Monday, December 10, 2007

Still Waiting For Peter

Peter Hain is reported to be attacking Gordon Brown and Alistair Darling for acting "appallingly" in blocking a rescue package for workers whose pension schemes have collapsed. The Political Editor of The Observer, Nicholas Watt started an article on this matter in yesterdays paper in the following way.

Cabinet Split Over Pensions Rescue

"Gordon Brown and Alistair Darling have sparked a furious cabinet row by blocking a £725m rescue package for 125,000 workers who lost pension rights when their employers went bust or wound up their schemes.

The Observer understands that Peter Hain, the Work and Pensions Secretary, is angry at the refusal of Darling and Brown to come to the rescue of the 125,000 workers, whose lengthy wait is being contrasted with the rapid help handed out to investors in Northern Rock. Hain has spoken privately of how the government has handled the matter 'absolutely appallingly'"


Here is the full article.

What Will Peter Hain Now Do?

If Peter Hain wins out in this internal tussle, then he can re-establish some of his credentials to be a plausible left wing Labour Leader in waiting: although his proposals to push more people off benefits and into work acts as a stumbling block to this.

If he loses out along with the workers who need the £725 million rescue package, then he has no option but to resign from the Government and lead a fight back on the back-benches on this issue - and for a wider programme of feasible democratic socialist initiatives.

I have argued in the past that Peter Hain is the best placed Labour Minister who can act in this way. But for me he is now at the last chance saloon.

8 comments:

mrs k said...

I am also still waiting for the Peter I knew when he was Head of Research in the UCW.

Maybe it is true that the fire dies down as you get older and have more to lose?

susan said...

Harry, what about Hain's reneging on the REMPLOY issue? Last chance saloon? He left it ages ago.......

Harry Barnes said...

Mrs K and Susan - you both have significant points to make, but with one bound he could be free. But, I won't hold my breath.

Steve Platt said...

Peter Hain's ambition cast aside too many of his one-time political allies on his way up the greasy pole to serve as a rallying point for them as he slides back down.

Harry Barnes said...

Steve Platt: we have to take what we can try to get. There aren't many feasible left challengers around. We will see tomorrow if any progress is made on the pensions front.

susan said...

OK, Harry. Peter is now back in the last chance saloon......!!!!

mrs k said...

He made it through my last chance saloon.

Harry Barnes said...

Mrs K: well he has done enough to keep himself in the saloon. But will he go on to re-establish his past credentials as the libertarian-socialist-kid ?