The continued speculation and uncertainty is allowing our opponents to portray us as dispirited and disunited. It is damaging our ability to set out our strong case to the electorate. It is giving our political opponents an easy target.
An astonishing example of a lack of self-awareness. I almost feel sorry for Gordon Brown (almost) - the starting gun for the election gets fired and two disgruntled dafties very publicly point to all the discontent at the heart of the Labour Party. Parties which show themselves to be divided suffer electorally, and with Labour already struggling badly and with no coherent message to sell, bankrupt and punch-drunk staggering into the election, Hoon and Hewitt appear to be trying to guarantee that it's the worst defeat possible for Labour.
Here's the whole of the message they sent to their Labour colleagues:
As we move towards a General Election it remains the case that the Parliamentary Labour Party is deeply divided over the question of the leadership. Many colleagues have expressed their frustration at the way in which this question is affecting our political performance. We have therefore come to the conclusion that the only way to resolve this issue would be to allow every member to express their view in a secret ballot.
This could be done quickly and with minimum disruption to the work of MPs and the Government. Whatever the outcome the whole of the party could then go forward, knowing that this matter had been sorted out once and for all.
Strong supporters of the Prime Minister should have no difficulty in backing this approach. There is a risk otherwise that the persistent background briefing and grumbling could continue up to and possibly through the election campaign, affecting our ability to concentrate all of our energies on getting our real message across.Equally those who want change, should they lose such a vote, would be expected by the majority of the PLP to devote all of their efforts to winning the election. The implications of such a vote would be clear – everyone would be bound to support the result.
This is a clear opportunity to finally lay this matter to rest. The continued speculation and uncertainty is allowing our opponents to portray us as dispirited and disunited. It is damaging our ability to set out our strong case to the electorate. It is giving our political opponents an easy target.
In what will inevitably be a difficult and demanding election campaign, we must have a determined and united parliamentary party. It is our job to lead the fight against our political opponents. We can only do that if we resolve these distractions. We hope that you will support this proposal.
Geoff Hoon and Patricia Hewitt
It's not that I regret the damage these half-wits are causing the Labour party, it's just that I'm amazed that they were in positions of influence for so long. There are two possible explanations - the first is that there just isn't enough talent in Labour's ranks to provide decent Ministerial material, the second is that Labour's contempt for us is so ingrained that it's not considered important. Either way it's shameful.
Mind how you go!