Saturday, June 30, 2007

Labour now further ahead of Tories than before last General Election...

Those confidently predicting the demise of Labour under Gordon Brown won't wish to know that Labour's national lead over the Tories is now bigger than it was before the last General Election - according to an ICM poll published in today's Guardian.

One poll doesn't make an election, and a lot can happen between now and the only poll that counts. I note that despite the Lab-Con gap widening, the Tories are also up one point in the Guardian's poll...and the LibDems under Ming Campbell are well down.

Not yet clear how damaging the defection to Labour by Quentin Davies will be to David Cameron. But Dave must be spitting nails on the news that former CBI boss Digby Jones has joined Gordon Brown's Government as Trade and Investment Minister - and will take the Labour whip.

Rumours are still rife around Westminster this weekend of further defections: those often mentioned - Michael Rifkind, Chris Patten and John Bercow - have now issued strong denials. But the gossip is so unsettling the Conservative leadership that a special watch has reportedly been ordered on those Tories thought most tempted to jump ship!

Interesting days ahead...

CLARIFICATION: Hope I didn't mislead anyone who may have thought Digby Jones was becoming a member of the Labour Party. However, I heard him say on Radio Four that he does intend taking the Labour whip.

Today's Torygraph says it's a major coup for gordon Brown to recruit the former Director General of the CBI into his inclusive new government.


Anonymous said...

Let them jump. In fact the party would be better off if we pused a few of the f***ers.

Bercow can go if he can't keep the wife quiet. Patten has never been welcome. Clarke needs to get real or get out. And they can take Dave with them. Maybe they can all go off and live happily ever after with Polly Toynbee.

BTW I hope they read this and it is the straw that breaks the camel's back.

Anonymous said...

BTW you are slightly misleading people about Digby Jones. He is refusing to join the Labour Party and won't even say if he plans to vote for them!

Anonymous said...

Typical Brown spin.

He appoints new government members, tells them they have to join the Labour Party to take up their jobs then appoints the Chairman of the Labour Party to be Leader of the House so the Labour Party don't have to fork out her salary.

As for the opinion poll I say remember what millinbong said on question time recently...."After Gordon has been in power for so long we will regret getting rod of blair."

fairdealphil said...

michael: thanks for clarification on Digby Jones. I confess I hadn't seen the detail, only heard a brief radio four piece.

i'll add a clarification to my original post.

Anonymous said...

My understanding is that whilst those appointed must follow the whip, they are not obliged to join the Labour Party. The words of those appointed!

Funny, I have always admired Chris Patten - he did a sterling job in Hong Kong and his work for Tony Blair in Northern Ireland was superb. Likewise, I have always had a soft spot for Ken Clarke and was astonished that he never won a leadership contest. John Bercow is excellent in the house and very much into many social issues as well as overseas development. Added to which he has a charming wife. Rather insulting to suggest that in a relationship, two individuals must share similar views? A bit boring I would have thought? These three are "one nation Tories" an old fashioned concept that has disappeared in the lasts twenty years and the Tories have paid the price!

I think many of the appointments are to be commended. Admiral West is a particular favourite of mine. He also has a wealth of experience in intelligence matters as Digby has in commerce.

Most particularly, I welcome Jacqui Smith to the Cabinet. I thought she was excellent as Chief Whip.

Anyway, I am at PMQs next Wednesday - what a bit of luck!