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On Hoon-Hewitt and John Prescott

Posted on 7 January 2010 | 12:01am

I’ve been really busy all day on various things and have only just caught up with the coverage of the Hoon-Hewitt ‘initiative’.

Fair to say the news I caught was a bit of a disaster for the party, after what has been a better than expected start to the year in terms of getting stuck in a bit more to the Tories. It has also had the inevitable effect of making people come out and state their support for GB, somewhat defeating the object I’d have thought. I’ve seen the wave of support for GB on Twitter and Facebook from Labour activists, and it has been very encouraging.

If it was a plot, it did not appear to be a very deep one. Anyway, am too tired to be blogging this time of night, so I will leave the last word to John Prescott, who has made a YouTube vlog on the subject.

  • dc

    What are hoon and hewitt going on about!? it is completely unnecessary. In this new year labour actually seem to be taking the fight to the tories and highlighting how economically inept they are and what shallow policies they offer! he cant eve keep to his promise not to cut the NHS. i watched the exchanges at prime ministers questions and it really highlights how Cameron really offers nothing but says he can give you cant trust him!

  • A week is a long time

    This was truly a media frenzy – it was stoked by the New Statesman and Iain Dale in his blog who posted updates constantly. It’s the most annoying non-story bar the coalition bloody government and has no right to occupy the news coverage for as long as it did.

    The last opportunity for anti-Brownites would have been at conference last year – since this opening was missed it’s now too late in the day and would require major resignation threats to make it into a proper coup or indeed a news story which has any substance.

    You didn’t miss anything!

  • Quietzapple

    It does principally seem to have been a tory media plot (oft repeated) with Hoon-Hewitt attached.

    I thought it died about 3pm, it was a half day failed coup, but the former Tory national Chairman Nick Robinson of the Tory BBC is desperate to pursue it. He obviously feels a need to justify his misjudgement.

    There is even criticism of some of the declarations of support whereas I imagine some thought twice about dignifying the fiasco by addressing it at all.

    Still it has had the effect of highlighting Gordon “The Rock” Brown’s courage. Are we not so very glad he is on our side, and poor Mr Chameleon obviously very jealous!

    Latest Poll shows another slight reduction in the defecit with the tories, poor Sir Iain Dale bothered tweeting at me, they are getting still more worried . . .

  • Patrick James

    Maybe the problem for those who aspire to lead the Labour Party is Brown’s success rather than any supposed failure.

    Months ago those who aspired to Labour Party leadership could say to themselves that Labour would lose the election and then a leadership contest would be inevitable.

    But, the polls keep narrowing. Brown is much more successful than they imagined. He is very wily and has been dealing with the Conservative opposition very well.

    So, Conservative victory is now far from certain. In fact at the ConservateHome website the forums are full of panic.

    The problem for those aspiring to lead the Labour Party is that if the party does well at the general election, in fact, wins the general election, Gordon Brown will rightly get massive support as a leader from the party which will put an end to the dreams of the aspirant for the time being.

  • Niles Cooke

    For you to tacitly back Prescott’s call for Hewitt and Hoon to face a secret ballots is laughable; you’ve never been elected to anything in your life.
    It just seems to me Alastair that you are yesterdays man fighting yesterdays battles.

  • Nick

    I have recently been out canvassing in London, and it is hard to exagerrate the depth of Gordon Brown’s unpopularity with voters. Comments like “I just don’t like him”, and worse, are ten to the dozen.

    Make no mistake, Labour is sleepwalking to a terrible defeat with Brown at the helm.

  • betty curtis


    I’m disappointed this has happened & I agree with the earlier reply that this came from Tory blogs ie Dale & Guido & of course Nick Robinson was full on (after saying on Daily Politics no truth in it)Then during the show Hewitt & Hoon’s email’s to MP’s broke & his story telling on Cabinet Ministers ie 6 of them as being involved in the coup & was denied by one of the six Jack Straw who said Robinson’s statement was untrue & bad Journalism.

    I still feel confident that Gordon is away ahead of Cameron as a strong political leader & a hardworking PM.

    This could’ve driven Gordon to throw in the towel but that’s not the man, he loves the Labour Party, & he knows they are the Country’s only hope with the right policies to return UK to growth instead of the austerity of the Tories & reminds me of the 80’s,90’s where their nil investment in public services left the Country devastated & a lifetime of unemployment for a lot of ordinary
    people. We need Gordon Brown more than ever. He is the right man in the right job.

  • scriberpunk

    I actually thought it was an inside job. Get a half arsed, half hearted badly thought out attempt at a call for a leadership contest out of the way before the campaigning really starts and then the air is cleared for the job in hand.

  • Mark \’Elvis\’ Wright

    This was the ‘Superman IV’ of coups to unseat GB. A completely rubbish sequel to the previous three. I demand my money back!

  • Paul

    The plot itself may have failed but it’s the delayed lukewarm responses from key members of the party that seems most curious.

  • Charlie Reynolds

    Not suprised you have failed to write an article on this!

    It seems these are the facts:
    -Most Labour MPs are sure that the result at the general election will be worse with Brown as PM.
    -The Tories want Brown where he is
    -The rift between the chancellor and PM (on policy) will cause a real disaster for Labour during the election
    -Hoon was considered a Brownite and was Chief Whip!!
    -Senior cabinet members did not come out quickly to support Gordo and when they did it was less than lukewarm
    -Miliband really is a pathetic spineless gimp
    -Mandelson wants to control the future of the party after Brown and his allies are defeated at the election
    -Darling told Brown he should go

    Let’s see what comes next…… If there are no changes in election strategy…..the game is up.

  • Judith Haire

    Haven’t H and H got better things to do?