But will the party still love him in the morning?

by Stephen Tall on September 23, 2008

Today was Gordon Brown’s day; and the common media consensus appears to be that he did enough to ward off the immediate threat to his leadership from Labour rebels.

All of which took me back a year to the high praise which greeted Ming Campbell’s speech to the 2007 Lib Dem conference – here at LDV, in an uncharacteristic display of brazen loyalism, we collated some of the most positive quotes from the top pundits. All were agreed that Ming was a cert to stay as leader. Within a few weeks he had decided to resign for the good of the party (and his own dignity).

Today changed nothing for Labour, nor for Gordon Brown. The party, with him at its helm, is doomed to a crushing defeat. Unfortunately for Labour, though, it’s hard to imagine Gordon ‘doing a Ming’, and departing the stage quietly. The next few weeks are going to be messy.

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Messy can be fun, though.

by Jennie on September 23, 2008 at 11:50 pm. Reply #

It reminded me much more of IDS than of Ming, particularly the ludicrously staged bursts of ‘applause’ and the (self) attestments to character.

I had thought that he’d stay on to lead them into defeat, but having seen the body language of some of the cabinet on tv tonight I’m much less sure.

by johninpenarth on September 23, 2008 at 11:57 pm. Reply #

Didn’t IDS also resign/get pushed after a similar ‘loyal’ conference backing?

by Peter1919 on September 23, 2008 at 11:59 pm. Reply #

Damn beaten to it lol

by Peter1919 on September 23, 2008 at 11:59 pm. Reply #

There’s still nobody willing to wield the knife, though. Because whoever DOES do it iss guaranteed an election loss and a knife of their own…

by Jennie on September 23, 2008 at 11:59 pm. Reply #

Totally agree with Jennie…Brown will stay because nobody in the Labour Party bar a few fringe figures is stupid enough to get rid of Brown, potentially face a very early election and get taken to the cleaners at the polls…and besides even if their was i doubt enough of the PLP would be….

by Darrell on September 24, 2008 at 12:15 am. Reply #

Ming decided to resign for the good of the party, did he? That’s funny, because I remember him being stabbed int he back behind the scenes in a messy coup that the Lib Dems were rightly hammered for by the media.


by Letters From A Tory on September 24, 2008 at 9:52 am. Reply #

Has the Guardian coverage of the Labour conference made anyone else sick as a parrot? The headline on Day 1 was something like “Straw says Brown is all right really”. So no cravenly easy ride there, then.

And now Brown has only had to string a couple of sentences together fluently to have saved the Labour party, or whatever Polly Toynbee is saying. Desperately distorted wishful thinking doesn’t begin to cover it.

by Alix on September 24, 2008 at 10:44 am. Reply #

Come now, LFAT. Those who hammered us for replacing Ming were often the same people who had been ridiculing him as hopeless but obdurate.

Do you think he was suited to the position of leader?

by Julian H on September 24, 2008 at 10:51 am. Reply #

But surely Brown did better than Clegg.

Clegg’s embarrassing quick step to the right just as capitalism is collapsing is the biggest joke of the year.

I’m fed up with the lot of them. It’s the crazy online Meritocracy Party for me from now on.

by mark hendry on September 24, 2008 at 11:18 am. Reply #


I wouldn’t say Ming was a particularly effective leader, but I don’t think that this was down to his age. His old-fashionedness, maybe, but that is slightly different to age. For instance, Max Mosley is older than Ming but is maybe slightly less … er … restrained (expect in the bondage sense of the word :-).

Ming was also somewhat unfortunate to be caught up in a squeeze as the Tories recovered their poise.

I think that tragedy of the Ming situation was not that he was booted out, but that he was knifed for the wrong reasons which meant that no other older candidates felt capable of putting themselves up in the following leadership contest. A bad case of mis-diagnosis.

by passing tory on September 24, 2008 at 11:19 am. Reply #

Interesting that Polly Toynbee was saying only a week ago that Brown must go, but it now visibly changing her mind.

by David from Ealing on September 24, 2008 at 11:20 am. Reply #

LFAT, thanks for the response, and I entirely agree with this:

“I wouldn’t say Ming was a particularly effective leader, but I don’t think that this was down to his age.”

Ming was ineffective – not through being old, but through being unsuited to the role. His first PMQs was, of course, a disaster and he never recovered. The coup may have been unpleasant but it was necessary.

Anyway, we’re off on a tangent. Back to Labour-bashing…

by Julian H on September 24, 2008 at 11:38 am. Reply #

Oh, that’s Passing Tory, not LFAT. So confusing…

by Julian H on September 24, 2008 at 11:39 am. Reply #

Silly analysis.

by Chris Paul on September 24, 2008 at 11:50 am. Reply #

Don’t worry, Julian. It is just nice to agree on something 🙂

As far as Brown is concerned, they will love him just as much this morning as they did last night. Which is not saying much. It was rather sad watching Hoon trying to persuade Newsnight how bright the horizon was. I don’t think that any of them (well, maybe Balls) really believes that any more.

Just ran a straw poll over lunch, and not one person managed to listen through the whole of GB’s bit on Today this morning. There was a bit of a disagreement whether the urge to throw the radio across the room was stronger than the urge to merely turn the thing off for 10 mins, though.

by passing tory on September 24, 2008 at 1:09 pm. Reply #

I switched over to my mate Shaun on 6Music.

by Julian H on September 24, 2008 at 2:25 pm. Reply #

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