Pornography and Hotmail Scandals Not Helping Gordon Brown


Today is make it or break it for Gordon Brown, the embattled U.K. Prime Minister and leader of the Labour government. A rapidly evolving series of scandals is shaping the future of his party, and Brown is increasingly short of places to duck and cover.

Cabinet resignations, financial scandals, losses at local polls and expected losses in the E.U. Parliamentary elections have isolated Brown while members of his party are calling for his resignation.

Several Labour MPs began the push yesterday for Brown's resignation after the Hotmail conspiracy, in which an anonymous email calling for the Prime Minister's resignation circulated to different Labour MPs, went public. Labour rebels now say they have 75 supporters, four more than the requisite 71 to make an official challenge.

"Dear Gordon," begins the letter, "Over the last 12 years in government, and before, you have made an enormous contribution to this country and to the Labour Party, and this is widely acknowledged. However we are writing now because we believe that in the current political situation, you can best serve the Labour Party and the country by stepping down as party leader and Prime Minister."

The electronic medium was chosen over a formal letter as many MPs were scattered across the country for last-minute campaigning in local elections. Polls closed last night, and with several counties tallied, Labour is predicted to lose seats.

There is widespread doubt over Brown's ability to compete against Conservative party leader David Camron in the next general election slated for May 2010. Here was Brown at the latest Prime Minister's Questions:

Months of bad news is piling up as are cabinet-level resignations, the first two resulting from a financial scandal in which ministers were discovered to be cheating the tax man, writing off expenses for everything from pornography films to capital gains earnings. The latest two have been direct affronts to Brown's leadership. 

Labour's Works and Pensions Secretary James Purnell resigned yesterday calling on Brown "to stand aside to give Labour a fighting chance of winning the next election."

This morning, Defense Minister John Hutton quit just as Brown was reshuffling cabinet positions in a move designed to save face given such widespread criticism of his leadership.

The Guardian, Britain's left-leaning daily reports that "one more cabinet level resignation would be the final straw for Brown."

Local election results will perhaps be the truest gauge of how much esteem Labour MPs are willing to muster for their embattled leader. Follow the ballot count at The Guardian

Related Articles
Playlists
Keep reading Show less

Five foods that increase your psychological well-being

These five main food groups are important for your brain's health and likely to boost the production of feel-good chemicals.

Mind & Brain

We all know eating “healthy” food is good for our physical health and can decrease our risk of developing diabetes, cancer, obesity and heart disease. What is not as well known is that eating healthy food is also good for our mental health and can decrease our risk of depression and anxiety.

Keep reading Show less

For the 99%, the lines are getting blurry

Infographics show the classes and anxieties in the supposedly classless U.S. economy.

What is the middle class now, anyway? (JEWEL SAMAD/AFP/Getty Images)
Politics & Current Affairs

For those of us who follow politics, we’re used to commentators referring to the President’s low approval rating as a surprise given the U.S.'s “booming” economy. This seeming disconnect, however, should really prompt us to reconsider the measurements by which we assess the health of an economy. With a robust U.S. stock market and GDP and low unemployment figures, it’s easy to see why some think all is well. But looking at real U.S. wages, which have remained stagnant—and have, thus, in effect gone down given rising costs from inflation—a very different picture emerges. For the 1%, the economy is booming. For the rest of us, it’s hard to even know where we stand. A recent study by Porch (a home-improvement company) of blue-collar vs. white-collar workers shows how traditional categories are becoming less distinct—the study references "new-collar" workers, who require technical certifications but not college degrees. And a set of recent infographics from CreditLoan capturing the thoughts of America’s middle class as defined by the Pew Research Center shows how confused we are.

Keep reading Show less