Gordon Brown is currently facing a coordinated effort by leading members of his own party to persuade him to resign and make way for a new leader before next year's general election. Ageing Blairite warhorses Charles Clarke and David Blunkett have weighed in - accusing Brown of bringing "self-inflicted injuries" upon the Labour government, while Hazel Blears openly attacked Brown in print.
Their main gripe seems to be that Brown has a tendency_ to change his mind; to make mistakes and then try to correct them, making himself look like a ditherer. This is a fault he showed from the begriming of his term in office and the 10-pence tax fiasco. It is not such a bad fault as Blair's - making mistakes (the biggest was the Iraq war) and then refusing to admit they were mistakes.
None of the gripers have come forward with any new policies it is Brow's style rather than the content of his actions that worries them. And when it comes to bringing the party into disrepute, Clarke and Blunkett are hardly in a position to point the finger considering the circumstances of their resignations (twice in Blunkett's case).
These gripers are panicking that Cameron is about to win the next general election and have some idea that a new leader might just be able to save their jobs for them. They are wrong and the people they are hying to cajole into heading a challenge to Brown Alan Johnson, Harriet Harman and Jack Shaw – know full well it would be a poisoned chalice: three months of even steeper decline in the polls followed by a complete collapse of career.
And though they concentrate on smaller issues like the spat over Damian McBride's disgusting emails, the gripers are definitely to the right of Brow. Their policies would make Labour even less electable.
There is absolutely no point in changing the leader without changing the policies, leftwards! mat was pointed out loud and clear by the Labour Representation Committee two years ago before Brown succeeded Blair, when John McDonell MP made a principled challenge to the automatic takeover.
Brown could still rescue his ow position and win the next election if he acted with boldness and implemented working class friendly polices: making a real investment in building new council housing; withdrawing troops from Afghanistan as well as Iraqi scrapping the Trident replacement and restoring public services - transport, health, education and so on - to full public control. He could give the taxpayers of Britain the democratic control of the big banks that their investment warrants and restore full trade union rights to workers in Britain. And he could raise the super tax rate even higher, to 95 per cent for the filthy rich while uniting with other governments around the world to put a stop to tax havens.
Policies like this would win a resounding Labour victory - especially since all that Cameron has to offer is a re-run of Thatcherism and appearing to be less of a ditherer than Brown.
PRESIDENT Zardari of Pakistan is visiting Washington to get another lecture on how he should be doing more to combat the growing threat of the Taliban. This is rich coming from the United States, since the Taliban was a tiny and very unpopular fringe – even in the tribal north-west part of Pakistan - until the Americans started unprovoked bombing raids on that area. Even civilian murdered by American military terrorism leads to dozens of new recruits to the Taliban simply because they are anti-American.
The Pentagon is well aware of this and so is Zardari. me imperialists are using this as an excuse to bully and threaten him into being their puppet, much as the discredited Musharraf used to be. And Zardari seems to be weak and opportunist enough to let them.
Pakistan is in too much of a vital strategic position for US imperialism to allow it any real independence or democracy. And whether Obama's government can force Zardari to kowtow will be a test of whether US imperialism can begin to recover from the discredit and weakness brought upon it by George W Bush.