Wednesday, May 11, 2005

We Are Listening

The PLP has met for the first time since the election.
From the BBC:
Labour rebel Bob Marshall-Andrews, who spoke out against Mr Blair's leadership in the meeting, said afterwards: "He simply will not take on board any of the criticisms."
Another MP who attended the PLP forum said Mr Blair accepted Iraq and trust were issues during the election campaign.The Labour MP said the premier told them not to read too much into that because if it had been such a huge factor, there would have been a more uniform swing away from Labour.
He's all ears, our Tony. From the same page:
Lord Drayson, who made a fortune in the pharmaceuticals industry and has given millions to Labour, is to be a junior minister in the Ministry of Defence. He was nominated to be a peer by Mr Blair in 2004.
I'm sure this is perfectly legitimate and not at all grubby. And I'm sure it's a view shared by everyone else in the country. People like Guido, for example.

The Guardian reports on the PLP meeting too.
"Anyone who tried to say Tony was less than perfect got shouted down," said MP Ken Purchase. "It is pretty clear he has still got the support of the majority of the PLP."
The people have spoken and New Labour are listening.
For me, the most astounding bit of listening was displayed by George Foulkes, as quoted in this mornings Press and Journal:
"They get elected by riding on his back and now they are turning round and kicking him in the teeth - it is a disgrace."
"It is a bit rich to wait until you get safely elected on the coat tails of the most successful leader the Labour Party has ever had and then round on him viciously like this.
"It is totally hypocritical to use him as a vehicle to get elected to Parliament, to accept the re-election and to benefit from the campaign that Mr Blair led and then to behave in this disgraceful way.
"They should now just shut up and get on with it."
"It is unforgivable that they should sour this historic victory in this way."
Undoubtedlty an A++ for listening there. Mr Foulkes, a former Minister, retired from the Commons at the election. I have a feeling that Mr Foulkes might just be talking up a new position in the House of Lord before too long. Call it a hunch.

Now would be a good time to click on this link to the backingblair weblog. Here you can watch again as the Prime Minister listens to the speech of Reg Keys on election night. From the look on his face it's clear that Mr Blair is a born listener. In fact, I'd say that the only thing he does better is learn.

It's so not over yet. But look, Steve Bell has drawn an amusing cartoon for Guardian. Quack, quack.

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