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Posts Tagged ‘Andrew Rawnsley’

LEDARSKAP: Kampen om vem som skall bli Labours nästa partiledare är i full gång.

Men Peter Mandelsons politiska memoarer The Third Man fortsätter att ställa till det för Labour.

Patrick Wintour som är ”political editor” i The Guardian skriver i The Spectator:

”Most vendettas, at least in Sicilian legend, are accompanied by omertà, a belief that it is shameful to betray your worst enemies even if it would benefit your cause. New Labour has long felt at ease with the vendetta, but has struggled with the concept of omertà. The Mandelson memoirs, the Blair memoirs, the [Alastair] Campbell diaries, the [Robin] Cook diaries, the [David] Blunkett diaries, the Deborah Mattinson assessment, the [Andrew] Rawnsley confessionals, the New Labour literature and score-settling would make even the most capacious Kindle fuse at their sheer volume. […]

The book is published at a critical time for Labour, when the party is in the middle of a leadership contest that appears to be going nowhere. For years, Labour figures have been calling for a healthy discussion about the party’s values, policy, organisation and direction. […]

Many inside Labour have been dismayed at the quality of the leadership debate. As one party adviser put it to me: ‘We have waited all these years, and it has turned into a contest to see who can get onto Twitter first to denounce the government. They don’t sit there thinking, they sit there texting.’ The rest of the time, the candidates haul themselves around the country in a hustings format designed to minimise clarity and maximise entertainment. Like some repertory theatre company locked in a bad production, they can recite each other’s indifferent lines in their sleep, acutely aware they are not heading for the West End.”

Och Trevor Kavanagh, kolumnist i The Sun fyller på i The Spectator.

So why didn’t the Labour party take the course pursued with devastating efficiency last month by the Australian Labor party and put their leader out of his misery? Why did it not save the country from Brown? Mandelson’s memoirs make clear that the country was the last thing on ministers’ minds. Their mission was all about self-preservation, keeping Labour in power, stopping the Tories at any cost — even the cost of economic stability. Mandelson even quotes Blair to this effect. ‘It’s not about loyalty to one man. It’s about loyalty to the party. It’s about saving the party.’ No mention of the national interest here.

David Miliband, described correctly by Blair as ‘not perfect’, denies it was lack of courage that stopped him challenging Brown two years ago. He tells Mandelson he held back because a change of leadership would have forced Labour into an early election. Consider the rationale. Having chucked out one Prime Minister, the last thing Labour’s high command wanted was for voters to have a say on his unelected successor. […]

Today, with a real leadership campaign to fight, Mr Miliband confesses: ‘We talked about “we” but it meant us, not them.” He was not alone. Time after time, Mandy makes clear he and the rest of the anti-Brown faction were interested solely in their political futures, not the fate of Britain. This government was cursed with the certainty of entitlement.

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POLITIK: Premiärminister Gordon Brown är så aggressiv och obalanserad i sitt humör att medarbetare i Downing Street är rädda för honom.

 ”The revelation that the prime minister’s behaviour was so extreme that it triggered a warning from Whitehall’s most powerful official will shock the political world and is bound to lead to claims from his opponents that he is not fit for another five years in office as a general election draws near.”

Avslöjandet kommer inte från någon sladdertidning utan från en av Storbritanniens mest ansedda politiska analytiker. Andrew Rawnsley, krönikör på The Observer, har intervjuat 500 vittnen inför sin nya bok The End of the Party som handlar om Labours andra och tredje mandatperiod.

Gordon Brown’s abusive behaviour and volcanic eruptions of foul temper left Downing Street staff so frightened that he received an unprecedented reprimand from the head of the civil service (…).

Sir Gus O’Donnell, the cabinet secretary, became so alarmed by the prime minister’s behaviour that he launched his own investigations when he received reports of Brown’s bullying of staff. O’Donnell then gave the prime minister a stern ”pep talk” and ordered him to change his behaviour. ”This is no way to get things done,” he told Brown.

Innehållet är så explosivt att det mycket väl kan komma att påverka möjligheterna för Gordon Brown att vinna nästa val. Andrew Rawnsley har inte minst av denna anledning skrivit en hel krönika som tar udden av all den kritik som nu förväntas komma från Labours anhängare.

Se även: Ett utdrag från boken The End of the Party. Se även följande artikel i The Observer.

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