back to article New Labour: Chainsaws out, maybe Contactpoint, too

There aren't any fresh similes left to describe what's happening to New Labour, but it's safe to say it's looking more than a little peaky. A crucial few days lie ahead, and in a week the political landscape is going to look very different. Two days ago, the overriding issue for UK political commentators was the forthcoming …


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  1. adnim

    Who will survive and what will be left of them?

    Too many and too much.

  2. Anonymous Coward

    Ed Balls

    Ed and Yvette are in the firing line for the same things as McKay and Kirkbride. I seriously doubt that Ed would have any more credibility than Alistair Darling with regards his personal accounts, especially once the media get through with him.

    Also check grammar and re-read before posting articles (floundering – not foundering)…..

    Pedant out.

  3. Graham Marsden

    How can Brown shuffle...

    ... when he's not playing with a full deck in the first place...?

  4. Anonymous Coward


    is it alway nuL4b0r or tory?

    I'm no expert, and I haven't voted all that much in my time, but last time I went I distinctly remember seeing more than two choices on the ballot paper.

    Plus, who wants a government named after the final stages of pregnancy?

    or one who's name means resistant to change?

    The world is changing all the time, and no-one wants a laborious (read: painful) existence.

    We should all vote monster raving loony party, whenever possible.

    They make the most sense....

  5. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Up

    Rats leaving a sinking ship.

    Just got back from voting in the european parliament election in fact (UKIP). Once the results are out, everyone in the country except labour will be demanding a general election.

  6. Anonymous Coward
    Paris Hilton

    Could it be magic? No.

    I'm sure that Peter Mandelson would at least do a competent job as foreign secretary. But I can't see it being a vote-winning move, to put it mildly. A lot of people dislike the man. Also, would he have to give up his seat in the House of Lords? And if it had to give up his seat, would it be rational to do so in favour of a government post that will last for a year, at the most?

  7. TeeCee Gold badge
    Thumb Up

    Most amusing.

    You mentioned the problems in assembling a "whiter than white Cabinet" and then your list of those available had Mandelson up first.

    I have finished rolling on the floor laughing and am now busily reattaching my arse.

  8. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Down

    Not sure about the Spine

    "The ID database, Contactpoint, the vetting scheme, as well as the NHS spine project"

    I'd be very concerned indeed if the Tories decided to scrap the Spine. It is not, as some people think, just a database of medical records. It underpins a lot of intra-organisation NHS traffic, and has already superseded a lot of legacy systems. Not only that, but all the electronic prescription, GP to GP transfer and Choose & Book trafffic goes through the Spine. Chopping that would create huge holes that would need more oodles of taxpayer's cash to fill. There would be massive disruption to the operation of the NHS for absolutely no good operational reason.

    So yeah, I hope they scrap Contactpoint and the ID system to oblivion. But if they decide to axe the Spine, they'll prove themselves just as incompetent as the current useless shower.

    Anonymous for once, as I'm too close for comfort to a couple of these systems.

  9. Matt D

    Lords in parliament.

    It is an accepted practice for members from the House of Lords to be appointed to cabinet posts. It is often used as a way for governing parties to appoint individuals to cabinet posts who have not been through the election required to sit in the Commons, as happened when Tony Blair made Andrew Adonis a life peer in order to allow him to act as an education minister.

  10. Hollerith


    Didn't he have to stand in a corner for accepting unacceptable loans?

    And doesn't he have dubious friends in high places with whom he is all too chummy (I remember a news story about yachts and weekends with those who were then permitted to gorge on the Euro gravy).

  11. Tony

    'Balls at the Treasury'

    No further comment required.

  12. Pete

    Strikes me

    The other parties were also hit badly with the expenses scandal, would we stand for having someone in power who had his moat dredged, or his servants quarters renovated?

    Wonder how Cameron will deal with forming a "whiter than white" cabinet either?

  13. Shakje

    Not wanting to vote Lab or Tory is one thing

    But a vote for UKIP is a vote for stupidity. If you're pissed off at the integrity of the current parties, it might be worth looking through the history of UKIP to see how squeaky clean they are - never mind that their policies beggar belief. It's been shown time and time again that the EU is good for us, and that the Lisbon Treaty isn't really that big a deal. If you really don't want to vote for one of the major parties, but want to vote for someone who actually might do good things for us I'd suggest going Lib Dem. A vote for UKIP, while not as abhorrent, is as inherently useful in the long term as a vote for the BNP.

  14. Anonymous Coward

    No, no, no...

    Don't scrap any of the government IT projects until the private sector starts spending on IT again. I'd rather taxpayer's money was spent on keeping me in lucrative contract work than paying me paltry benefits if I end up out of work!

  15. Marvin the Martian
    Dead Vulture

    And what has the first page of this article to do here?

    Not really about IT nor paris hilton, is it??

  16. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Lords in Cabinet

    Mandy will not have to resign from House of Lords (actually, as he is a life peer there is currently *NO* way for him to relinquish this status - the law that enable Viscount Stansgate - aka Tony Benn - to renouce his title and return to the Commons only applies to hereditary peers). As others have mentioned there's no problem with having a member of the House of Lords being a cabinet minister - though I think it might br frowned on having such a senior post in the Lords since there's then no opportunity for MPs to question them.

    last foreign secretary in the Lords was Lord Carrington ... and whatever people think of such Tory "grandees" it should be remembered that he immediately resigned on principle when the Falklands were invaded even though Thatcher et al told him that he should stay as it wasn't his fault ... I suppose one of the advantages of having politicians of independent wealth and standing is that they can afford to act on principle whereas a modern day careerist hangs on to the only status/income they have

  17. Kevin Crisp

    Re: Ed Balls

    Vessels "founder" not "flounder".

    Real pedant out.

  18. Captain Hogwash



    Founder: (of a ship, boat, etc.) to fill with water and sink.

  19. michael


    whiter than white government .....peter mandelson......

    you sir owe me a new keyboard

  20. Havin_it

    @Paul the Pedant



    –verb (used without object)

    1. (of a ship, boat, etc.) to fill with water and sink.

    2. to fall or sink down, as buildings, ground, etc.: Built on a former lake bed, the building has foundered nearly ten feet.

    3. to become wrecked; fail utterly: The project foundered because public support was lacking.

    4. to stumble, break down, or go lame, as a horse: His mount foundered on the rocky path.

    5. to become ill from overeating.

    6. Veterinary Pathology. (of a horse) to suffer from laminitis.

    Seems appropriate enough to me. Pedantry is best accompanied by a knowledge of the facts ;)

  21. Tim Kemp


    > It's been shown time and time again that the EU is good for us

    To your satisfaction maybe, but not to mine. Don't be so sure that the majority of Britons are happy to see parliamentary sovreignity abrogated to the EU in a process which leaves us very little control over the running of our country.

    I won't be voting UKIP, partly because they strike me as a rather nasty bunch of people with poorly developed policies and as well-developed a penchant for trough-nosing as any other MEP, but mainly beause Daniel Hannan is my current MEP and I am very happy with him.

  22. Richard

    @ Shakje

    Kudos for your opinions on political parties, however I see rather a large flaw in your arguement. The previous poster who supports UKIP has already voted so no matter how true your statement is, he can't go back and change his personal choice (even if it is a bad one).

    Maybe you should have posted yesterday

  23. Anonymous Coward


    I would rather vote BNP than Lib Dem, lib dems want to give up our sovereignty and national identity to Europe, while being even further left than Labour. Personally, I don't want to be a citizen of the United States of Europe. I'm not sure on their exact policy on immigration, but something tells me they would be opening the borders to any lunatic terrorists who want to come in.

  24. Seanmon
    Thumb Up

    I read

    the first line as "smiles"....yes indeed.

  25. Ashley Stevens

    ...just not necessarily in the right order....

    "That’s a lot of heavy hitters to lose"

    Err no....... That's a lot of losers hit heavily.

    Right words, wrong order.

  26. Anonymous Coward

    @ Anon @ Shakje

    Read a little, understand a little.

  27. yossarianuk

    Re : Graham Marsden

    Re : the Shuffle

    He's surely fat enough to do the truffle shuffle

  28. Uncle Slacky Silver badge

    UKIP useless in EU parliament

    There's no point electing UKIP to the EU parliament, as the only way the UK could withdraw from the EU is via a vote in the UK parliament.

    Far better for UKIP supporters to try to get representation there rather than in a body that's powerless to achieve what they want.

  29. Francis Fish

    @AC @Shakje



  30. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Labour has shafted an entire generation

    once out and the rebuild starts this country can get back on its feet.

    But Labour hanging on with impunity to further bury their snouts in the troughs of self serving is disgusting and basically flipping the middle finger to everyone in these Isles.

  31. Anonymous Coward

    Re: Don't scrap any of the government IT projects

    >> I'd rather taxpayer's money was spent on keeping me in lucrative contract work than paying

    >> me paltry benefits if I end up out of work!

    That suggests you work for the likes of EDS :-p

  32. John Smith Gold badge

    Shahed Malik?

    The man sometimes described as her Wackiness'es #1 ID card henchman?

    Still claiming it's all a big mistake, a man only has his reputation ete (same sort of stuff Lord Archer of Perjury was saying IIRC).

    GO as in please, leave now.

  33. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Up

    Dumping Contactpoint should help handicap the NIR

    The words "Grossly disproportionate" spring to mind. But let's hope they dump ID cards as well.

  34. Anonymous Coward

    @AC 15:24 GMT

    > BNP

    > lunatic terrorists

    I'm waiting with interest for someone to take your post seriously.

  35. Dave Bell

    Electoral Prospects.

    The BNP are only at the top of the ballot papers through alphabetical order.

    Maybe I should have stood as an Anarchist. It's a million-to-one chance, but it might just work.

  36. Anonymous Coward

    Bunch of misanthropes?

    And GB is better to be shut of them.

    I hope that each of the rebellious Labour MPs is grilled by the local (constituency) party along lines of: what gives them the power and authority to challenge the duly elected and appointed leader of the Labour Party.

    The sooner GB and constituency parties get shut of these misanthropes the better for all?

    On the other hand GB has been in high office for some 15 years and should have a knight in shining armour taking the heat off the PM in order that the PM can get on with the business of running the country rather than pandering to pedantic mood swings of ill-suited MPs (they also seem to have a history associated with generous expenses?)

  37. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Down

    @ Annon - Not sure about the Spine

    Yes, all these things may be very convenient, but still not good. I think it's worth inconvenience and cost to preserve some few remaining freedoms.

  38. Moss Icely Spaceport
    Thumb Up


    This NuLaba disintegration spectacle is great to watch with a huge box of popcorn.

    Mind you, the Tories are dumb as dogsh|t too.

  39. Shakje

    @AC @Tim Kemp

    AC: Is the something that tells you called Nick Griffin?


    We still have a lot of control over running our own country, with the majority of scare stories about the EU being just that, and not with particularly strong foundations. Many of the stupid things that the EU has actually done have either been reversed, or have actually had some good underlying logic. There's a good reason that none of the major parties wants to leave the EU. I'm not going to get onto immigration, but my partner is heavily involved in immigration research and I have a far less apocalyptic view of things than the papers would maybe let us see.

  40. Tony Paulazzo

    Alan Johnson

    The new Home Sec... From Wikipedia (I know, I know):

    >His voting record from the Public Whip sees him voting strongly in favour of ID Cards and student top-up fees. He also voted strongly in favour of the Iraq war and Labour's anti-terror laws. Furthermore, he voted strongly against an investigation into the Iraq war.<

    So no change there then.

  41. Thomas Duffin

    RE: Labour has shafted an entire generation

    And the tories the generation before that...

    And labour the generation before that...

    Why does anyone think it will be any different in the future no matter who comes in?

  42. Anonymous Coward
    IT Angle

    Bandy Mandy

    I understood that the house of commons consisted of ELECTED politicians............How the hell could that prat ever be part of it?

    IT (angle) = In Tatters

  43. Anonymous Coward

    In the words of the Bonzos ...

    It doesn't matter who you vote for, the goverment still get in.

    Somebody google the lyrics, I can't be bothered, but I seem to remember that they summarize the whole thing pretty well.


  44. Anonymous Coward

    12 years....

    10-12 years is the curse of death for any party!

    Didn't John Major actually win by a higher majority than Tony B did when he won in '97? Yet we have quite a low opinion of John Major, not only his droning voice but that dull grey Spitting Image puppet didn't help much either!

    Party in power rarely lasts longer than 10-12 years and you have to have some vague pity for the guy in charge during those last few months, he keeps fiddling while his Rome slowly burns!

    Oh well, ce la vie!

  45. Andy Davies

    @AC -Viscount Stansgate - aka Tony Benn

    kudos - I thought I was the only oik that remembered that!

    AndyD 8-)#

    (mine's the one that doesn't have an ermine collar)

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