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The dynamite Balls memos

(29 Posts)
longfingernails Fri 10-Jun-11 22:03:26

Of course, the BBC (being the Labour party mouthpiece it is) has done its best to cover them up - but they are absolutely lethal for the Labour party.

They show how in the midst of the 7/7 aftermath, Balls, Red Ed and other Brownite henchmen plotted to overthrow Labour's three-time election winner Tony Blair.

jackstarb Fri 10-Jun-11 22:58:33

The latest memo discussed in The Telegraph.

BBC News at 10 and Newsnight have covered Balls memos with accompanying (very convenient) footage of Balls falling over whilst playing cricket today.

The Guardian is also mentioning it - but they have their own scoop. The 'unused' David Miliband leader speech.

jackstarb Fri 10-Jun-11 23:01:50

David Miliband: the speech he would have given ? if he'd won.

MsPopples Fri 10-Jun-11 23:10:28

longfingernails, lethal? really???

'Newsflash: in 2005 the Blairites and the Brownites didn't get on. After Blair had signaled his intention to step down, and made himself deeply unpopular with the Iraq war, the Brownites were impatient for change...etc'

Hardly earth shattering is it? The Telegraph look a bit desperate if you ask me.
Aren't there more important things to think about like the destruction of the NHS?

CogitoErgoSometimes Sat 11-Jun-11 07:17:47

I'm listening to the BBC Today programme right now and the Balls memos are being covered at some length... ???? Labour will try to play them down, the government will play them up. I think the whole Blair/Brown 'I'm not talking to you' era was embarrassing in the extreme and Balls was dead centre of it all. Next week's PMQs will be interesting

jackstarb Sat 11-Jun-11 08:56:35

The aspect of all this which is most damaging to Labour is the allegation that Gordon Brown cast aside warning on public spending levels.

"...confidential Treasury analysis prepared for Tony Blair’s Cabinet said that public spending should only increase in line with inflation between 2007 and 2010. It listed areas where billions of pounds of taxpayers’ money were being squandered and savings could be made....public sector productivity needs to start improving more rapidly: we’ve spent all this money, but what have we got for it? the document asks."

However:

"Mr Brown, who was poised to take over the Labour leadership from Mr Blair, over-ruled the advice and sanctioned a spending spree. The government failed to stop virtually all the wasteful spending that had been identified."

solareclipse Sat 11-Jun-11 13:36:51

If the release of these memos aren't lethal for the Labour Party, then God help us all.

They make it very clear that, instead of contributing to the effective running of the country, several top members of the Cabinet were spending all their time and energy trying to topple a sitting Prime Minister, who had been democratically elected.

BoulevardOfBrokenSleep Sat 11-Jun-11 14:15:12

solareclipse, that's kind of the nature of politics, isn't it?

Instead of getting people with a talent for running the country to run the country, we get people with a talent for getting other people to vote for them, and for Machiavellian scheming.

That's democracy for you...

SardineQueen Sat 11-Jun-11 14:24:29

Is dynamite balls his nickname? shock

SardineQueen Sat 11-Jun-11 14:26:43

"They make it very clear that, instead of contributing to the effective running of the country, several top members of the Cabinet were spending all their time and energy trying to topple a sitting Prime Minister, who had been democratically elected."

What happened to margaret thatcher? I seem to remember that she was forced out by her own lot <hazy recollection>

likale Sat 11-Jun-11 14:36:33

Does any of this surprise anybody? I thought it was common knowledge that Brown and his allies were trying to force Blair out so he could become PM.

solareclipse Sat 11-Jun-11 14:40:51

Yeah, the point is that Balls and co have strenuously denied what has been known to everyone for ages, especially Westminster journalists.

So there's the very small question of "truth" in all this. I think that's the main issue.

claig Sat 11-Jun-11 14:51:00

'Is dynamite balls his nickname?'

I don't think so. I seem to remember it being something like 'load of balls'

jackstarb Sat 11-Jun-11 15:24:28

The reason this matters is because of the timing. We now know that the key months of plotting were also crucial and definitive months for our economy.

Instead of taking on the recommendations of the Treasury Analysis Report - Brown, Balls and co. were busy plotting Blair's exit.

This meant that our economy was in a poorer shape when the Global crisis hit. We are now suffering the consequences.

Or to put it another way - if Brown & Balls had been giving their day job 100% - we might not now be in the same financial mess and Labour might even have had a fourth term!!

<really can't understand why Labour supporters are not fuming at Brown>

solareclipse Sat 11-Jun-11 17:57:19

<really can't understand how Labour supporters can still be Labour supporters>

ElBurroSinNombre Sat 11-Jun-11 21:59:44

Just read
'The end of the party'
by Andrew Rawnsley.
It is all in there - perhaps not Ball's minutes but a lot of damning stuff about the Brown / Blair dynamic. It seems that when in power Blair spent an awful lot of energy trying to pacify Brown instead of running the country. It would have been much better for the UK if he had grasped the nettle and sacked Brown after the first term. People like Balls, Brown and Miliband should be a million miles from power and this is quite apart from Miliband's shortcomings as a political leader.

longfingernails Sat 11-Jun-11 22:16:45

The sad thing is, there are honourable men and women in the Labour party (though of course deluded). But there are none anywhere near the top.

This isn't coloured only by my own political preferences - for example, I would obviously prefer the Blairites to the Brownites in a forced choice (though, as it happens, Frank Field and Gisela Stuart are both excellent examples of MPs) - but also the likes of Tony Benn way out on the left.

There are plotters and schemers in every party - they are part and parcel of politics - for example, George Osborne falls into this category - though he doesn't have a totally dysfunctional relationship with the PM. But the Cabinet also contains people who are in politics purely for what it achieves rather than the power it brings, doing what they do because they believe so deeply in the justice of their cause - people like Iain Duncan Smith.

Labour need to get some policies which they can believe in with the same fervour that I, as a Tory, believe in freeing local education from the shackles of LEAs and teaching unions, or in reforming welfare to bring opportunity and hope where there was once only the despair of state dependency.

longfingernails Sat 11-Jun-11 22:18:31

When I say "as a Tory", I mean "as a conservative (with a small c)" - Cameron is really putting me off being a Tory with his constant pandering to the left.

solareclipse Sun 12-Jun-11 00:13:18

Indeed it was all in "The End of the Party", and in innumerable media reports, but it was all fervently denied by the Labour Party. I can't believe the position the media are put in when this happens. They know they are being given statements which are far from the truth, yet they seem powerless to expose the lies.

I think if people really do hope for no more than pure egotism from politicians, we are all in a very sad state. (In more ways than one.) Why does everyone feel so powerless? Why are the media so accepting of being reduced to powerlessness? Does no-one even vaguely hope for something better?

solareclipse Sun 12-Jun-11 00:27:45

BoulevardofBrokenSheep, I don't think any system claiming to be democratic would openly boast of being based on lies and deceit.

As LFN says, there are decent MPs who work their socks off in the interests of their constituents. Being honest and being a politician aren't yet mutually exclusive.

Mellowfruitfulness Sun 12-Jun-11 08:11:12

I agree that there are many honest, hard-working MPs, and I would say that the majority of local councillors are like this.

But politicians say one thing to get elected and do something completely different once they are in power - eg Cameron's lies about the Health Service and Clegg's lies about tuition fees. Meanwhile personal ambition and shameful infighting take centre stage in the Labour Party. This has all really shaken my faith in party politics. How do we know who to vote for, when we don't know who is telling the truth? And if we vote for someone based on the lies they have fed us, how is that democracy, ie reflecting the will of the people?

In Scotland now Salmond can promise whatever he wants - he has an overwhelming mandate to do anything he fancies. Even people who don't want independence voted for him - in spite of the fact that the clue is in the name of the Scottish NATIONALIST Party - because they felt they couldn't trust any of the other parties, and because he promised to be all things to all people.

I think we have to stop rewarding politicians for telling lies, and not allow them to renege on election promises (key to this is keeping all parties fully informed all the time, no matter who is in power). Or maybe we should stop voting on policies and choose a party according to which political philosophies are nearest to our own beliefs. But I suppose the most reliable indication as to whether a party is likely to do what we want in the future is to look at its track record. But then we don't want to be constantly looking back and playing the blame game ...

Sorry for slight hi-jack, LFN. It's right (but not really dynamite) that the infighting in the Labour Party is exposed. Let's hope they learn from their mistakes.

jackstarb Sun 12-Jun-11 12:42:01

"But politicians say one thing to get elected and do something completely different once they are in power - eg Cameron's lies about the Health Service and Clegg's lies about tuition fees"

Isn't that in part the nature of Coalition government - certainly with Clegg and the Tuition Fees. And with the NHS - things are still being thrashed out, so the government is hasn't yet managed 'to do' anything.

I think many people supported New Labour because of their 'perceived' political philosophy. Only to have a nasty surprise when the actual policies weren't in line with them.

Mellowfruitfulness Sun 12-Jun-11 14:03:39

jackstarb, sometimes politicians have to change tack once they are elected, because they were unaware of the actual situation beforehand, or because the situation changes for some reason - I know that. And I think that might well be why Clegg decided to go back on his promise re tuition fees. But that still doesn't make it alright, imo. Better not to promise something if there's a chance you won't be able to deliver it.

As far as Cameron is concerned, he said 'No top down changes to the NHS' - and then proceeded to do just that. Only now, after a huge outcry, does he remember to include the experts in his 'listening' exercise. Well, better late than never, I suppose. Except that I don't for one minute believe the government has any intention of giving up on the destruction of the NHS. They'll just wait for a quieter moment and do it sneakily, bit by bit. The process has already been started anyway.

So no matter how much we protest, it seems that the only difference is that the government will do the same things but more slowly, less openly. That is not listening to anyone. That is manipulating and deceiving the voters imo. And it is not democracy, because we did not vote for it. Even the people who voted Tory and LibDem didn't vote for the changes in the NHS or higher ed - how could they, since they didn't know about them beforehand?

So I think many people voted for personalities - always a mistake, imo - rather than philosophies. Which means that when there's a power struggle, as in the Labour party, the whole bang shoot falls apart.

jackstarb Sun 12-Jun-11 14:35:07

I agree that the LibDems made foolish promises in the run up to the general election. In fact it cost them my vote.

The Coalition didn't have the full facts on the state of the economy before the election and so were forced to adjust their commitments. The information coming from the Balls leak certainly shows how poorly the economy was being run (even before the credit crunch).

Also - Labour managed a large amount of health and education reforms 'by stealth'. Possibly because we trusted them. For the Tories it'll be an up hill struggle - and I actually think that's more healthy.

Though, of course, a future Labour government will also receive a healthy dose of cynicism.

solareclipse Sun 12-Jun-11 19:57:28

I don't think the Labour party has a philosophy.

Except to be nice to, erm, "hard-working people".

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