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What’s changed and what hasn’t after yesterday?

Posted on 11 May 2010 | 8:05am

After all the drama and excitement of yesterday, some things have changed and some haven’t. GB signalling his departure as Labour leader is a change, though one that should not have been hugely unexpected given the election result which was, in its own way, a rejection of all three leaders – GB who as PM could not secure a majority, David Cameron as the man who blew a huge lead, Nick Clegg who looked to be on for big gains which never materialised.

So that change means a new Labour leader by the autumn, though none of us know whether that will be in or out of office.

The other change is the establishment of formal talks between the Liberal Democrats and Labour. These began last night.

The thing which has not changed is the range of options still available – a minority Tory government, some kind of coalition or arrangement between Tories and Lib Dems, some kind of coalition or arrangement between Labour and Lib Dems.

I have no idea which of those three is currently likeliest to emerge.

It is less than a week since many were telling pollsters that they wanted the outcome of the election to be a hung Parliament. Many are now wondering, it would seem, whether in reality that is what they want now they see what it means.

But the politicians do have to respond to the verdict the electorate has given and that is what is happening.

I thought GB did well yesterday. As Nick Clegg said immediately afterwards, it cannot have been an easy statement to make but he made it well.

The way many in the media and public talk of politicians, all they see are self-serving plotters and schemers interested only in status, power and advancement. I think Gordon has genuinely been driven in politics by a deep belief in social justice, and in recent days by a clear commitment to seeking to make sense of the result in a way that serves the national interest.

None of that means he cannot be difficult or that there were not times when, in my time with TB, he made life more difficult than it should have been. But I think he conducted himself with real dignity and a rather inspiring nobility yesterday.

It was very odd for me to be back in Downing Street for a few days, once it was clear he wanted to keep some of the election team for political and strategic advice in the aftermath of the results. But when he came back into the office after delivering his statement, his staff applauded him, and he responded, in a way that was really moving.

As you may have seen, I went from there to do a number of interviews. Most posed this question about the process GB had started leading to a second ‘unelected Prime Minister’ if the Lib-Lab coalition materialises, and GB makes way for a successor.

It is worth remembering that this is a Parliamentary democracy not a Presidential system. There are many precedents – most recently of course GB but not long before that John Major, and before that Jim Callaghan – of PMs who became PM as the result of being elected leader by their parties not the public.

Of course in an ideal world any PM would first be elected by the public. That sense has perhaps been exacerbated by the TV debates. But for all the attention they got, people voted for candidates and our system says the PM comes from the grouping of candidates which forms a majority in government. So that is the other thing which has not changed – it will be either DC or GB, though GB will be gone by the autumn come what may, and before that of course if David Cameron becomes PM any time soon on his own or with the Liberals.

But I go back to the central point – nobody won. That was the public verdict.

It is entirely possible we will still have a Cameron Premiership but he did not win it on the results alone. And part of the reason for the Lib Dems also wanting to talk to Labour is the genuine anger many Lib Dem voters feel that they voted to stop Cameron not help him in.

I accept that many people voted against Labour. But many voted for progressive parties not conservative ones and it is worth a shot to see if they can build that progressive majority.

I was somewhat taken aback to be the only Labour figure trending on twitter an hour or so after the announcement and the reason – Adam Boulton – was trending all night. Justin Bieber eat your heart out.

Adam gets very touchy at any suggestion that he is anything other than an independent, hugely respected, totally impartial and very important journalist whose personal views never see the light of day, and who works for an organisation that is a superior form of public service than anything the BBC can deliver.

I leave you to make your own judgement what our interview yesterday says about that. I did not have time last night to read the hundreds of comments on here, Facebook and twitter, but the kindest seemed to suggest he needs a rest – we all do – but the bulk seemed to feel his ranting and raving might suggest I had a point, which I made – for me – rather calmly.

* Buy The Blair Years online and raise cash for Labour

  • Brian

    Alistair,I agree there is a precedent for someone becoming PM without winning a general election as party leader.Our main problem is we (Labour) would be doing it after losing nearly 100 seats.Secondly, it would be the second time we will have done it in just three years.I don’t believe that will wash with the public.We should go into opposition to re-group and choose a new leader.A fractured coalition led by Labour as Labour spends months choosing a new leader is a ridiculous idea.

  • Steve

    Well done Al, loved the way Boulton lost it..and yes it is no surprise that Gordon has stood aside, when in our history have we have a sitting PM and leader we have kept after losing an election!

    I am sure you played a part in setting out the options to Gordon, common sense prevailed.

    Heard some wag suggest yesterday that Blair could run for PM again!

  • Ed Allison

    Speaking as a Lib Dem rather than a Labour supporter, I thought you made him look like a complete idiot. You never claimed to be impartial. He did, and it is laughable. You kept your calm while he indulged in a grossly unprofessional display, looking more like an irate Tory voting member of the public than a professional journalist.

  • Alistair Formby

    Labour should admit defeat gracefully or face the wrath of the British public. http;//

  • nick andrews

    I kind of enjoyed the encounter with Boulton but to be honest it was uncomfortable viewing because I’d previously thought he was a rational journalist; now I know better. Disappointing indictment of the Tory media. Well done for keeping your calm.

  • Dave Hampton

    Dear Alastair,

    I often don’t agree with you, but one of the tweets I saw about your encounter with Boulton yesterday, that I duly re-tweeted, as it spoke for me, and that I think you might enjoy, simply said “i’ve never been more proud of you”

    Boulton is clearly about as ‘independent and impartial’ as Ian Paisley.

    He is also clearly under huge pressure from his paymaster, Rupert Murdoch.

    Well done for standing up for the progressive majority.

  • David Thompson

    Not a great fan of yours, especially after seeing you at a lunch in Monaco the other year! but yesterday’s Sky clash with Adam Boulton was first rate, in displaying the bias & unprofessional nature of Adam Boulton , who should be removed but he is too close to Rups. I also found Jeremy Thompson ridiculous for he was encouraging the state of affairs. You certainly Alistair got around the circuit yesterday from BBC to Sky to channel 4-in an hour plus & the most professional were Channel 4 but i do remember at that lunch in MC when we mentioned the importance of News Corp for winning elections & you were dismissive – umm umm the jury is certainly out! Best of luck. Should not Tom Harris be quiet as he has only been an MP for 9 years whilst Labour is bigger than any individual and silence is now required rather than cheap soundbites ?

  • Corinne

    Well Done. We need to start fighting back against the anti-Labour media we have or just make Murdoch PM. We (Labour) should have nothing to do with a Lab/Lib pact though. Let them back the Tories while we stand against them with some integrity. We should keep ourselves to ourselves, regroup and when it all goes wrong then we will be in a better position to fight and win an election on our policies.

  • @jlocke13

    Gordon Brown resigned not because it was in the national interest to do so but because you and Mandelson cynically calculated that it would block a Tory government… shameless attempt to hang on to lost, deal with it!

  • mash

    The demonstration by AC at driving through personal judgement is a clear example of why politics is much better without him in it. The defence of a collapsed government whilst deeply embedded in his psyche does not justify transference of personal views onto a reviewing journalist. To suggest that the TV has favoured conservative opinion over labour is the jaundiced view of a tired of hack no longer able to bend the pliant press in the direction he sees fit. Most intelligent members of the public – those who are genunely interested in the restoration of economic legitimacy and control are unipressed by grandstanding by media activists. Lets put the country first – a comment often heard, but apparently less and less appealing the the ego laden politicians who see power slipping from their oily grasp.

  • Deborah Lee

    You handled the Boulton episode, if I may say, absolutely brilliantly!

    Some have suggested that it was Nick Clegg’s comments that lead to GB’s resignation yesterday, but in my eyes the media have been out to get him for years and they are single-handedly responsible.

    Adam Boulton was put on the spot yesterday and didn’t like it. But I did, as I suspect did thousands of others.

  • Derwoodherts

    Is it really plausible to present a gain of 100 seats, amidst political and economic uncertainty unprecedented in our time, as a failure? The language you use to refer to David Cameron ~ “the man who blew a big lead” ~ rather exposes your approach as one of gamesmanship, rather than statesmanship – and is implicitly contradictory.

    I know, after four days of this unedifying posturing there is an underlying anger – and it is building fast. The markets will cool from yesterday’s ECB Easing announcements today, and will deliver their verdict on the prostitution we are witnessing. Not that the markets have any moral high-ground, of course.

    One might be better to spend an hour in a pub outside Chelsea to take the pulse of those who do hold moral high ground – the electorate.

    To be told “you voted for this mess” (spin du jour) is astounding – and personally rather difficult to stomach. Does the electorate get what it deserves? Of course; this does not warrant having this uncertain mess rammed down their throats. Hardly the new dawn of political maturity this election was supposed to herald?

  • Alex White

    Adam Boulton is unbelievably rude, and clearly biased against Labour. I think you did very well to remain calm against his hectoring and constant interruptions.


  • PNEfan

    You handled the Boulton meltdown magnificently, Alastair.

    Burnley 1, Boulton 0

  • Emma Liddell

    I was one of those who voted a progressive party & welcomed a Hung Parliament. Initially between Lib-Lab, I was very concerned that negotiations were taking place between Con-Lib. However, although Con-Lib is, in many ppl’s eyes, a direct stance against liberal & progressive thinking, I can see the benefits of forming with them. This would namely be in the ability to succeed getting papers/bills voted through due to holding the majority number of seats. This may backfire in a number of ways; for example rebel voters or watered down policies.

    Many ppl blogging/twittering were welcoming a Lib-Con coalition on the basis that all Lib voters would be antagonised, thus voting Labour in the next GE.

    Yet, there are many who think that a Lab-Lib-SNPetc coalition will be a party based upon ungracious loosers, who will undoubtedly fail in any coalition thus pushing all their suppoters to vote Con. I have to say I feel this is unlikely although feasible.

    There are many different possibilities & variables to take into account & with GB standing down it now appears that there will be a new Lab leader however what is the liklihood that the Lab leader will not be PM?

    Could it be a deal clincher that Clegg stands until the next GE; possibly to be held this Oct?

    Hillarious stance between AC & Boulton yesterday. Although he was seriously goaded by AC I would expect a self-professed independent professional to be somewhat more rational in his response. Fantastic watching though, however am I right in thinking this is not the first love spat the two of you have had, nor is it the first you’ve won? đŸ™‚

  • Jayne Kirkham

    Clearly explained & well argued. Can see why you are good at what you do.
    This is one Labour party member who thinks we’ve lost a deeply principled leader who has a genuine desire to leave the world a better and more equal place than it was when he came into it.
    Keep blogging and challenging the Tory media Mr Campbell. You’re doing a good job in countering the steamrollering of the public by the nasty Tory press machine. Someone has to try to do it and you’re better placed than most.

  • Peter Greenhill

    Alastair: Well done yesterday. You showed Adam Boulton up for what he is, a tool for Rupert Murdoch’s political agenda.Boulton didn’t take kindly to being exposed.

    Nice one!!

  • Charlie

    Not many complaints when Murdoch helped you win in 97, 01 and 05. You lost his support along with most of the country. Deal with it. Boulton was right to be angry with you.

  • s chapman

    What changed from Friday to yesterday as to bring GB resignation ?? nothing had changed at all,the Lib Dems always wanted GB to go before any coalition and after your worse performance since Footy he was going to go – it was pure GB weirdness and totally political – your and Mandys idea I hear…GB never fails to disappoint and pick the wrong path…loved it what a relief for us all he has gone;
    As for your stint on SKY – Ive always said that you think you are always right,on everything…its some kind of flaw in your make-up , sad really…anyway looking forward to an almighty bust up in the Labour project henceforth

  • Simon D

    At last – some passion in politics. Just what this election has been missing. If any of the leaders had shown any passion we wouldn’t be in this mess.

  • Ben Duffy

    On the question of legitimacy, why is no one mentioning that Cameron would also be an unelected PM if there is a Lib Con coalition? On

  • Mike Carter

    Everybody keeps refferring to the 74 election .As Irecall at the february hung parliament Harold Wilson said from the outset that he would form a Labour Minority Govt. Heaths tsalks with Thorpe failed and Wilson did exactly what he said he would. He went to the Polls the following October and won an outright majority.
    Cameron is in a stronger position than Wilson in that he has most seats and most popular votes.
    He has lost his nerveandhas gone into the talks with Clegg so he has somebody to blame when his proposed efficency savings prove to be pie in the sky. He said he was going to roll up his sleeves and get on with the job instead he reamins locked in the lavatory afraid to come out.
    If the
    “losers” form a minority Govt and rely on support issue by issue don’t do any deals thw Coservatives will not dare to bring them down as the next election would be fought by labloyr and lib dems as an allaince.
    In fact the coming MMMThirsk/Malton election would be the perfect test.
    By the way within my ifetime the following were Prime Ministers with no General Election MandatevChurchill,Eden,Macmillan Hume ,Callaghan,Major and Brown Plenty of rpecedent

  • Kevin

    Alastair, nothing wrong with a bit of passion in politics.

    The people did vote for what they want. Now the MP’s will have to work at reasonable policy and work with each other. It is so disapointing that on the Today prog this morning is that the assumption is never mind the content of a bill or report we are opposition therefore vote against. That’s what you get from career polititions.

    Your Blog is a good argument for seperating the government from the legislators. That is what we should be looking at.

  • Julie OM

    You wouldn’t find a Dimbleby behaving like that on air!!! It was however the funniest moment since Michael Portillo lost his seat. The outrage of the media at not knowing what was going to happen. I loved the bit where AB spitting and pointing shouted ‘You you plotted this’ At which point I was literally crying with laughter. He is a pompous oaf who needs to get his blood pressure checked.

  • David Dunn

    Agree with everything you say about the Parliamentary system of democracy. It’s how it works. Watching and listening to the media, it seems politicians can do nothing right. I even heard someone say that the PM should have done the resignation speech 24 hours earlier. Thought you handled Boulton really well. Very cool. I think my wife is in love with you. Keep up the good work.

  • Leo

    Meanwhile, away from petty politics or ‘handbags’ in front of TV cameras, back on planet earth, markets, you know the markets so many love to vilify but expect to fund our deficit are showing signs of strain. Regardless of the outcome if there is a crisis of confidence in the UK economy, sterling will collapse and demand for UK government bonds, proceeds from the sale of which fund our deficit and thus our enormous public sector payroll, will dry up. Then whoever is in power will be forced to go begging to the IMF which will demand an austerity budget in return for its aid and we will see unemployment through the roof, strikes and civil unrest. It’s only twenty years since there were roadblocks around mines and people shooting at ambulances, it can happen again. It’s an awful outlook and we would struggle to avoid it anyway, but with our political classes focussing on power we are making the odds of such a disaster shorter by the day. The UK has lived beyond its means for years and there will be a reckoning. GB was one of the prime architects of the mess and we will live with the consequences.

  • J.Chalmers

    It is fascinating watching the how the “English” are handling a hung Parliament from the distance of New Zealand. Living under our form of proportional representation in NZ is fantastic. One may not always like some of the outcomes, but it is democracy at work ones vote rally does count.
    A coalition government in Britain that included the Scots, Irish and Welsh as well as the English, would be fantastic.

    Congratulations on keeping your cool with Adam Boult, Alistair. I have been surprised at just how biased the British media have been over this election.

  • Sohail

    BTW, what does it mean to say that a PM is elected? In one sense all PMs are elected like all MPS are elected. In other sense, no PM is elected because we don’t have a presidential system. Comments please!

  • jon

    Just listened to the interview – Adam Boulton was right, and was (imho) justified in being upset, as time and time again Alistair Campbell tells us what we are thinking. Why is it that we have Alistair Campbell and Lord Gravy of Train part of the negotiations for the new Government, as far as I am aware neither of you were candidates.

  • Nick

    What we are witnessing now is the Tyranny of the Unelected. Forget David Cameron MP (two important letters, those), we are now seeing where the real sense of “entitlement” in British politics lies, namely with a coterie of wholly discredited Labour figures.

    Campbell, or The Unelected Campbell as much of the media now refers to him, assumes a wholly disproportianate place in public life. On the subject of “fairness”, lets have a look at the status of the men currently holding the country to political ransom.

    Gordon Brown – lost the election. Unelected PM.
    Mandelson – peer. Unelected.
    Campbell- never stood for election. Unelected.
    Lord Adonis – peer. Unelected.

    The ego of Campbell is clearly out of control, as witnessed by his much reported “I am back in my old office” texts from No.10 yesterday.

    Its time for change, which only a Party with 10 million votes last week can bring.

  • John Bray

    Alister: we have heard a lot about the horse trading with the Lib Dems. However is there talk of ditching the Liberals and some sort of pact between Labour and the Tories to get things sorted in the interim, such that the Tories run a minority government and go to the polls again in October with a new Labour leadership.

  • Chris lancashire

    You really don’t get it do you? Labour lost – big.Stitching together a “progressive” coalition of six parties will earn all the participants the wrath of every uncommitted voter at the next GE. Brown’s cynical non-resignation merely confirms his duplicious nature – national interest? He couldn’t even spell it.

    Better you listen to some principled politicians and take the advice of John Reid and David Blunkett – we lost, retire gracefully.

  • James Neave

    Although not a Labour supporter, I agree with your comments on BG yesterday. “The way the media and public talk about politicians” – we also forget or ignore that politicians are human too. I think it is genuinely the case that GB was always “well intentioned”. From my point of view, all the negative overtones of that phrase also apply – sadly for him.

  • Robert Jackson

    Adam Boulton clearly had a bout of E-Bay buyer’s rage.

    He’d been hoping the Tories would not have to pay the right price for LD support (meaningful voting reform). He thought it was in the bag.

    Then in comes another bid. So Boulton had a tantrum.

    Great leveller is E-Bay.

  • Lynn G Levy

    I heard David Blunkett on ‘Today’ say the LibDems were behaving like ‘every harlot in history’ presumably by charging more for weirder preferences. Is it only now that pols are realising that compromise is not comfortable but means that everyone has to give up some of their sacred cows? We must all learn to deal with this; admit everyone holds their ideas to be self-evident and common sense and argue on a less personal, more rational level. That way stability lies, not in embedding a sense of rage.

  • Paul Clarke

    It’s the assumption from people like S Chapman that we are “all” relieved to see GB go,and if we aren’t then we must be a little dim witted.

    While he was not the right man to lead Labour in this election, I, like many millions of others, are quite sad to see him go, and wish GB the best of luck on the future.

  • Tina

    “It is less than a week since many were telling pollsters that they wanted the outcome of the election to be a hung Parliament. Many are now wondering, it would seem, whether in reality that is what they want now they see what it means.”

    It seems to me what it means is that we are seeing for the first time in my adult memory, politicians talking to each other and to the electorate like rational adults without childish party political Punch and Judy. I don’t mind if things take longer to decide if we can have this level of serious conversation. Let’s hope this is a permanent change.

  • richard coleman

    I have just seen the exchange between you and Mr Bolton. My opinion is that you reflect everything that is bad in politics today. Please do the electorate the favour of disappearing on a permanent basis.

  • chris cole

    Surely we are no longer a democracy in this country if the electorate wishes are no longer taken into consideration when it comes to MP’s “doing a deal” to establish a “majority party in government”???

    I voted for one party to run the country according to my wishes, NOT to see the 3rd place party doing a dutch auction. I would expect to see the population regardless of who goes into power come out on the streets and demand a new election within weeks not months or years. Ed Balls as new Leader for Labour – you are having a laugh – he only just managed to win his own seat in his own constituency (which he does not live in??) hardly a high recommendation for leader and possible PM is it???

  • Chris Mellors

    Its simple, Yes everyone I know voted to tell MP’s We were not happy with the electoral system that whyI am in an LD area! My politics are not LD (clue there) Most people I know want PR as the FPTP leads to the same old story. So PR is the answer not perfect but better! I have also spoken to several voting abstainees who would vote again under PR. Its all about proper democracy & a multiview government! Is that too much to take in? Or is it too much for the People to ask for?

  • Steve Hacker

    If something unsatisfactory for a small but influential minority is ‘agreed’ what chances of what happened to the Whitlam Labour government in Australia in the 1970’s? Ashcroft enjoys his ‘Blofeld moments’ – is that more a reality than a fiction?

  • Rob Billington

    How can it be that the one certainty here is that the party that got spanked in the election and came third losing a significant amount of its support from 2005 is the one that will have a share of the power and that the two main parties are being dictatced to by these minnows. A case of the tail wagging the dog. If this is PR you can shove it where the sun dont shine. I for one am furious about the LD’s selling their favours on the street corners of Westminster.

  • John Delaney


    Can I just say that you coming back into the the party
    has made a big diffrence and GB has become alot more
    relaxed it will be sad to see him go as he is one of this
    countries political giants say whatever you want about the man you put him down and he comes back for more he is a fighter and you have to admire him for that and all this crap about him being a liar etc is rubbish.I am and always will be a great admirer of GB one of the most complex and intersting politicians probably since Michael foot two very bright men with great political beliefs cut them open and it will have politcs all the way through.

    GB as I said may not be everybodies cup of tea but the son of the manse will not be forgotten in british politics he may be just the man who has stopped the posh boy becoming PM.

  • Steve

    For better or worse, the tories got 56% of the vote in England, yet if there is a Lib-Lab coalition, then the only way that they will be able to pass matters relating to England, such as health and education policy, will be with a rag tag bunch of Scottish and Welsh Nationalists and Scottish Labour MPs. How democratic do you think that this is?

    This will bring Parliament, and certainly the Labour and Liberal-Autocrats into massive disrepute! I fail to see how either of these parties can justify this!

  • walter horne

    Alastair, well done – great debate, Boulton put in his place. Waited a long time to see and hear this.

    Ticketyboo! Walter Horne

  • peter

    You know it drives me made when people say “many were telling pollsters that they wanted the outcome of the election to be a hung Parliament” when that’s simply not true

    Most people voted for the party they wanted in government. They didn’t go out to vote for a hung parliament that’s just what we have.

    So don’t say “we” voted for this hung parliament because we didn’t we voted for who we wanted in government.

  • Marc Mullen

    Hopefully out of office and that’s as a Labour supporter. Let the new leader have a chance in opposition to watch from the sidelines as the Tories and Lib Dems screw themselves up. This horsetrading is useful for a short period as it neuters the worst potential ravages of an unrestrained Tory led Tory-Lib pact. But Labour should pull out with dignity and let pact or weak Tory g’ment have a bash for 6 months. They will not be able to do anything.

  • S Barker

    I would like to know why everyone talks of the ‘will of the British people’ as if we had collectively decided on this result. The only thing on my ballot paper was a vote for a constituency MP – yet we are told it is the ‘will of the people’ that there is this or that result – or this or that Prime Minister. I am also interested to learn today that the TV debates are apparently part of the mechanism to deliver ‘legitimacy’ to a potential leader.
    It all seems a lazy way to consider the situation.

  • Paul Clarke

    Also should add, I think the electorate will not forgive us if we push for power now.
    Many are already mad, this will ad fuel to the fire, and may well mean another 18 years out of office.

    Let’s be dignifies and lead (what is after all) a strong and robust opposition. A tory LibDem deal – or the TOries alone will not last.

    By moving to one side we lose nothing but the opportunity tro govern when any govornment is almost damned, and in the medium to long term we gain everything.

    Why can’t Peter M and the negotiators see this – it is so obvious!

    The Tories should form whatever cobble up they can, and we should let them do it gracefully.

  • John Abbey

    For the sake of a healthy democracy Labour must pull out of this mad scramble for power and step down with dignity. They have been fortunate enough to have governed this country for 13 years. They lost 100 seats, they have no leader, and they have no mandate. The country needs a fresh start, but it also needs a strong and credible opposition. Labour can do more good for this country on the other side of the House, at least for now. It can re-group, choose a new leader in its own time, and refresh themselves. Opposition is where great ideas are born, and strong governments formed. Labour in the nineties, and the Conservatives in the 00s have both benefitted from being on the other side of the House.

  • Marc Mullen

    Boulton amused me. It seemed like he wanted to say: ‘Don’t tell me what I think. I know it’s what I’m saying, but it’s not what I actually think. I’m just doing my job. Just doing what Rupert tells me.’

  • Karl Havard

    I find it most odd that MPs and a section of your post, state that the electorate voted for a hung parliament. This isn’t the case at all. The electorate voted for who they wanted to have a seat in the House of Commons; it just so happened that the outcome was a hung parliament.

    However, what we’ve seen over the last 5 days is the desire to achieve personal and party gain masqueraded as “national interest”. Can the MP’s not see how two faced they are being? Since when was electoral reform a major issue prior to the election? It wasn’t. However, now we are in hung parliament territory the Lib Dems are making it the most important issue as it will work in their own party’s favour (not the national interests….I don’t think the electorate are that bothered about it).

    The outcomes are not great. however Nick Clegg has damaged his credibility by playing a dangerous game of trying to back two horse, which has lengthened the process. A coalition between Lib Dems and Labour, backed up by minority nationalist parties from Scotland, Wales and NI will have no stability, credibility or substance…it will be much of the same thing….a complete battle of egos, with policy coming second. If this comes to fruition there will be civil unrest, especially in England where there was a clear majority.

    What Cameron should do is give Clegg a cut off of 12 noon. If he doesn’t make a decision the Tories should shut up shop. Ideally form a minority government and the first action should be to call another general election. Labour can then put someone credible at the front of their party quickly; the Lib Dems can sit and ponder what might have been; and the Conservatives will achieve the majority. Then we can get on with being a properly run country and try and restore some value, sense and pride.

  • Zubs

    I think you did very well against Adam – you clearly exposed him live on TV. Well done

  • Andrew Cooper

    Excellent summary of the situation, of course, and you certainly were very calm. Two points. First, surely Blunkett is right and a Lab-Libdem coalition would be electoral suicide (for both parties)? We know that many of those who voted on 6/5 were floaters. Secondly, is it possible that Boulton blew in the interviews with you and Ben Bradshaw simply to boost Sky’s viewing figures? Whether he did or not, a lot more people will be watching them today.

  • Chris

    The telling interventions yesterday were those of messrs Reid / Benn / Blunkett who pointed to the absurdity of the two least successful of the parties in the eyes of the electorate (not relative to how the polls said it might be a few months ago)have no mandate.They regard a period in opposition regrouping as being in the best interests of the labour movement rather than being part of a shabby coalition that pushes through a change in the voting system without public involvement and borrows even more to buy off the nationalists.
    Boulton stand up to you – you both looked like little boys in the schoolyard!

  • Judy68

    It’s nonsense to say people voted for a hung parliament. I didn’t see that option on my ballot paper, and nor did I see “Labour + Libs + anyone else we can get”

  • Nicholas

    Alastair – Great work sparring with Adam Boulton yesterday. We need people like you to remindSky that they are ‘triple-biased’ in favour of DC.
    I need a favour from you: Please get all Labour inclined people speaking on TV to remind all of us that DC specifically campaigned on the grounds that ‘VOTE CLEGG GET BROWN’. Having made that chioce clearly known to the electorate, he has no moral grounds spinning it round (after the election) that a vote for Clegg (LD) should give us DC. Those who made the choice to vote LD also accepted a possible verdict that it would leave Brown and not DC in No. 10. As you pointed out in one of your TV appearances yesterday, a life long Labour activitist (tactically) voted LD to keep out DC. DC should do the honourable thing and stand by his assertion that a vote for Clegg represents a desire to have Brown in No 10.

  • johan

    Just felt like making an observation about recent comments doing the rounds like “this negotiation shows why PR doesn’t work”. Consider this. How many people do you really know who actually agree with any one’s party every one and single policy. Any? No, I don’t either. Negotiation and compromise might not be very macho, dramatic or swift, but it’s a much more accurate reflection of how people actually are.

  • David

    I seldom agree with you, Alistair, and on balance I think British political life would be better and cleaner if you didn’t exist. However, I do agree with your point about hung parliaments. Prior to the election, many (possibly most) people thought a hung parliament would be a good thing as it would force MPs to “talk to each other” (apparently something they don’t do already !). I suspect that a lot of these naive souls, now that they have their desire, might be reviewing their opinion now that they can see what it means. No wonder neither the Tories nor Labour MPs like the LibDems much – they really are almost as slippery as you and the Dark Lord !

  • Cromwell

    I would like someone to put Laura Kuensberg, Andrew Neil, Tory Dimbbleby in there place too. This would better be served by an elected MP.

    I have said this before, why should elected politicians be intimidated by an unelected media that is so one-sided.
    The media should strictly be balanced. I understand there is no perfect balance. By balanced I mean swinging slightly in both directions.
    The british media pendulum is not swinging at all, it is firmly stuck on the right, like those scifi-movies where time stops.

  • Mike

    Well I haven’t agreed with everything you do, Alistair, but it IS good to see you standing up against the massed ranks of the Murdoch family and the Tory press. I think Adam Boulton has been Finlandised by Sky and isn’t even aware that he has slowly become a mouthpiece for the Murdoch family.

  • Denis N

    Will people (including Alastair) please stop telling us the we asked for a hung parliament, or that we voted for a coalition?

    We did neither. We were not asked the requisite questions.

    We simply voted for one of our local candidates as being the person we wanted to represent us. To interpret the result of such a vote as meaning anything else defies logic.

    A hung parliament and a possible coalition are some of many outcomes, not results!

  • Dean Perry

    In relation to precedents don’t forget Alexander douglas home. Tories two Labour one.

  • Steve Johnson

    Ignore the rubbish being put out by all the media. A coalition/minority government will mean a brake put on extreme bills/policies and will mean a parliament where people have to actually discuss and negotiate instead of the present slanging matches. Let us try it and see. Hopefully a Lab/Lib and not Con Dem Nation.

  • Will Woodall

    What all you “experts”forget is that all 3 party leaders would like to be the PM in number 10. None of them want to be in this situation and it was the electorate, not them, who put them there. It voted for a hung parliament and now its got one, the party leaders have one course of action and that is to have a coalition. People should have been more decisive, not wasted their vote on “Cleggmania”. The parties simply do not have a choice other than to jump in each others beds. Why do people not get this, they made this mess!

    Its the same as people not being able to vote because they turned up at 9.30 in the busiest turn out for years. Why dont people blame them, not the system.

  • Graham

    The Tories have a 100 seat majority in England yet it appears that the Scottish and Welsh voters will decide the fate of the English if Labour keep power. Is it not time for the English to have their own assembly/parliament.

  • Chorlton

    I do wish TV would stop interviewing unelected, pompous farts who have a bigger opinon of themselves that the public has. Alastair……..who ??

  • johnj

    Its a pity Boulton didnt lay one on you. If Cameron didnt ‘win’ then Blair didnt ‘win’ in 2005 with fewer votes and a lower % of the vote. Brown also got fewer votes than Major in ’97.

  • Nick

    Well done in putting the odious Murdoch lickspittal Boulton in his place, but in the interest of balance can you now turn your very controlled ire upon Nick Robinson, Rupert’s fifth columnist within the BBC.

  • Common People

    Boulton expressed publicly the frustration the majority of people in this contry are feeling about the arrogance you show. You were claimijng to know what the electorate had said.

    How many times did you tell TB to tell us that he was listening? Labour people keep saying “… the public say this”, “… the public think that”. The only thing the election clearly shows is that the public does NOT speak with one voice.

    To cliam that a lib/lab set up represents the progresssive desire of the country is to to tottaly ignorer that aat least 10 million people voted against labour and the liberals. A lib/lab coalition was NOT an option at the election – even GB said the liberals policies were at best flaky.

    OK, we did not vote for a con/lib set up either – but a clear majority DID vote to stop giving tax credits to higher earners.

    All three parties campaigned to clean up politics – one thing that defintely hasn’t changed – politicians making the best of a bad job for their own ends – NO CHANGE THERE THEN.

    Something else not changed is unelected mouth peices and self serving peers claiming to know what the “real people” think. Does Lonrd Mandy really think he would still have a job if the people had their way?

    YOU hood winked us once over Irag – you will not get away with it twice.

  • Ann Collins

    The Labour Party must listen to John Reid who, to my mind, is the only one talking sense at this time. Any coalition will be doomed and allow the Tories to sweep the board at a future election. The Labour Party needs time to sit back and regroup in order to come back stronger to win the next election. If this doesn’t happen we are saddled with the Tories for eons.

  • PJM

    By the time of the election and in its immediate aftermath I was more in favour of some sort of voting reform than I have ever been in over 20 years of voting. However what we are now seeing is not edifying – it does not fill me with any great confidence that this is what we need or want in this country every time there is an election.

    Consider this – GB is the leader the labour party wanted, he has easily brushed aside any internal threats to his leadership and went into the election, all be it as the underdog, with the full confidence of his party. In fact many would and have said that despite the huge loss of seats and the clear knockback from the public – that he did better than many commentators expected.

    However we now have the situation where the mainstream party with the least seats and votes – libdems – are now sitting between the tories and labour and setting up some sort of trade off / bidding war between them. As part of this trade off the Lib Dems have clearly said “oh we don’t like your leader – get rid of him and we’ll maybe do business with you”.

    Two things leave a very nasty taste in the mouth

    1. Is it right that the 3rd place party should be able to dictate not only policy but personality as well

    2. The speed at which the labour party have obviously been prepared to jump to the LibDems demands and dump GB in order to have a last grasp at keeping power.

    Either way – i’m not sure I would want to see this horse trading extended to include further – more minority parties? What if Nick Griffin held the 5 key votes needed for one alliance or the other to prevail? Are we going to see mainstream parties jumping to his tune?

  • Louise

    I myself voted for liberal democrats as a tactical ploy to keep the conservatives out, I have been watching the coverage of the election and aftermath very closely on the BBC. And have to say that Alistar Campell is right in what he says about political journalists being biased.

    I find Nick Robinson for the BBC most irritating and completely biased towards the Tories he may as well write TORY on his forehead!

    I belive that Gordan Brown steered this country through a tough recession as best he could, he did not plunge the counrty into this mess. Gordan Brown whether you love him or hate him, was a strong capable leader, and I hope Nick Clegg and the lib dems do the right thing by the country in listening to the fact we don’t want a Tory government.

  • Jonathon

    Chorlton, if you dont know who he is why are you posting on his blog?? Seems a bit of a waste of time really.

  • Mark Kendall

    (1) Well done for flushing out the clearly partial Adam Boulton. It’s your job to give opinions on his show, not his. And, of course, he was very, very cross. Well, that’s democracy, Adam….

  • David

    We seem to be in a situation where any journalist who says something critical of Labour has to be in the pay of Rupert Murdoch ?

    I guess it lets you off actually answering the point ? Good stuff – and as you have been doing for 15 years now it presumably works.

    Sad, though.

  • wildmike

    People seem to be forgetting that the UK elections are not about winning the popular vote, or getting a lot of votes, but winning individual parliamentary seats. Were the system different, the strategies of all parties would be different and the popular vote (and turnout) would be different too. The overall popular vote in a first-past-the-post parliamentary system is irrelevant because it is hoplessly skewed by many, many factors. The election was about forming a parliamentary majority by winning enough seats, which no single party has managed to do. Any combination of parties that can do so is a valid combination.

  • Matthew Greenfield

    I don’t think I could ever forgive you, Alastair, for Iraq and your dealings with the BBC but I must say in the battle against ‘the forces of conservatism’ you are a gladiator. To see Sky news presenters losing it just shows how cut up they are that they didn’t get their 1997 moment. No march down Downing Street in the sunshine, no Edgebaston and no Portillo moment that they craved (by unseating Ed Balls). Considering a Tory government seemed a certainty just few months ago (1 month?) it feels like a victory to put such a spanner in the works.

    If Labour and the Lib Dems could work together and get reform of this corrupt (not just broken and unfair but corrupt) voting system then we could keep the forces of conservatism at bay for ever…

    Keep up the good work Alsastair. Your ‘discussion’ with Adam Boulton is my highlight of the election so far (along with the first Green MP of course).


  • Appalled Disgusted

    I will never vote labour again after seeing how low you have sunk. I’m rapidly coming to think that all politicians are self-serving scum. Campbell, you are a disgrace. You make me ashamed to be British.

  • Constantine Lykiard

    Alastair you are so backward you are practically an ape both you and Gordon should be sent to Afghanistan for some community service… like cleaning squaddies toilets. I mean…the progressive coalition… do me a favour! Was this one of your word-smithing attempts to square the circle? You should be kicked out of England and go and live somewhere in the provinces. Look at the bloody map matey England is blue and we aint paying for the Scots to have free lunches any more so get real because if this liblab blab gains traction next time you will only be electable in the Orkneys. Have a dreadful day. Your respectfully A fully paid up tax unit

  • Tony Sipp

    Fingers crossed for a Tory/Lib Dem partnership. Labour have ruined the UK over the last 13 years. I’m glad Brown has resigned – good riddance !! Not sure we’ve since the last of Mr Campbell though!

  • Brian Hughes

    Thanks for posting the video, were either of you wearing blood-pressure monitors?! I would guess his might have been further into the danger zone than yours.

    It was good to hear two professionals talking passionately like “ordinary” folk in the back bar of the Dog & Ferret often do.

    But I remember the end of the Lib-Lab pact in 1979 and have witnessed the damage Lib-Lab coalitions have caused Labour in local government. We should avoid the duplicitous charmers like the proverbial plague…

  • David

    We hear from the BBC that Jon Cruddas says the Unions should be consulted ! God help us…

  • Peter

    I think Gordon Brown did a very noble thing yesterday. I can’t have been easy for him, as he is obviously very passionate about being PM, and believes he is the best man to the lead the country forward. I have to admit, I am also getting sick of people going on about “un-elected” PMs. Even the BBC were at it!

    Although this is a controversial idea, as a Labour supporter, I think it would do Labour a lot of good to sit in opposition against a Conservative government at this time. The cuts anyone has to make will be vast, and the public will not like it. What a better way for Labour to ride out the storm, and possibly come back in favour at the next election, firing once again on all cylinders. A new leader, some time out, and the chance to really strike home at the Conservatives. Otherwise, I fear there is a risk that we will end up with a Conservative majority at the next election.

  • Cromwell

    Parliamentary system or not, it does not look good for labour to remain in power with an unelected leader. This much I agree with John Reid. I do not know why Brown bought into the idea that his stepping down now would aid the alliance with libdems. Diane Abbot said that the Blairites persuaded him to make the announcement. I must say having watched the video in the blog, Adam Boulton got what he deserved. He also made an accusation that Alistair and co pushed Gordon Brown out. The media set this trap and GB was pushed into it. Harriet Harman would be a suitable leader. Maybe a wildcard that chimes with labour’s core message. What is this talk about David Miliband? He would be defeated by Cameron because he is not inspirational, he is Blairite (divides labour). Miliband would have to be better than usual, probably better than Blair to beat Cameron. Brown lost a lot of vote and allegiance because he is Scottish. It may not be openly talked about, but it is there. Especially at a time when the english believe they are being screwed by the MPs voting system in parlement. Barack Obama had to be very inspirational, focused and charismatic to beat an old man from a hated party. If Sarah Palin had half a brain, Obama may not have been president. I guess we would have to see what happens. Labour is not in a mood for Blairites or Brownites, Labour is in a mood for Labour. Labour feels a bit lost and divorced from core labour values. Last three days of campaign reminded labour of that. It is a movement that is powerful and inspirational. I used to think the Libdems had that. Now I know it was because labour has drifted very far from it’s base. Europe, Canada, South America and now the US (iffy) are moving in this direction. The labour leadership candidate that is, good looking, relatively young, good speaker and has the labour core message in the approach to policies will win the contest without doubt. The core message would play a stronger role in the leadership contest than previous ones.

  • Jim

    Smart move on Labours part to can Brown and open up talks with Liberals. Smarter move by Tories to make public their talks. Tories look straight and decent, labour desperate and power crazed, Liberals a one issue party considering putting their own voting reform agenda ahead of the national interest. Re-run the election tomorrow and we’d see a very decisive Tory victory. by “A swing voter.”

  • terry martin

    you talk bull and your a sore loser.

    well done adam!

  • Neil

    As a tory supporter, I pray that the liberals do get into bed with labour. That can only lead them being punished at the next general election, particularly in England, and Labour will have to deal with the inevitable difficulties of maintaining discipline under a minority government. For it is clear that the nationalists will only support whatever government is elected if their palms are crossed with english silver. And small majority or large minority governments become hostages to fortunes of every crank and misfit in their party. Ask John Major.

    If voters truly wanted a hung parliament with these consequences then god help us…

  • Simon Gittns

    One of the most disgraceful days in the history of British politics.
    A party that has been totally rejected trying to cobble together a sordid, morally corrupt deal with a group of minority parties that are only interested in their own agendas not the welfare of this country.
    Trying to impose a new voting system without giving the electorate a say and presenting us with an unelected PM.
    No wonder the public view you lot as lowlifes.

  • Choc

    Is it wrong that I found the tiff with Adam Boulton hilarious?

    Finally something interesting on Sky News. The man is clearly a t*t and seeing him screeching hysterically at you like a banshee surely implies that you touched a nerve.

    May I suggest you challenge him to a charity boxing match? Don’t worry, I’m sure you will win because has spent far too long on the Sky gravy boat and it has damaged his waistline… he looks like a hair puller to me.

  • Dave Lomax

    How does Adam Boulton get away with his bias?
    If Cameron was PM he also would be unelected. Not by as much – but unelected all the same.

    Watch BBC and ITN and it’s reasonable news. Turn to SKY and it’s like “Tory TV” I thought they had to be fair and unbiased. Boulton is a bigot.

    HAving said that, Labour SHOULD NOT form a government. The anger of the last two years will multiply many times over, when another election comes they will be slaughtered by a bitter electorate.
    It’s a poison clalice anyway – let the Tories go it alone – ALthough they are the major party, they (unlike Labour) simpy won’t have enough support in the commons to do anything other than fail.

    Individually Lib Dems will not support them as fully as they need to form a “stable government”. The Libs party whip will be in oversrive trying to get just about any Tory legislation through with LD support. It’s just not going to happen.

    Nick’s lot might be flakey, but they also seem to be individuals with a decent moral compass, as soon as it looks like we are heading further right (and we will) they will abandon the Cameron (or his successor).

    So let the Tories have a go – they are doomed to fail either with or without the LD’s.

  • Jacquie R

    Polly Toynbee in today’s Guardian says:

    “According to Ben Page of Ipsos Mori, the greater part of Lib Dem voters lean towrds Labour, with only 22% leaning towards the Conservatives.”

    This may not be reflected in the parliamentary Lib Dem party, but they should be listening to the voters and allying themselves to Labour. To do otherwise would be to undermine their democatic ideals.

  • Ryan

    You rode the Murdoch wave for 10 years. Don’t like it now the boots on the other foot?

    Boulton is more respected than you will EVER be.

  • Alexander S Groom

    Lets not forget what Gordon and Labour have done for this country

    1 Applied pressure to the FSA not interfere with the Banks before the collapse
    2 Allowing the UK to loose billions in the icelandic banks when it was clearly visible they were on the brink.
    3 Raided the pension funds of millions of people
    4 Allowed Immigration to get out of control
    5 Applied hundreds of ‘stealth taxes’
    6 Sent our soilders to an unwinnable war in AFGAN & Iraq and then didnt provide the materials they needed to win the war
    7 Used the money for flack jackets to line their own pockets in the expences row.
    8 Sold gold at the lowest possible price achieveable
    9 Allowed false economy ‘bubbles’ to appear in credit, housing and the stock market to finance the economy and ensure labour & Gordon Browns sucess (at our expence)
    10 Oh yes 10, inherited an economy £4billion in the black and turned it into a Zombie economy with £billions of debt in 13 short years.

    Vote Labour, – I may as well throw money out of the window.

  • mari stevenson

    Having watched BBC I have become steadily more incensed by their labour biased reporting-it was almost hilarious when they invited the ‘independent’Alasatir Campbell to join a non biased team to repond to Gordon Brown’s calculated insult to the people of the UK to keep a discredited party in power.

    Rather than throw a brick through the TV screen I switched to Skye News-haven’t watched it before but it was like a breath of fresh air!

    Felt like cheering when that Sye reporter responded to Campbell’s usual bullying superiority-pity he didn’t punch him!

  • Richard

    Your paranoia about the media is astonishing. Why should they applaud the self serving, lying, manipulative unelected likes if you, Mandy and Adonis?

    Your clinging to power is obscene, and the theory that GB would selflessly serve as stop-gap PM in a new Government shows that the national good and interest are the last things on your mind.

    Your constant bullying spinning and whinging have rendered you utterly ineffective, and as nobody can rely on a word from your mouth you are unemployable.

  • Alex Salmond for No.10 (-;

    Absolutely brilliant Alastair! one way conversation from reporters again. What about getting in on the act and running for MP/new leader!

  • Tricky Dicky

    Fast forward 35 years……
    Brown statesman and former leader of the Labour party remembered as the Brown foundation celebrate the opening of the 100th make poverty history clinic .

    Adam Boulton…..err who?

  • Alex Sewell

    Adam Boulton, Nick Robbinson and most of the media seem to be firmly and proactively promoting and supporting the Tories. I, and other I’m sure, are disgusted that the BBC, especially, are actively promoting Tories to get in to Government. All the synical forces seem to be at work here, which is a discrace. Even Robert Peston through his lot in with the Tories last night. It’s seems that all the old-school boy network are working in unison here. This country is in for one hell of a ride, and not an enjoyable one, if the Tories do finally make it in to power. I must also correct you and Boulton Alistair; I do actually think a lot of voters voted Lib Dems in an attempt to get Brown in and keep the Tories out. Sorry but I wish Boulton had headbutted you… he’d at least had lost his job and damaged the TV network he works for. What a horrible creep he is.

  • Peter Cameron

    I did so enjoy the spectacle of a conceited, arrogant and over-opinionated journalist getting his come-uppance, and it was all self-inflicted!
    Adam Boulton reminded us forcibly how many media outlets, and particularly those in the Digger empire,actually believe they now run the political agenda and can tell people what to think. It is no coincidence that his colleague, Kay Burley, was proven equally guilty of the same hubris.
    Alastair is no mug when it comes to winding people up but you would have thought a journalist of Boulton’s experience might have been more savvy.
    It was all because David Cameron did not get a clear majority, and the Digger empire had been put on full alert to achieve that aim.
    Carry on the good work Alastair!

  • David

    Lord Mandelson, the Unions, the Scottish Mafia, Alistair Campbell, Ed Balls striking a deal with Lord Ashdown, Lord Steel, Ming the Merciless and the Celtic fringes.

    Progressive Coalition ?

    I may vomit, I really may…

  • Pete B

    It’s not just Adam Boulton who will be enraged by your grubby attempts to stitch up a losers’ coalition. Like Murdoch, we are former Labour supporters who now see you for what you are. Trying to dismiss us as politically biased is just the sort of bankrupt spin the electorate now expects from you. The truth is that a ragbag Lib-Lab (+ God knows who else) stitch-up would be neither legitimate nor stable, pretty much the worst-case scenario in these economic times. It would be a disaster for the country and a disaster for Labour – motivated not by concern for the ‘national interest’ but blind, squalid lust for power from yesterday’s rejects. If you think this view, and those argued by Adam Boulton, stem from political bias then perhaps you should check with your own John Reid and David Blunkett who say the same. In your sordid desperation to cling to power, you would sacrifice the country and the long-term interests of your own party. Make no mistake, ‘success’ now will be short-lived, and Labour will pay the price for years to come!

  • David

    Apparently, Labour negotiators (led by the unelected noble lords Adonis and Mandelson) will argue that together the two parties would have legitimacy as a government because together they gained more than 50% of the vote.

    Presumably, Labour will hand over approx 100 seats to the LibDems to underwrite this legitimacy ?

    What mendacity !

  • Karl

    An outside observer from Dublin,

    Congrats to Mr. Campbell for outing at least one SKY “journalist” or should that be “show biz front man” – I don’t want to get involved in another countries politics, but I do resent the way SKY in particular reports news – like some Teenage Quiz show. It has been slating of my own country for years with its X-Factor approach to what it calls “news” reporting (just look at the SKY news hysteria on the 2004 May Day protests outside the Phoenix Park in Dublin as one small example).

    How SKY news keeps winning awards every year is beyond me, and Mr. Boulton was simply unprofessional and should have been more prepared for dueling with Mr. Campbell of all people đŸ™‚

  • Douglas Hurrell

    Why should the conservative party be scared of PR ? Its the current system which has badly served Scotland Ireland and Wales and quite possibly inner cities. Its the current system which creates unrealistic leftish loonies and heartless rightish loonies. Such opinions are perfectly valid but not in the private ear of a ruling party.

  • UK is a joke

    Take a look at how the world is reporting on this situation. The world isn’t right wing, in fact much of it is left wing, and yet we are being portrayed by the world’s media as a pathetic joke, because our politicians are backstabing like never before to try to secure power for themselves. They have no interest in the electorate. Britain’s democracy is now seen as a joke, because power can be hijacked by unelected politicians such as campbell & mandleson, and by parties that lost the election. Read what is being said by the rest of the world, don’t just listen to the perspective of your own particular political tribe in the uk.

  • There\’s Gona Be A Riot

    I predict that if labour / lib dems stitch up the electorate with a losers coalition and attempt to form a government, that people will take to the streets, and we will see rioting across the UK.

  • Graham

    I have to say I’m tired of hearing that “no one won the election”. When in fact one party did come out of the election with more seats than any other individual party albeit not a majority but still MORE seats.

    Countless times on the TV I’ve heard the spin dismissing the Tories as losers. The political system is not working for the good of the country.

    I predict civil unrest in England if some cobbled together Lab/Lib coalition is put in control. We are sick of Labour, we are sick of punishment for hard work, reward for idleness, being told what to think, our privacy being invaded, our taxes being wasted on unelected bodies, two wars we should have never been involved in, the stupidity that has led to the economy being on it’s a__e. Let’s just remember who has put this country in this position. Not the Tories, not the Lib Dems, but Labour. Even with a new leader it’s still the party who have ruined this country.

  • Megan

    Adam Boulton is twice the man you’ll ever be. You never complained about the Murdoch press when they were cheerleading New Labour for years. Your problem is that you can’t accept that you have no control over the media narrative anymore.
    The cabal of the unelected in Downing Street trying to impose a government of losers on the British electorate makes me ashamed of what democracy has become under Labour. If you, Mandelson & Adonis thought you knew what was best for the UK, why didn’t you all have the balls to stand for election? But no, you prefer to huddle together in No10, playing power games with my country & my children’s future. There are no words to describe my loathing for people of your ilk. My father, who was a glaswegian socialist to the left of most in your party, would be spinning in his grave at your antics.

  • D Goodman

    So if this Lib-Lab pact goes ahead, negotiated by the unelected Peter Mandelson, spun by the unelected Alistair Campbell, we will have the two parties in power who came second & third, with an unelected Gordon Brown as Prime Minister, until the autumn, when the Labour Party will choose another unelected Prime Mimister.
    Labour-style democracy 2010.

  • mike carter

    the Conservatives received 56% of the vote but have not got an outright majority . a very good argument for changing the voting sysdtem to one that ensures that the government must have 50% or more before assuming Office.

  • Abdulkadir

    Well done Mr Campbell the way you shut it up SKY Jounalist who was clearly TORY supporter.

  • Graham Kenyon

    I can’t help thinking that the best way forward is for the LibDems to support no one.
    An alliance with the Tories will always be a one-way affair, with little real prospect of LD policies appearing on the statute books and the likelihood of an old school Tory cabinet with a few LD’s as gophers. Moreover, the damage to LD support at the next election will be fatal, and Lab/LD waiverers coming down solidly pro-Labour, in fear of LD dalliance with thte Tories.

    The media will never allow a coalition between Labour and the LibDems to succeed and the LD’s ultimate aim of electoral reform still won’t be achieved.

    A minority Tory government will achieve little, with no support, and will begin to seem highly anachronistic should they deliver no electoral reform.
    A return to the polls will be inevitable, and would give th progressive parties time to run on a ticket based largely on electoral reform- a guaranteed win at a subsequent election. PR would deliver an ultimate end to a block Conservative vote, and enable progressive parties to develop policies in the expectation of coalition.
    I feel most people want this. Isn’t consensus politics what thte parties have all been chasing post-Bernanrd Ingham?

  • Kevin Mc

    Labour should let the Tories run a joke of a government for eighteen months or so, at the same time removing the ‘tired government, 13 years’ and emerge fresh after a brief rest with D Miliband at the helm. Let the Tories carry out their emergency budget and bear the brunt of the backlash. Up to the Liberals whether they also go into oppositione or go down with the Cameron PM Ship sometime in 2011 and possibly out of power again for a generation (if Mervyn King is right).

  • Simon Giles

    Alastair You are a legend. You have single handedly shown Sky as the torie biased, sensation hunters that they are. Serious news broadcaster or torie whipping boys. Adam Boulton answered that one yesterday. Your restraint is to be commended because I would have found it hard not to have thrown him off that platform.

  • Mark Wright

    GB has conducted himself with dignity throughout. He and his cabinet have continued to provide strong government during this process.

    Alistair Darling’s negotiations this past weekend were crucial for this country. He stood firm for Britain’s interests and any hope the Eurozone may have had at getting Britain to sign up to a huge bail-out in the midst of the uncertainty of our election outcome faded as quickly as Cameron’s 20 point poll lead on election night. I’m glad there’s a chance he may be sticking around for a while longer.

    As for our current parliamentary situation, I don’t think it’s just Labour who’ll be electing a new leader by the end of the year. Did you see those Tory cabinet posts? David Davies, Iain Duncan-Smith? The Tory right are already flexing their muscles. Cameron is on borrowed time. And where then for The Tories?

    As for Adam “I just care about my country” Boulton…

    Of course, AS YOU WELL KNOW ALASTAIR, telling someone to calm down who’s clearly very wound up produces the opposite effect! It was like watching a car crash in slow motion.

    I notice the catchphrase “Calm down Adam” has been used already by the Dark Lord himself Peter Mandelson at an election press conference and clearly winds him up. Brief all senior Labour members to use the phrase whenever Adam interviews them in future. It’ll drive him nuts!

    It also illustrated what an infuriating bastard you clearly can be Alastair. Brilliant!

    *** If anyone’s interested there is now a Facebook group entitled “Adam Boulton Needs A Holiday”.

    Join up and let’s see if we can get Adam some much needed time off before another election is called within a year. There are many pictures of Adam and possible holiday destinations for him to consider. I don’t think he can take much more.

  • Valerie Flood

    Adam Boulton was totally out of order, Alistair remained calm and in control. Mr Boulton should apologise. He lacked professionalism. Pity Mr Campbell can not be our PM !

  • mrweller

    Nice to see Tory voters losing it, now that it looks more like a Lab-Lib coalition.

    Lets hope the coalition bring in a voting system that banishes the ‘look after the few’ party to the wilderness.

  • MattWPBS

    Is this what I expected and wanted? Frankly, yes.

    I like seeing politicians having to talk to each other.
    I like seeing them have to discuss things and reach consensus.
    I like seeing them have to moderate and cooperate.

    It’s a nice change really.

  • Nick

    There really is something beyond parody in Alistair Campbell answering questions about the legitimacy of any party. On the subject of patsy journalists, who else enjoyed A.C’s reaction when Lefty John Snow described him as “far more influencial than a mere Labour MP” during a fawning interview on Channel 4 news last night?

  • Martin Lloyd

    Any truth in the rumour that Burnley, Hull City and Portsmouth are planning to form a coalition where they can pool their points and thus stay in the Premiership as a combined force?

    They even plan to lay claim to a champions league slot for next season as they wish to play an active part in Europe – playing at Turf Moor of course as they finished 3rd bottom and thus consider themselves to be the largest party in this particular losers coalition, plus the other two are like Greece and the UK in financial meltdown due to years of mismanagement.

    Brian Laws has agreed to step down due to dissent in the rank and file of the Burnley support for not playing Chris Eagles. Gordon Brown is looking for a new premiership opening and is favourite to take over and is promising an era of “no more relegations”.

    I have to say tha the Labour/Lib dem dealings are shabbier than the away end at Turf Moor, which for the uninitiated are very shabby indeed, only slightly better than the away end at Portsmouth.

  • Joseph Mafolo

    I was thrilled to see the spat between Alastair and Adam Boulton. I thought he put him exactly in his place, an outed closet supporter of the Conservative Party. This propaganda that SkyNews and the media, has been dishing out to the public, trying to convince us that Dave Cameron and the Conservatives won this election is appalling. The Conservative Party is not the winner, as they are 19 votes short. They thus do not have an automatic right to form government. A coalition of progressive forces is more preferrable to the motley crew of conservatives led by Dave Cameron who will take the UK back to the 80s. All this propaganda from Lords Heseltine, Hurd etc is just despicable. Not to mention business support for the Conservatives. It is business (the banks etc) that got the UK into this crisis and now they are looking for salvation from erstwhile allies, the Conservatives.Forget about the City and focus on the people. This desperate talk about the “pound having lost more than a cent against US$” is pathetic.I am coninced that the Conservative press and its supporters in the City are trying to trigger a meltdown to stampede Lib Dems into throwing their lot with the Conservatives. Cannot wait for tax cuts for the rich, blah, blah. A Lib-Lab pact is more acceptable than a Con-Lib pact. Labour and the Lib Dems have to counter the propaganda, half-truths and lies from the Conservatives and within the next nine meonths the British would be seeing material benefits from Labour’s hard work over the past few years. And then the Conservatives will stand no chance. That is why they are so desperate to get to no.10. For now they have not earned enough kudoes to be given the keys to no.10. Apologies, try next time!

  • Spike

    Alistair, I have to admit to seeing you as a hate figure in the bad old days of New Labour spin, but you are emerging in the current, historic situation as a one of the strongest voices of reason. This is all the more important because the media of all flavours – public, private, Murdoch, BBC, low brow and high brow – seem to have turned into attack dogs. They bark and froth at the mouth as they try to tear a strip of flesh off wherever they can. They are completely failing in their duty to explain the situation to the public. Instead they are doing their worst to accelerate distrust, cynicism and disengagement from politics.

    Please remain in the fray as a lone voice of sanity. Help the public to steer through this difficult time, and to understand that the politicians are mostly working in good faith, and that the upside for the British body politic is actually pretty good.

  • Helen

    fair play to you A. delighted to see you keeping your dignity while AB lost it. We all know what goes on behind the scenes, but to let it spill over on live TV was beyond the pale.

  • Kathy

    So this is what we end up with. Labour should be ashamed of themselves for this grubby situation. If you scrabble together a Lib/Lab pact it will have no chance of working and this is the stable government you talk of. The media are not biased, they are telling it like it is and that is it would be immoral if the party who won most seats have no representation in government. It is time Labour ditched Alistair Campbell, Peter Mandelson and Lord Adonis. Who elected these people to speak for Labour? Were the grass roots Labour candidates even consulted before this was scrabbled together? As for Gordon Brown he should never have been Prime Minister in the first place, another unelected leader and they intend to foist another one on us. Before this election, I thought maybe it was time for political reform but now I say bring on the referendum. I, and I am sure millions of disgusted voters who believe in fair play will vote against it and I will never, never vote Labour again! Shame on you all!

  • dem

    Everytime they (unprofessional biased right-wing press) think GB is done and dusted, he timely comes back with a masterstroke, thats what pissed “Mr listen to me Boulton”, thanks GB and the team for getting under their biased skins.

  • Jane

    I am feeling totally disillusioned that an unelected clique are determining the future of the country. I refer of course to Peter Mandelson, Andrew Adonis and yourself. I find it offensive that members of my party are manipulating the election to serve narrow interests. Also, it confirms my strongly held views that the good of the country is bottom of labour’s priority – it is hatred of the official opposition party and the clinging to power after being comprehensively trounced in the polls.. Thank goodness, I can look to some, David Blunkett, John Reid and Tom Harris to restore some modicum of decency to what is happening.

    I am delighted that GB is leaving the office of PM. He has been a disaster and most unpopular in my area. Just to think that he was complicit in the ousting of Tony Blair!!! I hope David Miliband becomes leader and not the odious Ed Balls. He would be another election loser!

    As to the discussion with the Lib Dems and the so called progressive alliance? I share David Blunkett’s views on the talks. Further, I would be appalled that a rag bag of nationalist MP’s could hold the country to ransom. I would also resent their intention to ensure that the countries they represent are not subject to budget cuts to obtain their cooperation. All of their interviews indicate this is their intent. Do you really think that those of us who live in England would accept this blackmail. We will soon be marching in the streets and my goodness, the labour party will suffer at the next election. As to progressive alliance – what a myth. With all the machinations over recent days behind closed doors and in the case of the labour party no contact with back bench MP’s the concept of egalitarian behaviour which is the premise of progressive politics is not apparent to me.

    Adam Boulton lost his cool with you. I have always felt that you have had a bad press and leapt to your defence. However, I thought your manner too was unacceptable – it was beligerent and you had no right to suggest what Adam Boulton was thinking.

    I am embarrassed at what is happening and indeed consider that the media are right when they say that what has happened in Downing Street confirms their assessment of political schemers. GB may be driven by social justice but he is also driven by a hatred of the Tories. Somehow, Tony Blair may have felt the same but he was a statesman and did not to show such feelings. We cannot return to the past – if only………..

  • Jennie

    Alistair, after yesterday, you are my new celebrity crush ;P

  • Simon Whittley

    So transparent, so cynical – you were bought to book by the English electorate this time around and next time I am convinced that you will be bought to book by the Scots as well. It is easy to understand why you still treat the electorate as intellectually inferior, after all many of them voted for your shoddy organisation last week, but surely even the most ardant Labour supporter will recognise that democracy is preferred to your staunch socilaist ideology that deems it acceptable to impose unelected ‘leaders’ as Prime Minister. There is a growing mood of disquiet emerging now and I fear the recent riots in Greece will seem like child’s play if any stitch up, puppet administration is unfairly put in place. Just go now with some degree of dignitiy.

  • Cromwell

    It’s a bit disturbing how keen some labour MPs are to go into opposition. Have they forgotten how long the Tories were there?
    If tories get in, the can call an election at anytime. The would have the media behind them and would cut the hell out of our services and living standards while the media asks us to accept it.

    This is real life, it is not a game where you can take a break in opposition. Labour MPs should back a deal, in order to make a fixed term and voting reform. This would give the centre left a fairer hold on power. And would prevent the Tories from getting so much power. This may also affect the biased nature of the media once and for all.

  • Lis DeChas\’ Cam\’

    Adam Boulton going feral is the moment of the week. First it was Alastair then it was Ben Bradshaw with a huge grin on his face clearly enjoying it all very much indeed.
    So will Hurley Burley , with her oh so sage advice for protesters, and Raging Boul, with his complete mental breakdown, loose their jobs eventually?

    The channel has clearly lost the plot and violating their broadcasting code, they should know that.

    Well done Alastair, it brought some amusement to a tedious day of ‘rolling news of door’once again.

  • Helen Johnson

    Well said, Alastair, comme toujours. Hx

  • Cromwell

    Over the weekend the media was talking about some tories opposing coalition with libdems. Now Tory MPs are all silent and supporting Cameron because they know the danger of a Labour-Libdem coalition, as it would involve voting on the electoral system. Which we all know would be detrimental to Tory chances of being government in this country. Labour MPs should be disciplined for once and shut uup.

  • Joe Gallagher

    Adam Boulton, like most media commentators, has shown himself up as yet another petulant prima donna. I find it infuriating when these unelected mouthpieces cannot even pay their guests the courtesy of allowing points to be made without constant interruption. When will these people accept that we live in a parliamentary democracy and not a presidential system as would suit their egotistic tendencies? The leaders debates and the surrounding media hysteria completely stifled the possibility of mature debate and of course the electorate responded with appropriate ambiguity.
    Gordon Brown has proved himself a statesman of considerable talent and international repute. His decision yesterday is another example of his genuine devotion to the national interest, despite the media’s continued attempts to show him in the worst possible light. Although deeply saddened by his departure, I am convinced that the coming weeks and months will reveal a profound loss to UK and world politics.

  • Claire

    Praise for remaining calm and behaving like a gentleman during the recent sky news ‘debate’ with Adam Boulton. Boulton was a disgrace; bias, aggressive… BTW, I voted liberal and feel sick at the idea of them forming a coalition with the conservatives, I’d be happy with a labour coalition đŸ™‚

  • Ian Benson

    Ali and Adam sitting in a tree,
    Ali showing Adam how to be on TV!

  • John Abbey

    I sense we are close to a Lib Dem/Conservative alliance. Too many senior Labour people coming out against a deal. Only the old guard of the Lib Dems holding Clegg back. The simple arthimatic doesn’t add up, and can anyone really imagine Gordon Brown working closely with Nick Clegg until he leaves office? Lets face it, there is only one show in town. The two CCs are the only option for our country.

  • Graham Jones

    It is obvious to everyone, enxept the media, that nobody wants the tories near No 10, so I just don’t get Adam Boultons point last night. But then, I never do get his point.
    It was important what you did yesterday, as well as entertaining. It may seem trivial to some, but it will resonate into a lot of hearts and minds, just what this little media munchkin is trying to do.
    Under the orders of Rupert and baby joey, he and his pygmy tribe at Sky have been seeking to undermine the will of the people. Rupert wants a neo-con in No10, while the country wants a progressive government. So, the munchkin is trying to narrate a media line that the rest follow, to give us ‘Minority-Dave’ as our PM. Minority-Dave would begin phase two of the operation, allowing Uncle Rupert, throughout the course of a parliament, to create fear between people in the UK, through the media.
    Divide and conquer has been the tory mantra, since the days of colonial rule. It’s either black against white, Scots against English, Christian against Muslim or Jew, Catholic against Protestant, british born against immigrant, rich against poor, or the employed against the unemployed. The shameful list goes on and on, and the pattern never changes.
    It is this media conditioning, that has to be fought, and AC, you drew a line in the sand yesterday. You said it was wrong, for the media to play king-maker, and the munchkin didn’t like it one bit.
    There must be a progressive for everyone’s sake, or we are at the mercy of this rotten bunch in the media. The fight must be carried to them. The highlight of the election was GB’s speech at Citizens UK, but yesterdays Boulton-bashing comes a close second.
    Yes, you are right that GB has his faults, but so did TB and yourself. I think even you wouldn’t pretend you were perfect. However, you were perfect yesterday, in how you behaved. Boulton was given enough rope to hang himself, and he took the bate. It’s his narrow-mindedness, and slavish servility to his paymaster, that is is downfall. The quicker the rest of the media wake-up, the better.

  • Graham Jones

    Laura Kuennsberg must be next on your hit-list, Alistair. She has been seduced to the dark side, by the Sith Lord Nick Roninson. Only a matter of time till she wears a black helmet and cape(and a tory rosette, of course).

  • barry mcmanus


    thanks for the (not so) gentle reminder as to not to follow Murdoch’s news machine.

    I’m watching the events as they happen on the bbc web site and I have to say that I am invigorated by politics for the first time in a long time. I’ve been impressed by how Labour came through the campaign given all of the obstacles. If its a Lib-Con government- hopefully the Tory’s will be kept (relatively) in check. Good luck with the next election – (and also with the leadership election).

  • Beatrice Bray

    The Guardian’s Marina Hyde went overboard with her write up of Alastair’s row with Adam Boulton. She described Adam as “psychotically aggressive”. I complained to the Guardian about this phrase on the grounds that it stigmatised people with severe mental health problems and I got an apology from Marina and the production editor David Marsh. Marina did say that Alastair said this on Twitter: “wonder if Adam might need some of my pills”. Not the soundest comment from a Time to Change champion like Alastair but I don’t think Marina can use it as an excuse for her insensitivity.

  • Billy Blofeld

    Looks like you were wrong and Adam Boulton was right. Your colleagues have decided that morally Labour “lost” the election.

    Will you be a big enough man to apologise in public to Boulton – since that was the only point he was trying to get across?

  • jimmy

    I find it depressing that an opportunity to keep the tories out is slipping away because of unreconstructed tribalism. Some of the reaction shows that we still have too many people who regard opposition as their comfort zone. As far as I’m concerned no-one whose ambition is to sit on the opposition benches has any business seeking a Labour nomination, nor does anyone who thinks point-scoring against the LibDems more important than securing the recovery. As an ordinary member I just wanted you to know that some of us appreciate your efforts. You, Gordon and we all deserved better than this.

  • David Carrington

    Great work yesterday Alastair. You were cool, calm and collected, not to mention eminently reasonable. Boulton was completely ignoring your central point – that we didn’t win the election but neither did anyone else – but that fact is being overshadowed by his outburst.
    Yes we lost and yes it is right that Gordon goes. Now it’s time for us to rebuild and find the best way to give this country back a government dedicated to social justice.

  • MLJ4

    It is a worry that political broadcasters like Adam Boulton and Nick Robinson are so blatantly biased towards the Tories.

  • Edward

    You can’t complain Alastair!
    Do the maths – LABOUR LOST!
    OK the Conservatives did’nt get 326 but Labour could’nt
    manage any where near the Tory vote both in Seats,Votes and %.
    Just be honourable and admit defeat and move on

  • Trevor A Smith

    I am sure that Adam Boulton views himself as the UK version of Bill O Reilly.
    He certainly has a highly inflated view of his own importance
    We must all now be vigilant that, with Cameron in Downing Street, the Murdoch plans for the castration of the BBC are frustrated

  • Ben

    Congratulations Alistair for standing up to Sky News. Your calm, professional composure really showed Boulton up.

  • Stewart

    That video just does not get old. Adam Boulton is the nation’s worst political “journalist” in the country. From his out-of-place intervention in the TV debate when he brought up the Telegraph story about Clegg, to this clear signal of his disgust that his Tory boys didn’t get to power.

    Brilliant work from Campbell to uncover the Murdoch machine.

  • craig thomas

    ah, Alistair,

    If the coming days of Baby Buttock-Face in Downing Street turn out to be as dark as many of us fear, at least I shall have the glowing warmth of your humiliation of dear old Adam B. to keep my going.

    A thousand thank yous.

    You saying, ‘Oh, and you were elected, were you?’ is my TOP MOMENT OF 2010 so far. Bam! Take that! Kerpow!

    Thanks, thereby, for making every Labour voter feel intelligent by association. We msy lose seats but we will always win the argument.

    Oh, hang on: so long as David Klunkett and Big Jock Reid aren’t making in in favour of FPTP.


  • craig thomas

    Sorry but I have to just have a word about Jim saying this morning that the Tories look ‘straight and decent.’ When they came out to camera after talks sessions, buzz cutted Bill Hague with his protruberant forehead looked like something from a Viz cartoon, Oliver Letwin like Les Paterson and George Osborne like a disengaged Sixth former at the back of an Economics class.

  • Graham Jones

    Let us gather today, and witness the passing of a once progressive party. Sadly, the demise of this political institution, was down to fatal wound that was self-inflicted. The legacy of this once morally sound party, is a descent into immoral policies and pacts with the great evil in the land. All those prevailing Lib-dem MP’s, will now witness a slow countdown, till their own political deaths at the next General Election, while they assist in the euthanasia of a once great nation. They will slavishly fall into line, under the watchful eye of Rupert Murdoch, or else.
    The moral bankruptcy will seep from every pore of the Yellow cadaver……..ok, ok, ok, a tad too macabre, prehaps. The core of the matter, is that we
    will now have an unelected PM, who does not represent the values of the majority. Thanks to the Lib-dems, we are left to be ruled by a core of neo-cons, under the leadership by ‘minority-dave’, down to a stitch-up by the old-school-ties network. It is an affront to our sense of fair play and moral sense of fairness, that such a cretin as Cameron, can be propped up by another cretin. Nobody will ever trust Clegg and his cohorts ever again, once they start to slash and burn. The next to die will be the BBC, unless it is cleansed of the neo-con ideology, within it’s walls.
    The Lib-dems and the BBC will soon learn, that if you lie down with dogs, you will get up with fleas. Oh, and finally Mr Cameron, you may have fooled some, but the rest of us know, that you can’t polish a turd.

  • Martin Hodgson

    I, for one, am heartily sick of trial-by-media (in certain sectors) when it comes to MY politics. I think Adam Boulton’s behaviour was ridiculous, ugly and biased in the extreme. How dare he judiciously put the spin that he did on yesterday’s events. I resent being told that I am impatient for a decision that will affect my life for, possibly, years to come. I’d rather wait for a fortnight for the Lib-Dems to make their decision, as long as it was taken on an informed basis.
    Never mind the markets – they are just constantly looking for something to get skittish about and I don’t want them to run our political system by implied pressure.
    The country have told the politicians to work together, so Adam Boulton should just get over himself.

  • Maggs

    Interesting. Never seen old Boulton in such a tizzle! But do you think you could have taken him on if he’d done a head butt? I was really worried that you would have continued to tell him what to think and then he would have gone for it.

  • George Woodhouse

    If nothing else Alastair, you are one of the best spinmeisters around. Mainly I guess because you are willing to make outrageous comments so boldly that many of your unthinking sycophants believe you. As for the “rejection of all 3 leaders” comment – what rubbish. GB was totally rejected. Cameron gained 100 seats. And the worst result for Labour for 60 years apart from the Michael Foot days. At least Michael Foot had integrity.

    Many of us warned a very long time ago that Labour would face disaster if they stuck with GB – but no one listens until its too late.

    The last 24 hours have highlighted more than anything else how little integrity there is in the leadership of Labour – and has been for many years. Goodbye Alastair and take Mandeleson and Brown with you!

  • ArtG

    Congratulations Alastair, on the fabulous interview with Boulton, and on debunking the myth that TV news is non-partisan and independent (at least to all but the most blinkered observer). A job well done, if a little late for this election…

  • Karl

    Well done – you put the sky man in his place without loosing your cool – good on you đŸ˜‰

  • barry

    Well, goodbye Labour.

    30 odd years ago, as a child, the Tory’s came to power and took away my milk! God knows what they will take away now!

    The Labour leadership contest will need to deliver.

  • lespetroleuse

    Delightful to watch Adam Boulton erm.. kebabed, as Neil Kinnock might have put it.

  • Brian W

    So roll on Saint Nick Clegg and the Bullingdon Boys Brigade – a marriage made in heaven! Just grateful they were not in power when the global financial armageddon threatened – Gordon Brown may have had his character flaws but has proved a very good man in a real (rather than political) crisis, and has appeared particularly dignified and statesmanlike over the last week. Wish him well, and God help the rest of us if things turn nasty economically again …

  • Graham Jones


  • richard

    Alasdair, I do actually respect your talents as a ‘communicator’ and ‘strategist’. But you always push the boat out too far and after 13 very long years you need a break. Also more importantly I think the country needs a long break from you. For once in your ‘media’ life, you need to stop putting words into other journalists mouths and just actually admit Labour defeat and failure. Grow up and look forward to Labour opposition !

  • Ray Merrall

    Hiya Alastair,

    It never ceases to amaze me of the number of people who pick up their political knowledge and learning from the Tory Press, and to put it politely, are as incompetent in their views as are their teachers. And some of the totally right wing incompetents who show their stupidity, sorry cupidity in believing what the Daily Wail, the PornPress, The Torygraph or Murdoch’s rags say.

    However, the old story of the old Bull and the Young Bull in the field beside a field of cows. The old Bull advices the young Bull to take his time and walk to through the gate to get to the prizes, the young Bull takes no heed and jumps the fence. Moral: If you have to jump the fence, make sure you jump high enough – or you will leave your dangly bits behind on the barbed wire.

    Cameron did not get over the fence, he is politically castrated, and their will be a large number of his back benchers who will not be happy bunnies with him. Especially as the Tory Party “Love” winners and dispose of losers as quickly as possible. Thatcher, Major, Hague, Howard, Eden, McMillan

    Clegg is going to lose a large number of his supporters and core vote by the Tory Haters in his party, which means, in Scotland, Holyrood could change, the councils of Edinburgh and Aberdeen could change – all to Labour if the LibDems cross the floor to join. Just think, Donald Trump could actually end up building his golf course in Ireland.

    Gordon Brown has out maneuvered Cameron and Clegg by resigning before any agreement has been made and forced Cameron into taking office without official support.

    What’s the betting that the men in grey suits will soon be visiting Cameron and suggesting that Willie Hague takes over.?

  • David G

    I have just trawled through the many comments on the Adam Boulton interview yesterday and what is clear is that you have the fearless ability to challenge commentators like Boulton and others live on air – like no other – maybe it is because you have nothig to lose but it certainly gets people thinking about how the media manipulate and change public opinion. Too many politicians, businesses and sport stars have a fearful and negative respect for the media – healthy challenge is good to see and hopefully makes big egoed journalists think that the media consuming public aren’t all niave enough to hang on every word they say – many commentators will be looking at that interview and saying I wish I had his “balls” to fight my case…well done.

  • phil

    No spinning the Alistair. We wake up to a conservative liberal government tomorrow.

  • tom wiley

    one wonders whose idea it was to send poor old gordon out there yesterday….?

    today he looked like a man of dignity, relieved to be going and importantly he made comments in his statement that clearly showed he was no longer interested in the title of pm….

    whilst i never agreed with him being pm i disagree more with the self serving unelected advisors who thought it would be a good idea to sell gordons dignity one last time just so the party could stay in power.

    maybe those people should have a long hard think about their own actions in what was a bit of a debacle yesterday

    clearly gordon had no intention of staying on until september and he would have known the country in general would not have accepted it…good on him for finally finding his moral compass and sticking it to the power seekers so he could retain his dignity

    because lets face it thats the real story of the past 5 days…..

  • neil


  • Ash

    Have the strength to force the moment to its crisis?
    But though I have wept and fasted, wept and prayed,
    Though I have seen my head (grown slightly bald)
    brought in upon a platter,
    I am no prophet – and here’s no great matter;
    I have seen the moment of my greatness flicker,
    And I have seen the eternal footman hold my coat, and
    And in short, I was afraid.

    Thank you for trying and giving it everything. I hope that you’re still there, working, the next time around!

    Remember if the nights close in, and the days seem grey and the moods darken…you have inspired a lot of people with the strength and dignity you have shown..speaking out with brazen honesty and stepping beyond the safety zones – you have enriched the lives of many.

    Thank you

  • James

    Just watched the Adam Boulton interview, well done Alistair it’s about time somebody stood up to the right wing dominated media in this country. Let’s get Labour back in power as soon as possible.

  • Ethan

    Gordon Brown was fantastic at everything except the superficial shit. He went with dignity, knowing that he made the right decisions throughout his premiership – whatever the right-wing press say.

    As for the Tory-Lib Dem coalition, I hope the collapse is as inevitable as it seems. Lib Dem voters didn’t vote for the Tories’ inheritance tax policy (Camertwat even dared to use the term ‘fairness’ in his first speech!),homophobia and benefits for married couples (I checked, they weren’t joking)

    Fingers crossed for an election, quick!

    By the way, well played on nailing Adam Boulton and the Sky Bias. Next, the BBC’s Nick Robinson…

  • iMan 4D

    An quite heroic triumph over an exposed, blithering, blustering fool. You have my respect, encore!

  • Paddy Quinn

    Thanks for the last 13 years. You can be proud of everything that Labour has achieved.

    The country is much better now than in 1997.

  • John Delaney

    Sadly his bias fear mongering has won! Labor by turning its back on the one opportunity to create a fairer voting system has not helped. Why are politians so self-indulgent? One minute GB has lost election. Same Labour MP says I increased my majority. I voted for Labour/GB… I did not vote for an ego-maniac back bench wannabee! The arrogance of both politians and the media (BBC included – I mean… David Dimbleby and Nick Robinson might as well have had blue rosettes on during the election) have made me finally realise that we (Joe Bloggs/non Oxbridge) are f**ked!!!

  • Lucy

    My family and I have found Nick Robinson’s analysis so biased against Labour, and particularly Gordon Brown, throughout the BBC election coverage, that we increasingly switched to Sky tonight. He seemed to delight in David Cameron’s ascendancy.

  • Irish Al


    Just saw you on Newsnight tonight and proud that you are still out there fighting. Ignore the understandable impulse to walk away now and hand over to a new generation of Labourites. Stay visible and keep fighting the good fight as only you can….even if it may not be good for Mr Boulton’s blood pressure!!

    PS Memo to Labour Party: set up a dedicated group to track Liberal U turns in government – The Dem Busters (cue theme music, etc).

  • Cel

    Good luck to Conservative, well done to Gordon Brown for doing a good job for the country let Labour stay out of it. I am sure a Labour Party landslide victory is coming, this coalition government will break down in the next six to 12 months time.

  • mark

    Newsnight just reported there will be fixed term elections of 5 years. 3 hours in and it has started already. dear o dear me.

  • paul

    hi alastair
    well done yesterday against those sky reporters especially that boulton would’nt know a story if it slapped him in the eye. labours out but we shall return stronger now we get to see what that other lot can do
    ps.will there be another book out if so will there be details anywhere on where to buy it and a release date as blair years was great.


  • Matthew Leydon

    hi i would like to congratulate you on the exchange with sky, You have made me consider joining the political arena whether it is through campaigning, im from north of ireland was hoping you could advise me what to do as labour would be the party of my choice. thank you

  • Djunfitforwork

    It’s not the time to be “gung ho” on attacking the LDs (tho damn, does that deal look water-tight compared to what we were expecting). If Cameron had called a snap election -I fear he would have gone a working majority. Also -the Progressive Coalition would have been unpopular and short-lived -we will never know for sure.

    The normal post election analysis now has to take place before conclusions are reached -but it need not be a “post mortem”. Labour did superbly to stop a Con landslide -so lets hope there are no recriminations -and that we have a civilised Leadership election.

  • Lynne Barker

    Hi Alistair
    I feel that the resignation of GB (what a poignant acronym) is beyond credulity. This man who has shown the most stoic, sensible clear-minded government for a very long tome has been excoriated by the press. I’m with Piers Morgan, it was embarrassing, The british public (BP) need to recollect 15% interest rates and the closure of the North of England under conservatism. Media was nauseatingly biased, the Labour election campaign was impotent, but essentially my opinion is that this man had to deal with a volcano of shite left behind by Tony and did so with aplomb, adroitness and statemanship. The Labour party need you right now. Be there.

    Dr Lynne Barker

  • Tom

    Saw you on newsnight AG. When you said to Evan Davies that LD voters had voted to prevent a Conservative government getting into power, you don’t seem to get it yet that we have a Conservative AND LIB DEM government instead. Its called a coalition – like the arrangement you were trying to stitch up with the Lib Dems to prevent a government representing 60% (rather than just 50%) of voters taking office.
    You also don’t seem to get that the reason most people are pissed off with politicians is that they won’t give a straight answer to a straight question as if their audience is plain stupid and doesn’t understand the difference.
    Spin doctors like you suffer from the same disability with knobs on. I do hope that you stick around to remind the undecided voter why not to vote Labour ever again.
    The country is now about to pay in spades for the TB/GB boom and bust economics and light touch regulation of the banks with highter taxes, huge public sector cuts and massive unemployment etc. That is New Labour’s true legacy. Where should the electorate send the bill? Does New Labour you have a forwarding address? Of course TB is ok because he is coining it and so are you.

  • Lynne

    Ann Campbell – you are supporting John Reid who said today that the the british public (BP) wanted parties to work together because they didn’t vote for any outright political leader. Pleeease! Did the BP meet in a room ( all 65 million of them) and say this is our strategy. NO. People voted at an individual level and the cards just fell that way. It’s absurd to think ‘the people’ are trying to give politicians a message. You should stick with Reid because clearly you are incapable of rational thought, and so is he. EDWARD you are just stupid were you recently on Britains Got talent?

  • Lynne

    Just realised these posts are one year old – please update Al – get with it. BTW are you married?

  • robster

    As someone who suffers deep depression it is actually quite heartening to see the Lib Dems show their true colours..!

    As you know we have an unelected biased right wing media that holds unprecedented power in the UK, and we have very little way to challenge them. How can we ever have a democracy with a right media who are so powerful and so pro Tory, at any cost? If you are thinking about a new project how about a new media organisation? We need a powerful media organisation which can deliver “our” side of the so called truth, independent from the right wing biased that even the BBC demonstrate. We know nothing is unbiased, everything is biased but at least a powerful left leaning TV/Media company would get more truth out there!! I can but dream….

  • Steven Ridgewell

    Well done Alistair for the way you dealt with Adam Boulton yesterday. I think you hit a very raw nerve. I used to be a member of the Labour Party but left it for various reasons. I voted Labour again this time because I didn’t want the Conservatives. I grew up in the Thatcher/Major years and remember how bleak it was. Many people voted Liberal Democrat for the same reason. How will they be feeling tonight? We have to accept the reality of the situation. Let’s see how things go. In the meantime, Labour needs to regroup and rebuild under a new leader. They are not dead in the water as some commentators suggested they would be. I’m very tempted to come back into the fold and rejoin the party.

  • Martin

    How can Sky News aka the “Conservative channel” be still classed as a privately owned yet public broadcaster? Why do politicians other than conservative ones, still feel obliged to go on there and give interviews, or give them the time of day? I remember Barack Obama having the same problem during his election campaign with Fox news regarding their right-wing bias. Maybe now after their golden boy has been elected then Ofcom should have a look into it for future elections. All this balls about been fair and balanced! It is a conservative party mouthpiece which passes under the pretext of been a mainstream yet private broadcaster. And no I’m not a Labour party member, I’m just a member of the general public who likes things “fair and balanced”. I enjoyed your exchange with Boulton though, you were very rational indeed.

  • rukia

    Just watched the Boulton interview dear god AC showed him up i thought at one spell he was going to make Boulton cry

  • S Thompson

    I watched you on the BBC do something similar on the same subject to that Tory gimp Nick Robinson. I giggled through that exchange, but I couldn’t breathe for laughing when you wound up that Murdoch balloon.

    I marched against New Labour, and left the party over the war in Iraq. I voted LibDem in the last election, and thought that my party was finished. This year I came back, and I’m proud to say I voted for Gordon Brown.

    But it was watching you with that Murdoch creature that made me realise how viscerally Labour I am.

    We were sat in front of the telly shouting “Go on Alastair, punch him!”

    “Dignity, dignity” It just gets better every time you watch it.

  • Anna

    Thanks for the last 13 years.
    I live in GLA, and without labour it would still be the underdeveloped rough gem it always was. Thanks for all that was done to make life better in areas where people actually live, we don’t all want to move to the South to live and work.
    But don’t worry overmuch, this tory govt. are doomed, the coalition will fall to pieces, labour will sweep up the strays, labour will be rejuvenated and come back twice as strong with an ‘elected’ leader. Not that any leader labour have ever had has been unelected. media nonsense, willing ignorance to the facts of a parliamentary democracy.
    I do however fear for unemployment levels which have been kept to an impressive low during a recession, and ultimately the union, we are now so clearly societally different, England-Tory/ Scotland-Labour, on the whole … what is it’s future?
    Keep fighting, opposition starts now.(i’ve rambled enough)

  • greg clark

    I have got to say that is a pathetic apologist article by Polly Toynbee. Not one single note of contrition from her or the guardian or the observer for the backing of lib dems judas of the centre left . While she may be right to claim there was little effort from labour for a coalition in reality the hope a rainbow alliance were doomed on election night. A result tt may have been possible to manoeuvre out with a lib lab pact would have always struggled for legitimacy in the eyes of the public.

    In reality the hope of a lib lab pact was scuppered in the first election tv debate when brown continually reached out to clegg with the ” I agree with Nick” opning line to many of his points.. Doubtless hoping to engineer the same 2 prong pincer movement that had been so successfully executed on George Osbone by Alistair Darling and Vince Cable in the C4 chancellor debate could be repeated. It wasnt Clegg angrily rebuffed him , and instead Clegg went for the glory basking in Cleggmania that distanced himself from the labour party forcing the labour party (as well ) as the tories to attack him after it and leading ultimately to the lib dems poor seat tally at the polls.Sahme of the guardian and the observer for falling for such a shallow trick.

    This tory lib dem pact is a political vanity project , how on earth could the labour party seriously got into bed with such a vacuous tart. While hes checking himsellf in the mirror of his minesterial car. He’d do well to see what is following him… A resurgent labour , freed from the shackles of power and enjoying its role as the ONLY opposition and only to ready to knock cameron and clegg off their perches.


  • Helen Johnson


  • Laura

    Most of the points I wanted to make have already been addressed, you know I think the way you handled Boulton the fucknugget was sublime and the fact you were the moment of zen on The Daily Show has me on the verge of shaking popm-poms in your name BUT on a day like today..

    A day where we wake up to a limp yet present Tory in No.10 I’m moved to reiterate a comment someone else made earlier. They talked about the two bulls jumping the fence but the version of that story I’m familiar with is far more relevant. In that version two bulls, an old bull and a young bull are at the top of a hill, the young bull says “Look at all those cows down there, let’s run down and fuck one” and the old bull calmly says “Let’s walk down and fuck them ALL!”

    Stay with the party, if you won’t become leader, help them get the best man for the job, help them regroup, help them come out fighting so they can, in the not too distant future, walk down that hill…

  • mike carter

    Do urdoch and Ashdown think this was money well spent/
    Saw the video with the little fat man well done.


    I listened to you this morning on Radio 5 and I think you were excellent. Your style of attack on this shoddy coalition is what the rejuvenated Labour Party should go in for now. What you did not mention is that at the next leadership debate, there should not be and there will not be a podium for the “deputy prime” minister. What he has to say will be said for him by the Conservative leader. Sign me on to the labour Party NOW!!

  • Keith Munro

    Have you managed to clear your pram of toys yet?

  • Robert Holloway

    Some very bitter red bunnys here this morning. Cant none of you wish the new government well? We are in for a lot of pain over the next five years, you have got your head in the clouds, if you think none of it was Labours fault.

  • Xanthippe

    Just to thank you, Alastair. I’ve disagreed with you, made jokes about you and detested many things:- war in Iraq, shameless toadying to the US etc but your rearguard action this election has been admirable. This Thermopylae might have bought us enough time to save democracy. Now, back to serious thought, philosophy and don’t forget we made gains in the local elections, so all is not lost.
    Have a well deserved rest now.

  • Julie OM

    I’ve just joined the Labour Party as I don’t want a gov of public schoolboys making decisions for the women of this country.

  • John Clayton

    It’s funny how in everything you post, it comes out that everyone loves and agrees with you. We don’t. The reality could not be more different. I am from a ‘labour family’, but thanks to the likes of you your party will never ever have my support.

  • andrew griffiths

    What depressing nonsense this comments page is.

    It seems most of you are Labour supporters, lamenting the good old days and how much better Labour have been at running the country.

    My God, have you all forgotten that Labour took us into an illegal war, let immigration spiral out of control, allowed a severe housing shortage, had a part in causing worldwide recession and sold peerages for party funding. And thats just the stuff I can remember off the top of my head!

    I used to support Labour until I couldn’t take their blatant lies and spin. The 45 minute claim and the weapons dossier just added insult to injury. New Labour has almost turned into the Conservative Party of old – complete with sex scandals and bribes.

    I’m not saying the Conservative coalition will be any better, but to suggest that Labour have been hard done by is ridiculous. The sooner that New Labour become ‘Old Labour’ again, the better.

    Less Alastair Campbell, more Robin Cook ( God bless his soul).