Tribune on Blears

It’s already old news, but this article in today’s Tribune caught our eye:

Blears is ‘almost certain’ to run
Barckley Sumner

Hazel Blears is “almost certain” to stand for the deputy leadership of the Labour Party, according to some of her close associates.

However Ms Blears, the party chair, will not formally announce her candidature until the election for leader and deputy leader is called.

Her view is that is would be improper in her current job to be campaigning for another position when no vacancy exists.

The article goes on to say that she is expected to get 44 nominations easily; that Straw is still making a decision; and that Johnson is now wavering, having lost support from both secular and religious MPs after his botched attempt at a compromise on faith schools that antagonised both sides.

But what intrigues us is Blears’ position that it would be inappropriate to campaign as Party Chair. Fair enough, but if that’s the case how can it be appropriate to send out your “close associates” to spin your candidacy across a range of media spanning from Tribune to the Sun?

The reality is now that everything she does will be seen light of her deputy leadership campaign, regardless of not formally declaring. That seems to place her in an awkward position as party chair, where she risks appearing to use the party machinery to promote herself.

The Daily has nothing against Hazel Blears (if you want to see someone who does, check out Ministry of Truth) and it’s the more the merrier in the deputy leadership race so far as we’re concerned, but her position does seem rather at risk now.


9 Responses to Tribune on Blears

  1. Unity says:

    Right, so if my membership get cancelled, I’ll know who to blame… 🙂

    She’s still bloody awful in front of the media.

  2. Benjamin says:

    Hazel Blears comes across like an over enthusiastic middle school teacher on the first day of term.

  3. Benjamin says:

    Ministry of Truth was pretty cruel weren’t they? Interesting analysis of the Salford results – yet another Labour “heartland” going soft. Liberal Democrats are certainly working on it – in 1997 they had just over 10% of the vote in third and in 2005 they are over 22% in clear second, still way behind Labour, but that pattern of seriously softening Labour votes is replicated across the North.

  4. Andrea says:

    Benjamin, yes, the rise of the Libdems in some Labour seats is quite worrying. I wonder if they’ve reached their highest point or if they’ll continue to grow.
    Not only in Labour heartlands, but they had an impressive rise (and have now totally replaced the tories) in some Labour seats held by the tories in the 80’s

  5. HenryG says:

    I don’t have anything against Blears, just that if she’s elected it’ll be ‘no change’, when change is needed if we’re to get in fighting shape for future elections.

  6. sosialydd says:

    As much as defending Blears is something I’d rather not do… a majority of 35% is not “soft” by any measure (and certainly not by historical standards in Salford; have a look at some of the pre-’80’s results there) and the increase in the LibDem vote in 2005 was pretty modest… IIRC they gained about 1,500 votes and went from 16% to 22%.
    You also have to seperate the rise in the LibDem vote and the fall in the Labour vote in Northern urban constituencies; the fall in the Labour vote from 1997 to 2001/5 in these seats was overwhelmingly due to a sharp fall in working class turnout (something that should be a major concern in it’s own right) rather than working class voters switching to another party, while the LibDems seem to have replaced the Tories as the party of choice for middle class voters. Looking at Salford again, in 1997 the Tories polled 5,779 votes to the Liberals 3,407, in 2001 the parties were basically tied and by 2005 the 1997 numbers had inverted. A similer pattern can be seen in several other constituencies.

  7. Benjamin says:

    Well its repeated in many other constituencies but sometimes in a worse way for Labour. Its not a meldown yet for Labour in Salford because the previous majority was so high. But there is no way else to spin it, Labour has been shedding votes there, no doubt about it.

  8. fredrik says:

    A question about the “44 nominations”. Can one MP give his/her nomination to more than one candidate?

  9. There is nothing in the Rulebook to prevent it, but it is likely that the NEC Guidance issued when the election is declared will cover it instead.

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