – Johnson is buffing up his kiddycar for next weeks playground scrap (otherwise known as PMQ); and how is it a great many ‘Tory’ MPs alsp possess left-wing faces? Jacob Rees-Mogg really ought to be holding an inquiry.

  32. Tafia says:

    Anne, laughably behind the curve as always – at least some things in life are predictable. Gordon Brown He has been appointed by Starmer to head off Stergeon’s fight for Scottish independence. This is a good choice – he does have a following in Scotland.

    In the short space of time Brown has been in the job so to speak, the head of Scottish Labour has quit just a few months before the Holyrood elections – throwing Scottish Labour into chaos, the SNP has gone even further ahead in the polls, and support for independence has also increased and for the first time ever the last two very recent polls, show it is now above an absolute 50% – meaning that even if you combine ‘No’ with ‘Dont Know’, Yes still outnumbers it. The reason the commentators up there think? Gordon Brown. He is not popular, he is only popular with one strand of the Scottish Labour Party. The people in Scotland do not trust him after his promises of 2014 regarding Home Rule, which he then reneged on. And this time around, he isn’t even an MP – just a former-MP and failed PM.

  33. A.J. says:

    Now that I’m getting through Kenneth Morgan’s biography of Callaghan (not, I don’t think, for the casual reader), I begin to wonder how some future historian will judge Blair.
    I think we’re at a political crossroads – or something of the kind. Attlee and his colleagues were at the beginning of the journey, Margaret Thatcher and then Tony Blair were halfway along, then possibly Boris Johnson and his collection of clowns put in an appearance. So what comes next? I dread to think.

  34. Tafia says:

    I see Starmer has infuriated the ‘hard-left’ and anti-Israel lobby in one fell swoop. To head-up Labour’s digital/social media wing he has hired a guy called Assaf Kaplan. Kaplan is an Israeli, former member of Israeli Military Intelligence and worked in their equivalent of GCHQ doing cyber-warfare and gathering electronic intelligence to help Mossad hit squads bump-off troublesome Palestinian extremists etc. His other claim to fame is he headed-up the same part of the Israeli Labour Party, oversaw a GE campaign and is largely blamed for it’s collapse where it went from 19 seats to just 6

  35. A.J. says:

    I think most of the chat about Brown was whipped into a froth by the ‘Daily Express’ – scarcely a reliable source of information. The male candidate, son of a former MP, was being talked up in the ‘Daily Telegraph’ at the weekend. I would put money on Labour being sunk for good in Scotland. It also appears to be losing a bit of support in Wales.

  36. A.J. says:

    Anyone read Lisa Nandy’s comments on Biden in ‘The Guardian’? That’s clearly the direction in which the Labour Party is heading: Starmer as ‘Woke Guy’. Surely there must be a place for Eddie Izzard at the top table.

  37. Andrew Williams says:

    Starmer getting yet another slap in the face from party members following-on from the mockery the NEC made of him and his anti-semitism pledges.

    On Friday night, Labour members in Wallasey on Merseyside were asked to vote on a motion congratulating the constituency’s MP Angela Eagle on receiving a damehood. The motion was defeated.

    The same meeting voted in favour of affiliating the constituency party to Jeremy Corbyn’s Project for Peace and Justice.

  38. Anne says:

    Excellent article in Daily Telegraph from Gordon Brown talking about UK becoming a failed state. Both Teresa May and Gordon Brown have done better since leaving the job as PM. Mrs May showing more spirit from the back benches – great attack on Johnson – keep it up. Gordon Brown is an excellent orator- always puts forward excellent points.

  39. Mike says:

    Labour did not resoundingly win in 2005. They won by 2.5%, about the same as May won. The Conservatives also won the popular vote in England from 2005 to 2019.

  40. John Reid says:

    Mike yes same as October 1974

    A.J yes Ms Eddie Izzard would make a great chair woman

    wg well said

  41. JoHn P reid says:


    Libdems got 11.5% of the vote maybe 5% of that were right wing old labour voters who sent Corbyn A message, Starmers strategy was to get them back,well to be honest I reckon Even Rebecca long bailey would have got back the Alastair Campbell style right wing of Old labour

    Labours second strategy win back the red wall who thought Corbyn un patriotic and wanted to get Brexit done, and Starmer accepting Brexit he’s probably won about 15 of the 5% who went tory in 2019 (yes the Tory vote only went up 1.4% in 2019 on 2017 but the Tories lost 2,5% of it’s vote to the libdems (the Michael Hesteltine . Matthew parris style tories) and the brexit party did better than UKIp in 2017

    Labours third strategy only lose 1% of the vote to the green and 1 to Plaid/SNP

    Labours forth strategy hops Farages new party who didn’t stand against the tories in their Current 2017 seats takes 1% from the Tories

    So look at where Starmer is going wrong yes on the 32% of the vote Labour got in 2019, he gets back 5% of Libdems and 1% of Tory voters in the red wall and only loses 1% of the votes to the greens so that’s 37%

    The tory vote of 43.7% in 2019 lose 1% of the red wall back to Labour and lose 1% to Farages new party that’s still 41.7% of the vote

    At the next election if Labours on 37% and Tories on 41.7% that’s a comfortable tory majority

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