Anorak News | Beyond Our Ken?

Beyond Our Ken?

by | 24th, October 2003

‘GEORGE Galloway, erstwhile MP for Baghdad East, was expelled from the Labour party yesterday for allegedly inciting Arab armies to fight against the US-led coalition in Iraq.

Laugh and the world laughs at you

The decision to throw Galloway out of the party was taken after a two-day hearing, which decided that he had behaved in a manner that was “grossly detrimental” to the party.

In cartoon fashion, the MP said the party would “rue the day they took this step”, but Labour party apparatchiks defended the decision.

“The issue here is very simple,” said Labour Party chairman Ian McCartney. “George Galloway incited foreign forces to rise up against British troops at a time when they were risking their lives.”

The big question, however, is not about Galloway (who, whatever your views on the Iraq war, was a Saddam Hussein apologist) but about the Tories and where this leaves their party whips.

The Guardian reports that even the whips have started urging Tory MPs to join a letter-writing campaign for a leadership vote “as the only way to end the intrigue that is paralysing the party”.

As the rats desert the sinking ship that is HMS Iain Duncan Smith faster than an army of Iraqi conscripts, the Times spies a new captain on the bridge.

It suggests that Ken Clarke – “the Tory bruiser most feared by Labour” – is ready to have a third tilt at the leadership.

“The former Chancellor has told friends that his ambition to lead the party is undimmed,” it says.

And in order to achieve that ambition, the veteran Europhile is prepared to accept that Britain will not join the single currency in this Parliament and the Tory party would not change its stance on the issue.

However, the Guardian remains sceptical about the prospects of Clarke standing when – and it is when, not if – the Tories hold a leadership contest.

One of his ex-ministerial allies said the only way Clarke would stand was “an apocalyptic scenario where the party is in such catastrophic despair that it said ‘Write your own contract’”.

So that would be next week, then.’

Posted: 24th, October 2003 | In: Broadsheets Comment | TrackBack | Permalink