L'Ombre de l'Olivier

The Shadow of the Olive Tree

being the maunderings of an Englishman on the Côte d'Azur

05 June 2009 Blog Home : June 2009 : Permalink

More Waterline Hits on HMS Gordon

It is amazing to me that the total destruction of the Labour vote in the local council elections is merely a sideshow. In the normal state of affairs the fact that (as of about 6:30pm UK time) the BBC is reporting that Labour has lost about two thirds of its council seats and could even be over taken by "others" in numbers of councillors (see table) would be big news.

Councillors Councils
Party +/- Total +/- Total
CON +194 1009 +6 27
LD -20 319 -1 1
LAB -200 139 -4 0
OTH +26 92 0 0
NOC - - -1 3
23 of 34 councils officially declared.
Likewise the fact that (for example) Labour's candidates where handsomely beaten by a monster raving loony would normally be considered proof that the party had collapsed. Yet, astoundingly, that isn't the news anywhere except in the local paper.

The reason for all this is, of course that even more rats have jumped from the wreck of HMS Gordon and that the Captain has managed even add some self-inflicted wounds to add to those inflicted by the rats and chipmunks who've deserted him.

Last night there was all the Purnell drama, but by noon it looked like that had more or less fizzled. But then this afternoon, things have become rather more interesting.

Firstly there was the somewhat mysterious resignation of John Hutton as defence minister. Maybe he was pushed, maybe he jumped, who knows but Dizzy points out that the resignation isn't quite the standard one you get when your leader reshuffles you.

Then there is Caroline Flint who quit as Europe minister requiring Brown to hurriedly make Glenys Kinnock (and isn't that a name from the past) a peer to become her replacement - her resignation letter complaining of tokenism and a two tier cabinet make up for her failure to quit earlier. It looks like Nadine Dorries was right about the Flint/Blears plotting BTW, though Siobhan McDonagh doesn't seemed to have joined.

Next there is the self inflicted wound of appointing Sir Alan Sugar to the team. This wouldn't be so bad if it weren't for the letter Sir Alan wrote in 1992 with its devastating final paragraph:

Labour offers no sort of route out of recession. It's out of date and - as Brown's remark shows - it hasn't done its homework.

Finally (so far) there is trougher Ian Gibson MP who has decided that if he's going to be kicked out he might as well resign in style and cause a by-election that Labour really doesn't want. His majority of some 5,500 is easily overturnable by the tories. I'm not sure if he counts as a self-inflicted wound or not but it is certain that he felt that he was made a scapegoat by the Labour party central command.

Oh and I don't think he covered hmself in glory at his "candid" press conference either. I mean really if this were a boxing match the ref would have called it off. If this was a theatrical production it would have booed off stage. The only place where the audience seems to enjoy this kind of thing are Spanish bullfights, and apparently British politics.