Thursday, January 24, 2008

A Hain in the Neck

So Peter Hain has resigned after failing to uphold the laws about donations the government of which he was a member introduced to clean up politics. A rather sad end to someone who, were you to rate him against some other members of the government, has a bit more talent. This is of course relative.

I get the distinct impression listening to people I know in the Labour party that Hain was not well regarded by the Labour grass roots. I was in the members' room in Gateshead Civic Centre today and I overheard one member saying that it was a poor show when Labour are broke but Hain can raise £200,000 for his own deputy leadership campaign.

The fact that a campaign costing close to the price of an average house failed so miserably suggests that Hain's support was very thin indeed amongst the ordinary Labour member. It seems his resignation has been met on his own side by relief rather than regret.

1 comment:

Jock Coats said...

I broke the news of his resignation to a colleague who is on the NEC. Her first reaction was "he should have gone immediately, even if temporarily to clear his name" but she also said that he had never built up a faction of his own which in "good times" was a benefit but in "bad times" meant there was just nobody cheering for him. Tellingly she felt that his political high point had been at Scarborough forty years ago when he had persuaded her and other Young Liberals to support the armed struggle.