Gordon was right to stay away

PRIME Ministers don’t visit by-elections, and the David Camerons of this world are being dishonest by constantly referring to GB’s absence from the Glasgow East campaign.

Yes, Tony Blair went to two by-elections in his first term, and in so doing broke the convention that PMs don’t campaign in by-elections. He restored that convention before his second General Election victory (and rightly so) and it is a convention that GB has continued to honour (and rightly so).

So here’s a question for all those who think GB should have been in Crewe and in Glasgow East: did you also call for him to campaign in Sedgefield or Ealing Southall last year? No? Thought not.


Filed under David Cameron, Gordon Brown, Labour, Politics

13 responses to “Gordon was right to stay away

  1. I didn’t think he should have gone to Crewe, but I do think he should have gone to Glasgow (but only on Wednesday afternoon). Firstly, he needs to be seen talking to those hard-pressed families he keeps saying that he understands. Secondly, a last minute visit would have dominated the news on the final evening and polling day itself.

    I understand completely why he didn’t go, but is he any better off today than he might be if he had popped up the day before yesterday? I don’t think so, and he might just have found 200 people to switch from the SNP at the last minute.

  2. Johnny Norfolk

    Pure sour grapes and nothing but.

    The Labour government is finished s0 start by trying to rescue our country before you get thrown out its the only way you can regain any respect.

    We have all had to reduce our spending on many areas. What have the government done, Nothing, ministers are going round as if nothing has changed.

  3. Come on Tom! Regardless of whether he should, or should not have gone. Brown is our albatross and needs to go. He was a fantastic Chancellor but the micro management tendencies that he used at the Treasury are simply unsuitable for the job of PM. Furthermore, presentation matters, you as a former journalist & press officer must realise this, and sadly this is one of Gordon’s major weaknesses.

    We should use conference to thank Gordon for everything he has done for the party over the past 25 years (and its a considerable list), encourage him to leave with his head held high and look to appoint a successor by the end of the year.

  4. Zorro

    I’d like to see him campaigning in Tunbridge Wells…

  5. John

    I read a newspaper article recently which stated that when the heat is on at home, Prime Ministers tend to have the urge to travel abroad. Gordon has been doing a great deal of that lately.
    Perhaps he should have grasped the nettle, defied convention, and had a meet and greet (and a Daddyo’s) in Glasgow. If you think Labour’s unpopularity is just for a brief interlude I think you’re in for a huge disappointment.

  6. Johnny Norfolk

    Why was he a fantastic chancellor ?

    He sold our gold. Gave soft banking rules ( cause of Northern Rock) to gain city support. Robbed the private pensions. Has taxed so much we are broke and uncompetative. Has spent far to much that we could not afford. Has left massive debt with the public/private partnership that your grandchildren will be paying. He is the worst I have ever known.

    He has never fooled me ever.

  7. Martin Cullip

    “If you think Labour’s unpopularity is just for a brief interlude I think you’re in for a huge disappointment.”

    Nicely put John. I don’t see Labour forming another Government again in my lifetime, voters will remember being treated like naughty schoolkids, who don’t deserve a say in how they live their life, for a long long time to come.

    … and this is the second time a Labour administration has culminated with the economy on a life support machine. Labour are the 1930s Liberals of the future.

  8. Doug

    Gordon needs to go by the autumn for the Labour Party to have any chance of avoiding a wipeout like the Canadian Tories in 2000.

    Labour needs a new leader and some radical policies. With a recession looming, we need to get money into the pockets of low and medium earners.

    Tax cuts should be considered, as should spending cuts. Bringing troops home from Iraq would save a few pennies for example.

    There is no point in kidding ourselves how serious the Glasgow East result was. It is also important psychologically that Labour have been defeated in their heartlands.

    It seems that the next Shadow Secretary of State for Scotland will be the returning Tom Clarke as the only Labour survivor north of the border……..

    While I do not think that Labour will be reduced to one seat, I do believe that the longer Brown remains in office, the worse the future will be.

    Who the next leader is will be less important than his or her ability to understand ordinary people. Clearly, Brown does not have the common touch.

    To (badly) paraphrase David Coleman, what happens next?

  9. Ross

    “PRIME Ministers don’t visit by-elections”
    That’s blatantly false! Tony Blair visited several, Hamilton amongst them.
    Brown wouldn’t because he was trembling in his boots.

  10. Ross – did you read the full post? “Yes, Tony Blair went to two by-elections in his first term…”

  11. Stephen Edwards

    Tom, your “convention” premise is good political spin but fundamentally flawed. I hold in my hand a plate; I drop the plate and it breaks into a hundred pieces. I sweep up the pieces and pour them into my hand. I am no longer holding a plate. Once a Prime Minister breaks the “convention” of not attending by-elections then the convention no longer applies.

  12. Andrew Webb

    Hey Tom, I saw Brown stay away from Nuneaton and Bedworth during the local elections earlier this year and send the deputy hated by many, Harriet Harman.
    Yet Camerom took the time to visit and oh yes, the Tories won the council here.
    If you dont visit, his ” we know what the British people want” is another blatent lie by a Prime Minsiter who needs to go.

  13. Any comments on the news in the Daily Record that “GORDON Brown has stepped in to help mastermind Labour’s bid to beat the odds and win the Glenrothes by-election.”?

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