I welcome the announcement from Tony Blair. He has moved significantly in the last few days, particularly by saying that this will be his last conference. I think it was important that he said his next statement will publicly name a date. Of course, I've also said that the date should be sooner rather than later.
Councillor Bob Piper
Tom Watson is a Sandwell MP, a blogger, and a very, very loyal Labour Party man. Although Tom and myself differ over very many areas of Party policy, he has never adopted a hostile attitude whenever we meet, and when we very occasionally bump into each other we have been known to sink a pint or two very amicably. He thinks I'm a mad trot and I think he is a New Labour clone (and we're both wide of the mark). Since coming into Parliament I don't think Tom has ever voted against the Government line, so for him to sign this letter must have took a lot of soul searching for a man who has only just been appointed to a Ministerial position. There will be those (Iain Dale springs to mind) who will say this is Tom Watson taking a cynical political gamble and hoping for his reward in a Brown Government. But I was watching Tom recently when the Sandwell Labour Group gave their verdict to MPs on the antics of Clarke, Prescott, Jowell... and Tony Blair following the local government elections, and I could tell that as a Party man, it was hurting.
Thursday, September 07, 2006