Who lost Glasgow East for Labour?
This is a contribution from a not-disillusioned friend who never had any illusions. It leaves me with nothing to add:
There is one person whose partial responsibility for the Glasgow East disaster is generally ignored. That is David Marshall, whose 'ill-health' brought about this unnecessary by-election. While all other reporters merely put the diagnosis in quotation marks, printed or unprinted, Michael Crick eventually revealed the nature of the ill health on Newsnight. According to Crick, the allegation is that Marshall had been using parliamentary allowances to pay his wife and daughter, Conway style. Also, allegedly, from another allowance he had been paying himself rent to use his residence as the constituency office — but Crick was unable to find anyone who had ever seen the home in use as a constituency office.
I believe that Mr Marshall has denied any any wrongdoing. Received political wisdom has always been that the electorate punishes parties which send them to the polling stations without good cause . So Labour was fighting at a disadvantage anyway, particularly when they couldn't get anyone to agree to stand until the last minute. And there must be a story behind that. Some of the many Scots who inhabit both front and back labour benches might usefully turn their attention to introducing democracy and transparency into the Scottish Mafia.
But David Marshall is not the main architect of this defeat. Gordon Brown is the man who is now pulling down the Labour party in his own downfall. I said for years that he was a destabilizing influence and that Tony Blair should sack him. Whatever the spin doctors were saying, anyone who read the newspapers and listened to the political programmes had to be aware that throughout the Blair years, Gordon Brown's main agenda was to assume the office which he regarded as rightfully his. Disloyal briefing, backstabbing, hiding behind others, never standing up to be counted — it was a dreadful atmosphere for a group of bright young politicians to be schooled in government. It was obvious that the centre of government was a battleground for factions. This inevitably meant that no natural successors to Tony Blair could emerge. Nobody but GB was allowed to be seen to shine or to contemplate advancement. I suspect that this was also one reason why there was such a constant merry-go round of ministerial changes. Nobody ever stayed long enough anywhere to build up expertise or respect. So when GB is seen as a flop, we are left with an old weary gang of place servers and has-beens. His activities over 11 years have helped to corrupt and destroy the future leadership of the party.
I won't write an essay on Tony Blair. I left the Labour Party because of the cavalier way he took the country to war and then showed that he didn't give a damn about the poor bloody infantry he sent off to fight it. The sickening hypocrisy of the weekly 'tributes' at PMQs has been continued by GB. And don't forget that he was a powerful member of the Cabinet that allowed the British Army, and Navy and Air Force, to be turned into Hessian soldiers at the behest of US overlords.
He deserves defeat and so do all those people who knew what he was like and were too cowardly, or stupid, or ambitious, to warn about what would happen.
Can't argue with that.