Sunday 5 October 2008

Gordon Brown - Beware the Ides of Barnet

Picture the scene. A leader under pressure. Plots all around him. Leaks to the press. A head of steam building up to remove him from office. What is he to do?

Against the advice of his closest friends and political confidantes he extends a warm hand to his nemesis. The man who previously had nothing but bad things to say about him. Someone who wished him out.

A brilliant plan by the beleaguered leader or a crucial strategic mistake?

History suggests the latter, for this is not the story of Gordon Brown bringing Peter Mandelson back into the Cabinet. This is the story of Brian Salinger supporting Mike Freer for Deputy Leader of the Council in 2005.

A year later, despite a fantastic election result, Salinger sat helplessly as his so called friends ruthlessly knifed him in the chest, allowing Freer to claim the crown.

Mr Brown, take note. Your days as Prime Minister were already numbered. Now that number is even smaller.


Anonymous said...


As I understand it, Mandleson will be a Lord so can't be Prime Minister. I suspect that Freer may be a casualty of Mandleson, as he's a master schemer and I fully expect Labour to pick up in the polls. His strategy is to pick off and destroy the credibility of the various shadow cabinet members & policies. It wouldn't suprise me at all if Freer's comments about inherited money are used to undermine the official Tory policy. Mandleson is a stickler for detail. Labour will start to be a lot more professional from now on in to the election.

As soon as the race tightens, people like Freer who are a liability will be subject to dumping as PPC's. Finchley is an iconic seat, so do they really want a Beanite Stalinist Clunker to lose a winnable seat.

As a Labour supporter, I hope so !

Don't Call Me Dave said...


Mandy can’t be King, but he can be King maker. This is such a huge error of judgement by Brown that I think it will bring about his demise even quicker than most of us had hoped. It is even bigger an error than Brown’s failure to go to the polls last year when undoubtedly he would have won.

Mandleson is totally discredited in the eyes of the public - even amongst Labour supporters. Nobody will believe a word he has to say about anything. Who is going to trust a man who has twice been forced to resign in disgrace?

If Mandy tries to undermine Mike Freer in Finchley, it will actually have the complete opposite effect!

I have no doubt that Mandleson’s return to Cabinet will increase the faction fighting, not reduce it, and Labour’s defeat at the next election will consequently be cataclysmic!

Don't Call Me Dave said...

So there we have it - proof that Rog T and I do not agree about everything! He thinks Mandleson’s return will improve Labour’s standing in the polls. I think it will consign Labour to a defeat on the scale suffered by the Canadian Conservatives in 1993.

We will have to wait until 2010 to see who was right!

Anonymous said...


Just for the record, I don't like Mandleson or his way of doing business. I do however think he's the best schemer in British politics.

It wouldn't surprise me if his schemeis to shaft Brown and install a Blairite either.

I'd prefer an honest debate about ideas and principles.

Anonymous said...

How very sad the two of you spend hours chatting away through blogs....

Don't Call Me Dave said...

No sadder than you reading it.

Anonymous said...

What's happened to Rog T's blog on the Barnet Times website?!

Don't Call Me Dave said...

I don’t know. I asked one of their journalists and he didn’t know either. He promised to get back to me. Perhaps it is a technical problem. I’m sure it has nothing to do with the Times Group wanting to win back the council’s advertising contract.

Anonymous said...

I guess if my blog on the Times has gone permanently, I don't have to write about three legged dogs anymore and I can spend the 14 hours a week I was spending on a whole range of subjects, exposing just how useless our favourite Stalinist Beanite is. You know, the one who has a turn of phrase remarkably like Sparkled_pixie ???

It'll be good to get back to doing what I do best !!!!