When I got up this morning, I was under the impression that Frank Field, the former Welfare Reform Minister under Tony Blair, was placated and that the crisis over the 10p tax band cut was put to one side. However, when I got home from Climate Change Panel at Norwich City Council tonight, it had all seemed to blow up again. Cabinet Minister Ed Balls (hate figure of our staff room) has told him to shut up and Mr Field says he'll be surprised if Brown is still in his job in 2 years time.
Putting aside the disasterous split in Labour, you have to ask what the future holds for Mr Field. He is either right and has large numbers of the PLP behind him, in which case Brown is dead in the water and he will be heralded a hero. Or ... if he is a "one man band" on this, then he has surely lost the confidence of the party and definitely the whips. He may not care, but can he stay within the PLP? I don't think so; for me, its just a case of when he joins a growing list of MPs in the cold - joining the likes of Clare Short and Bob Waring.
Tend to agree with you on this one Antony.
I supported Frank Field's direction on securing backdated compensation on the 10p tax abolition was absolutely correct. I beleive this had/has widespread cross party parliamentary support to get it right.
Its a shame that the policy and issue is being sidelined by personal biographies revelations, ministers going public and open season on Brown.
Its unfortunate that Frank Field had to add his negative personal comments of Brown, the PM. It lets the government off the hook on pledging full compensation for the two adversely affected groups. He should have steered away from personal comments in order to keep the government to account,IMHO.
Ball seems a ministerial bully boy and was probably waiting for Field to slip from the honourable position, and seek to marginalise and discredit him. Field probably walked into this one. Its all pretty distasteful!
Many years ago the Labour hierarchy had to intervene when Field was deselected in Birkenhead. I doubt if they would do so now.....
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