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Monday, June 25, 2007 

Won't get fooled again.

Well, could Harriet Harman have got off to a more auspicious start as deputy Labour party leader? Her victory was most definitely a surprise, but it seemed to be one which wasn't that bad, considering at least two of the other candidates on offer.

Could a day have ever have made more of a difference? It was assumed that Harman, having seen the success that Jon Cruddas was having through doing nothing more than stating the obvious, decided to tack just ever slightly further left, but could her performance on today's Today programme be any more shameless? With her bum firmly in the deputy leadership seat, it's already time for the rewriting of history and the dropping of unpalatable old views to Gordon down the memory hole, as evidenced by Justin.

The actual results of the contest were much more encouraging, as Unity argues in his in-depth breakdown. Best of all was the absolute thrashing administered to Blears, who was eliminated in the first round in embarrassing fashion, a rebuff to both the inanity and insanity of 10 years of Blair worship. It will hopefully be the first blow against the remaining ultra-Blairites, many of whom, such as Reid, Hilary Armstrong and Lord Goldsmith have already seen the writing on the wall. Almost equally promising was how Cruddas came out on top in the first round, meaning that if the contest had been held under first pass the post he would have most likely now be occupying Harman's chair. As Unity additionally argues, it's also difficult to genuinely paint this as a "shift to the left" as Blears and other right-wingers have been attempting to do, more than it reflects the reality on the ground after 10 years and the difference in what the main concerns are now. It would be nice to think that Brown would recognise that Cruddas' showing means he deserves a fairly decent ministerial post, and housing would seem made for him, but that might be too much to expect.

As for Brown's ascension after six weeks of insipid navel-gazing, some seem to be getting carried away, especially seeing the long-predicted bounce in the polls for Labour that appears to have occurred. The Brown spin machine though is in complete overdrive: witness the hagiography he gets in today's Mirror, the sycophantic interview with the BBC's Nick Robinson where they go over his schooling and yesterday's leak to the Sunday Times dropping a very heavy hint that he's going to ditch the ban on protests outside parliament itself. Thanks to Brown's control freaks success' in making certain that there wasn't going to be a contest, we've had to next to no real discussion about what he's actually going to do when Blair pisses off on Wednesday, apart from the musical chairs last week over trying to put together a "cabinet of all talents", supposedly including such heavyweights as Lord Stevens, who delivered last year's sectarian rant about how Muslims need to take to the streets to condemn what some allegedly within their religion decide to carry out, as well as being to the right of the Sun on crime and punishment, due to his wife once having to suffer the indignity of discovering a burglar had gone through her knicker drawer. Also mentioned was Sir Digby Jones, the previous head of the CBI, that organisation which holds Labour values so dear to its heart that it opposed the minimum wage. With talents like that, who needs Hazel Blears?

No doubt we are soon to suffer a blitz of just how different Brown is going to be from the man who many wags have long called the domestic prime minister, but nothing could be less heartening than the way that the Scum and Brown are engaged in the same bear hug which Blair decided upon all those years ago. The rage-inducing way the Scum has reported the Labour deputy leadership continues apace, all about how Gordon will not allow the Leftie dinosaurs destroy him, and how Harman embarrassed poor little blushing Gordie by daring to suggest that Iraq was a disaster and that maybe we don't need to replace Trident, both things that the Scum has supported to the hilt, being just as covered in blood in my eyes as Blair himself is. If Pascoe-Watson is right about Blears being rewarded for her loyalty with a promotion, then we may as well give up now. Notice too how the Scum was carefully selected as the paper to leak Brown's intentions for an election within a year to, just as the paper was given first dibs both in 2001 and 2005 to the date on which voting would take place, all signs of just how far Brown is going to be up the arse of Murdoch/Wade, a non-change if ever there was one.

Polly Toynbee often likes to point out how the left regards any Labour government other than Attlee's to be betrayal, and she does for once have something of a point. It isn't though that Labour is never going to be good enough for some of us, it's that they could do and could have done so much more if Blair had pursued redistribution of wealth, increased child care and help with housing with the same vigour as he did Iraq, tuition fees, foundation hospitals and trust schools and all those other things that he deliberately riled the party with, we'd be in a much different position now. The truth is though that we were tricked; we thought that New Labour itself was a front for a much more radical programme that would be really instigated once they'd gained office. We couldn't have been more wrong, and as Polly herself eventually admitted, this is a party which is far, far to the right of the SDP. Unless Brown means what he says, and all the signs suggest that it's froth rather than the real thing, he's going to be found out incredibly quickly. We won't be fooled again.

Related posts:
Bloggerheads - Brownie points
BlairWatch - The new boss

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