Tuesday, May 05, 2009


The Stupidest Thing John Prescott Has Ever Said

An impossible competition to judge? Then think about just why people are backing Labour right now. The vast bulk of their heavily depressed (make up your own jokes) support are tribal voters, who’ll stay Labour simply because they always have and always will. Labour wouldn’t even limp into single figures in the polls without tribal voting. How many people are proud of Labour MPs lying their way into the Iraq War, cheating thousands in expenses, abandoning the Gurkhas, taxing the poor more than the rich, smearing opponents with made-up sex scandals and making Gordon Brown Prime Minister without a vote?

I’ll bet three-quarters of Labour’s remaining supporters are ashamed of what ‘that lot’ have been doing, but will grumble quietly and then go and vote Labour anyway because, well, ‘we’re Labour’. You’ve heard them say it. Do you know a single Labour supporter who’s genuinely happy with what they’ve been doing? Who hasn’t been disgusted with what the Party’s been up to, mean, smearing and useless? Who actually praises Gordon Brown’s sunny disposition, willingness to listen and competence? The other week there was a poll even of Labour activists on who the best Labour Leader had been – Mr Brown managed 1%, presumably because Number Ten managed to vote a few times before their cookies were marked. I mean, when even the ultra-loyalists won’t back the one in power, you just know that once Mr Brown’s lost the election he won’t be able to see Ramsay MacDonald’s heels for dust. Labour, in short, are not happy bunnies.

So – with Labour needing their tribal, unthinking, kick-us-in-the-teeth-and-shit-over-us-we’ll-still-vote-for-you support more than ever before, what would the stupidest, most damaging thing possible be for Labour to do? Tell their tribal supporters, out loud, no messing, that if they aren’t actively proud of Labour’s smearing, lying, cheating, fiddling, overtaxing, economy-stuffing ways, they should just fuck off.

I refer you, then, to Exhibit A, Mr John Prescott.

Even the most utterly tribal, steeped-in-Labour, lying, bullying, there-is-no-alternative-but-the-party dinosaurs have now said that Labour are getting it wrong. When David ‘bash the foreigners and the scroungers’ Blunkett says they’re too nasty, Hazel ‘so perky and on-message her eyes are going to fall out’ Blears admits everybody hates them, and Charles ‘Go to war and lock up everyone for ever’ Clarke has finally found something that makes him ashamed to be a Labour MP (that they’re no longer getting away with it, presumably), that’s the Three Stalking Horses of the New Labour Apocalypse, isn’t it? A hint for Mr Brown to say to the public, look, we know we’ve got some things wrong but we’re listening, so stick with us and we’ll do better. Put a little salve on the bleeding wounds of the bleedin’ faithful.

So imagine my surprise on hearing Labour spin-doctors saying with satisfaction that they’d brought out the “big guns” and that John Prescott had crushed the rebellion, as if the problem was the canary and not the coal mine. When what Mr Prescott’s words of wisdom actually were involved shutting up, backing Gordon Brown with no questions asked – not that anyone’s ever been permitted a vote on him – and, most suicidally stupid of all, telling Labour loyalists who were ashamed at anything the party had done, yes, simply to fuck off and leave:
“Charles, if you are ashamed to stay in the party it’s obvious what you should do, isn’t it?”
Any remaining senior Labour figure with a brain in their head must be getting down on their knees and thanking any god they can think of that no-one’s taken anything Mr Prescott says seriously for years, because if Labour voters took him at his word, three-quarters of them would be off tomorrow.

But if I were writing a Liberal Democrat leaflet tomorrow going out in a traditionally Labour area, I’d have a picture of John Prescott on it. The man who is tribal Labour incarnate. I’d have a headline like:

A Message To You From John Prescott: ‘Ashamed of Anything Labour Have Done? Then Clear Off!’

And, underneath, something like this (OK, but shorter)…

Have you always voted Labour, through thick and thin, good times and bad? But you wish they’d just once say sorry for some of the things they’ve been doing? Listen to you when you feel they’ve let you down, and not just take you for granted?

Are you ashamed of your local Labour MP ripping you off with their expenses claims (it’s a fair bet), and all those other Labour MPs getting rich by using our taxes to buy homes they don’t even live in and using our taxes to pay for everything from their plugs to their porn?

Are you ashamed of the Labour Government telling the Gurkhas they can put their lines on the line for this country, but not live here?

Are you ashamed of the Labour Government lying their way into George Bush’s war in Iraq, then not even giving our soldiers the equipment to protect themselves there?

Are you ashamed of the Labour Government smearing opponents with made-up sex scandals that Gordon Brown’s top spin doctor was responsible for?

Are you ashamed of the Labour Government still taxing the poor more than the rich, and putting up taxes on the poor yet again to pay for bankers, even when they’ve wrecked the economy and we’re all finding it difficult to make ends meet?

If you’re ashamed of any one of those things, then former Labour Deputy Prime Minister John Prescott has a message for you to say just how much the Government is listening:
“If you are ashamed to stay in the party it’s obvious what you should do, isn’t it?”
When he was asked what he thought of people who were unhappy with the smears and the cock-ups, that’s what Mr Prescott said to people like you on the BBC’s Today Programme on Saturday 2nd May 2009.

It’s official – arrogant Labour are ordering you to vote for them, and shut up. If you answer them back or you’re ashamed of anything they’ve done, they don’t want you.

They won’t listen to your complaints. They won’t listen to your concerns. Now they’re telling you to clear off if you don’t agree with everything they ever do.

Maybe you should listen to John Prescott one last time, and try another party who might listen to you. Try the Liberal Democrats.

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Writing my Focus leaflets too, now. Excellent post.
Perhaps they have 'Battered Supporter Syndrome' or something. We might need some kind of shelter for them. ;)
Thank you both. Hope the leaflet went down well! And spot on, Charlotte... But I thought you didn't approve of us being a shelter for battered Labour lovers? ;-)
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