Thursday, June 04, 2009

James Purnell resigns from the Cabinet

James Purnell is a talented, personable, charismatic and eloquent Blairite - the sort of star the untalented. unpersonable, uncharismatic an ineloquent Gordon Brown cannot really afford to have on the back benches. His departure from the Cabinet is a huge blow to the Prime Minister, and a very big nail in what must be now an utterly unavoidable coffin.

The Work and Pensions Secretary said that he wanted the Prime Minister to resign in order to give the Labour Party a 'fighting chance of winning'.

The message is stark: we are no longer in the realm of veiled threats or coded plots: Gordon Brown will cost Labour the next election, and for the good of the party and the nation, he must go.

Mr Purnell said in his resignation letter: 'We both love the Labour Party. I have worked for it for 20 years and you for far longer. We know we owe it everything and it owes us nothing. I owe it to our party to say what I believe no matter how hard that may be. I now believe your continued leadership makes a Conservative victory more not less likely.

'The Party was here long before us, and we want it to be here long after we have gone. We must do the right thing by it.

'We need to show that we are prepared to fight to be a credible government and have the courage to offer an alternative future. I am therefore calling on you to stand aside to give our party a fighting chance of winning.'

Mr Purnell said that he was not standing for the leadership. He said in his letter: 'My actions are my own considered view, nothing more. If the consensus is that you should continue, then I will support the Government loyally from the backbenches. But I do believe that this question now needs to be put.'


How absolutely riveting.

To lose a home secretary may be considered a misfortune. To lose a home secretary and a communities secretary looks like carelessness. But to lose a home secretary, a communities secretary and a work and pensions secretary all in the space of week is an absolute catastrophe.

Cranmer will be praying for the Prime Minister this evening, for (as entertaining as his departure would doubtless be) it is imperative that he remain in office.


Anonymous the recusant said...

I bet Tony Blair is wetting himself.

4 June 2009 at 22:38  
Blogger Get Stuffed Gordon You Prick said...

It is not imperative any more.

4 June 2009 at 22:47  
Anonymous Hank Petram said...

However weak his position grows, Brown seems likely to cling on for as long as he possibly can. Apart from anything else, there is this important consideration, expressed by The Economist in a nutshell:

Despite the ministerial resignations this week, it seems doubtful that anyone in the cabinet is yet ready to challenge Mr Brown’s position as leader of the Labour Party. A faction in the party that is still bitter at Mr Brown’s disloyalty to Mr Blair would like to see the current prime minister fall. But anyone who took over now would face enormous pressure for an early election, which the Labour Party would be expected to lose.

4 June 2009 at 23:05  
Anonymous Bethel said...

Could Your Grace possiby intercede with the Almighty to ensure that David Blunkett isn't brought back?

4 June 2009 at 23:50  
Anonymous not a mouse said...

Nothing about any of this on US news: right now it's Obama in the Middle East, Korean counterfeit currency, Obama credit card law... Some mention the Air France search and debris recovery.

Oh - and apparently the Dutch have voted Left for the euSSR (?!?).

But erstwhile number one ally? Zilch (unless they're waiting to get their knives into Prince Harry).

5 June 2009 at 00:11  
Anonymous McKenzie said...

not a mouse

Can I suggest that what is taking place here at the moment is just simply too embarrassing to even contemplate. I myself am beginning to think that I have fractured off in my sleep and crossed over into an alternative universe, while the other one, where Britain was some kind of standard to the rest of the world, is somehow still in place.

What we have taking place here is nothing short of an absolute disgrace; Labour career politicians hanging in there just to preserve every last drop of income they can squeeze out of it while the country descends into an abyss of shame and humiliation.

i would imagine it is quite painful to witness for even the most worse of our enemies. It is hardly any wonder the Queen is suffering from agrophobia at the moment.

5 June 2009 at 00:23  
Anonymous not a mouse said...

Is she, McKenzie? Poor dear lady.

Realized after I posted that I may have missed a passing by-line on TV news: I only checked NPR and the computer headlines.

In any case, though, I don't think the Americans are being charitable: rather they seem to espouse everybody else right now - not no-account colonialists [make that failed Colonialists: they conveniently forget that they're the successful ones who never went home!].

Six months ago I mentioned Gordo to some graduate students:
Them: "Who's Gordon Brown? Never heard of him." [Ergo he can't be worth knowing about then]. Me: "The Prime Minister of Britain."
Them: "Oh." (Shrugs all round).

Personally, I see it all as a corollary to the communist deconstruction and euro-cultural invasion. It serves well to convince us of our inferiority and worthlessness: and the need for our "betters" to sort us out!!! Hence all the calls for a clean sweep and replacement of everything British.

I hope whoever follows this Shower has a plan for Restoration rather than Total Destruction! Your BNP sounds more and more attractive.

5 June 2009 at 01:38  
Anonymous Rob Farrington said...

Nah, he'll never go willingly. He's coveted the position for so long that to leave now after a relatively short time in office, would be an admission to himself as well as to everyone else, that he simply isn't up to the job.

Far easier for the sake of his ego to continue to believe that the failures of the Labour government are down to his incompetent subordinates, and that he could still pull multiple technicoloured rabbits out of his top hat, if only the treacherous bastards would give him the chance.

Except that I'm sure that deep down, there's a BIG part of him that worries that he really might be the failure that other people see him as.

As a PM I might despise him, but as a human being, I actually pity him. I suspect that his self-image as a clear-minded, brilliant leader who's just misunderstood and maltreated is all he has to keep the mental demons away.

Once that breaks, Youtube will probably have to keep pulling "That Video" of Gordon stripping naked at PM's Question Time and physically attacking David Cameron while screaming "IS THIS WHAT YOU WANTED, YOU B*ST*RD?!?". And then eating his mobile phone. Or something.

5 June 2009 at 01:49  
Blogger Gnostic said...

Why prolong the agony? If Cameron is worried that there might be a grass roots resurgence of NuLab support then why aren't we seeing a move towards calling for a vote of no confidence? After all, no matter who's leading the party, Labour is a dead duck.

I'm sick of fantasy politics and fantasy politicians. With a few exceptions we should sack the bleeding lot of 'em. Then we could have a whip round and pay Guido to finish the job his namesake started. I'll supply the matches.

5 June 2009 at 07:37  
Blogger kalpana said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

5 June 2009 at 09:44  
Blogger Gnostic said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

5 June 2009 at 17:25  
Anonymous John Malcolmson said...

"We need to show that we are prepared to fight to be a credible government and have the courage to offer an alternative future."

It is the word "alternative" I find interesting. An alternative to what? Is Purnell referring here to an alternative to the direction (I use the word loosely) of what is left of the current government or an alternative to policies the Conservatives would implement once they assume power?

As he also opined that a Conservative government would be a disaster, one imagines it is the latter.

But since the Conservatives seem to have little in the way of radical ideas, except in vague, general terms such as "devolving power" it is difficult to see a future Tory administration arresting the rate of acceleration into ever closer union with Europe, reducing crime, improving the education system, cutting welfare spending, or refraining from introducing further politically correct, freedom-destroying legislation, even when not forced to by the EU. Economic conditions will mean they have to raise taxes, rather than lower them, to get us out of NL's debt-ridden mess. Some alternative!

5 June 2009 at 19:24  
Blogger Geoffrey Kruse-Safford said...

As a non-British observer and friend of your Kingdom, I wonder if Your Grace might not be putting Party before Country in your insistence that Brown remain in office as long as possible.

Is it possible you fear that the Conservatives, bereft of serious alternatives other than "anti-Labour" would suffer next year at the polls as well as they have won this year should Brown step down and the Tories be offered the opportunity to form a minority government?

Just a question.

5 June 2009 at 21:05  
Anonymous John Malcolmson said...

Geoffrey - since I have little faith in the fickle British electorate I think you ask a fair question. (I hope you, and His Grace, will forgive me for commenting despite the fact that it was not addressed to me).

If we take the voting patterns in the council elections which have just taken place as our yardstick, the Tories would win a general election now with an overall majority of just 30 seats. If that election were to be delayed for 12 months, during which time there was a minority Tory government, that projected 30-seat majority could well be wiped out. One imagines that the main beneficiaries of that "wipe out" would be the Lib Dems; but let us not forget that in a year's time the shenanigans of "expensesgate" and a raft of ministerial resignations will be a distant memory for some voters, especially those who take little interest in the political process and tend to vote in "knee-jerk" fashion. NuLab might well have quite a few of the "grandad always voted Labour so I do" types back onside by then.

6 June 2009 at 10:24  

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