Thursday, 21 June 2007

And So To The Story Of The Day

Why did Brown bother asking in advance? He should just have announced his full list of Ministers once he got in, including both a Lib Dem and a Tory in each department, and said that people who didn't want the job were free to resign.

Those approached need to ask themselves what it is about them that Brown found so attractive politically. The Lib Dems also need to ask this about each of them, as well as what the point of their own party is if it is going to pass up offers of Ministerial office, even including at Cabinet level. Everyone needs to ask what the reply from Ashdown, never over-troubled by self-doubt, would have been if Brown had offered to make him Foreign Secretary; also, to consider that, just as Sarkozy gave the Foreign Ministry to Kouchner, the only prominent French Socialist to support the Iraq War, so Brown has tried to bring in Ashdown, a pioneering neocon cheerleader from the Yugoslavia days, and who recently surprised no one by coming out as holding the same views on Iraq.

The Tories need to ask themselves why nobody bothered to do try and do a deal with them (although I suspect that that would have been Phase Two, and might yet be Phase One And Only instead). Labour Party members need to ask themselves why not one of their number - MP, Peer, or able to be raised to the Peerage for the purpose - was deemed capable of doing any of the Ministerial jobs in question, including one at Bevan's NHS. Labour MPs, in particular, need to ask why, at least where these particular positions (and how many more after this?) are concerned, the man whom they gave a clear run for Leader would rather have a Lib Dem Peer than any - any - of them.

And we all need to ask ourselves and each other what we are doing to replace this whole sorry lot with proper parties and proper politicians, speaking and acting for us.

6 comments:

  1. You need to check out the accuracy of the May 15th Prophecy in regards to what is happening in Iraq, Lebanon and Syria and the return of the Hidden Imam and what Alexander the great has to do with that.



    lastdaywatchers.blogspot.com

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  2. Why did Brown bother asking in advance?

    It is usual to be offered a job and have the chance to accept or reject that offer.

    "He should just have announced his full list of Ministers once he got in, including both a Lib Dem and a Tory in each department, and said that people who didn't want the job were free to resign."

    I think he would have looked stupid if he had done this and people had resigned beofre accepting the job - it's an impossibility in employment law anyway, as well common contract law, you have to have an offer which is accepted to have a contract.

    "The Lib Dems also need to ask this about each of them, as well as what the point of their own party is if it is going to pass up offers of Ministerial office, even including at Cabinet level."

    The point of the party is to pursue the policies we agree on as a party. We have so many fundamental and principled differences with Labour policy on nuclear energy, nuclear power, Iraq, ID Cards, Human rights etc etc that acceptance of a government role would have to be contingent on a whole raft of policy changes by Labour. Those changes weren't on offer.

    "Everyone needs to ask what the reply from Ashdown, never over-troubled by self-doubt, would have been if Brown had offered to make him Foreign Secretary;"

    He wouldn't have done that. IF he had, Ashdown wouldn't have accepted. You just have to look at Iraq to see how fundamentally different Labour's foreign policy is to the LibDems'.

    " also, to consider that, just as Sarkozy gave the Foreign Ministry to Kouchner, the only prominent French Socialist to support the Iraq War, so Brown has tried to bring in Ashdown, a pioneering neocon cheerleader from the Yugoslavia days, and who recently surprised no one by coming out as holding the same views on Iraq."

    But the party doesn't - ie the LibDems - and Paddy would be respresenting the LibDems as a party because he is one of our Peers and a former Leader. Unless he resigned from the party. If you think Paddy Ashdown would resign from the party to be foreign secretary, then you don't know the man.

    "And we all need to ask ourselves and each other what we are doing to replace this whole sorry lot with proper parties and proper politicians, speaking and acting for us."

    There'll be another election in a year or so. I am sur plenty of Independents will be standing.

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  3. It's nearly two years away yet, at least.

    Paddy Ashdown's foreign policy and that of the party he once led bear absolutely no resemblance to each other. Is he even still a member of what Christopher Hitchens, on Question Time, has just called "a ramshackle, cobbled-together coalition in the first place"? He'd have chosen THAT over being Foreign Secretary? Come off it!

    And, as Peter Hitchens has just pointed out on Question Time, Brown asked the wrong party anyway. This is true both in the sense that Hitchens meant it and in several other senses besides.

    I'm not convinced that Ministerial office falls under the laws that you cite (a hell of a lot of people are owed a hell of a lot of compensation if it does), so I still think that, if Brown were going to do this silly thing, then he should have done it as I set out.

    But he really shouldn't have done it at all.

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  4. Two years - so plenty of time for many independents to rise up and capture the public imagination, David.

    I know this is going to stun you but we do allow disagreements in the Liberal Democrats you know. Really astonishing, but true.

    Agree - Brown was wrong to do it, but he no doubt had a strategic reason to do it and if he didn't he'll make one up to cover his tracks.

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  5. Yes, plenty of time...

    Disagreement is one thing, but Ashdown is now practically a party in his own right. I'm amazed that it's taken people so long to notice.

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  6. David - clearly not given he seems to be abiding by party discipline and not taking up the job. Quite a masterful stroke by Brown really. If the Lib Dem peers accept he ends up with some pretty good ministers, bound by collective responsibility (neutralising the opposition). When they turn it down, he's no worse off, the Lib Dems end up looking negative and start criticising each other. Masterful. Ashdown, Garden or Stevens would make pretty good ministers, although I suspect if Brown really does want to involve them it will have to be in non-ministerial positions as is the case with Lord Carlile.

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