Published on 5 Jun 2009

Hutton’s resignation reflects Labour’s despair

The John Hutton resignation is not a naked political attack, like James Purnell’s. But it is symptomatic of something even more serious than Labour’s divisions – Labour’s despair.

John Hutton doesn’t rate Gordon Brown that highly – his private comments on Mr Brown are legendary and profane. But he can’t quite see the point of joining James Purnell’s uprising.

He is going because he thinks the game is up for Labour. He might as well try his luck in the outside job market before a rush of other ex-Labour ministers try to do the same.

That same despair – a feeling that Labour’s difficulties can’t be turned round – seems to inform the backbenchers’ mood too.

The plotters are not where they would like to be on numbers in large part because Labour MPs aren’t sure anyone can lead them out of their difficulties.

Alan Johnson has not been a Heseltine figure painting a picture of a bright alternative future under his leadership. People have been left to dream that up for themselves, and the dream’s not really fired them up.

They’re not sure anything can really turn things round and they dread the early election which they think a change at No.10 would make unavoidable.

In a mood of despair many MPs will simply think of how a May election gives them a few more months’ employment than a September one.

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9 reader comments

  1. Ann Jones says:

    Gordon proved to be an excellent Chancellor of the exchequer for a whole decade, therefore I see him as the best person to lead this country out of recession, there is no-one else with his experience and he is not responsible for the expenses scandal, therefore I think it is a scandal that his MP’s are trying to get rid of him.

    1. M A Owen says:

      Excuse me, a good Chancellor, I don’t think so, actually he presided over a huge unsustainable increase in the state [which means we pay more people, who don’t actually make any, more money], he sold 50% of our gold reserves for peanuts, he allowed our banks to take risks that brought them down, he huffed puffed and left rescue to late, he has presided over the loss of value in our currency,….it goes on and on, this is only off the top of my head, apart from which he has saddled us with unsustainable public [those people who don’t earn anything again] sector pensions that will bankrupt the country whilst destroying private and company pensions…are you kidding!

  2. Nick Christian says:

    Why is it all about turning around Labour’s prospects of electoral success for these people? Why is it all about “hanging on to power”? Why is it about power at all?

    This is precisely why the public is so contemptible towards MPs. They are nothing but self-serving seekers of reelection, and actually providing for the public good is a secondary (if that) priority.

    This obsession (the media’s and the government’s) with “the game” that is inter and intra party politics would be disgustingly juvenile, were it not for the fact hat kids would be told to cut it out. Governing shouldn’t be about “power” it should be about making a difference and improving people’s lives. Anyone want to remind them?

  3. yusuf sidat says:

    Funny, these MP,s get caught with their expenses claims and they want Brown to go.Wouldnt it be right for them to go themselves. Next thing you know they will ask for a social worker or a solicitor to say it was pressure of work.
    I think Brown has to use a term used by his new recruit ” You are fired” rather then let then resign.

  4. Ray Turner says:

    Just been watching a gloomy Labour Councillor from Matlock on er, the other side (sorry!).

    What struck me was that he was bemoning the end of “Labour rule”. Those were his exact words, “Labour rule”.

    Now that one clip, more than anything else, sums up in my mind why Labour are in real trouble.

    The electorate expect to be represented rather than ruled, but Labour, from top to bottom, seem to think in terms of “ruling”…

  5. Ray Turner says:

    So Gibson is forcing a by-election. How many more of the Honourable Labour MP’s would have to do that, for the Government to fall. What are the exact numbers in play here ?

  6. M Turnball says:

    Firstly, I must say I am no supporter of Labour and Mr Brown.

    But I am disgusted to see just how fickle this Ms Flint has been – how embarrassing it must be to come out in support of Mr Brown (clearly hoping and crawling for a promotion) and when the reshuffle is announced, to spit her dummy out like a spoilt brat and then to drag all women into it by making her ridiculous comments about Gordon Brown treating women like window dressing.

    Any Prime Minister can do without people like this, so Goodbye Ms Flint and good riddance.

  7. Anthony Martin says:

    The whole political system is in ruins. Let’s just remind ourselves of the list that MPs didn’t want us to see. It’s the list of expenses claims in the Telegraph. See if you can count the cost: http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/newstopics/mps-expenses/5297606/MPs-expenses-Full-list-of-MPs-investigated-by-the-Telegraph.html

    Well, the cost has been out of the general publics personal wage packets.

    Just one exposed story from the ‘Gentlemans Club’.

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