Friday, June 12, 2009

When an apology is all about saving your skin

Had I been a Labour member last week, I would have been livid at the behaviour of Hazel Blears. Resigning from government is one thing. Resigning on the eve of an election, and sticking the knife in the back of your own party on the eve of an election, all for the sake of your own ego, is unforgivable. Blears, always something of a joke in government, and always with that irritating grin welded to her face, set out to do the maximum damage to Brown. And she did it in the most arrogant of ways.

She banked on bringing down Brown. She believed she had the power to set off the powder keg below the PM. She ended up showing how arrogant and out of touch she is. That's not an unusual description for many government ministers. They've been there so long that they think the world revolves around them. Blears, like Flint, simply had egos that were too big to cope with the situation.

What struck me most when Blears stormed out of the Cabinet was that the people on the ground in her Salford constituency were not in anyway complimentary about her. Yet she was behaving as if her journey back north would be met by acclamation by the people.

I suspect her contrition and apology today have been inspired by the verbal savaging she is likely to have received from local Labour members and constituents. She does of course have a selection meeting coming up and a skin of her own that needs to be saved.

No doubt a week ago she was dreaming of a cabinet position under a new PM. Now she has the nightmare of being booted out of her job as MP by her own party. If that is what happens, I'm sure plenty of Labour members will be happy to see the back of her. The rest of us won't miss her either.

Sent from my BlackBerry® wireless device

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