08 June 2009

Tom Harris MP: Dangerous when Cornered?

Tom Harris, Scottish Labour MP for Blogosphere North West - sorry, Glasgow South - has made an intervention in the latest round of Brown-bashing, voicing his opinion that it's time to go, and suggesting that there's a reason why David Cameron is supporting Gordon Brown's leadership.

Now, Anseo has congratulated him for putting his head above the parapet, but like Jeff, I reckon that there's more going on than meets the eye. Like, the breakdown of how votes were cast in Glasgow South.

For the record, the SNP polled 5,192 to Labour's 4,451.

Perhaps Gordon Brown is doomed: not because of Tom's intervention, but because he's seen the numbers. Perhaps, just perhaps, other MPs will be looking at their own numbers, just as he has. Perhaps they'll reach the same conclusion.

Perhaps this is a case of "enlightened self-interest" on Tom's part: he argues that Brown should go so that the Party can win. And, by a rather happy co-incidence if you're the MP for Glasgow South, Tom himself would more than likely get back in as well if that happens.


Jonnie said...


Tom Harris has the 4th safest Labour seat in Scotland.

Do the maths and go figure what it would mean to the Labour Party if Tom Harris were to lose his seat.

I don't think self interest comes into it!!

At least he has had the guts to say it to the man's face

Silent Hunter said...

I DON'T support Labour.

I consider them to be both Corrupt and Sleazy.

But I support Tom Harris as an honourable man with integrity - he is simply a man who hasn't yet realised that there is no place for honour and integrity in this Labour Government.

If he jumped to the SNP; I for one would be delighted.

Will said...

Well, Jonnie, he has had the guts to say it to Gordon Brown's face - he does deserve credit for that, but the fact is that he's seen a set of results - the Glasgow South breakdown of the European results - which offer one very stark message: "If this happens again a year from now, you lose your job!"

Now I accept that it's the mother of all ifs, but you have to admit, basic human nature dictates that he's going to be spooked by that...

SH, for me, the jury's still out on Tom Harris. I'm somewhat suspicious that the re-discovery of his cojones co-incided with his enforced return to the backbenches.

Perhaps on both counts, I'm being unduly cynical, but things seem a little too co-incidental for my liking.

Anonymous said...

Silent Hunter: "If he jumped to the SNP; I for one would be delighted.

Well, speaking as a Glasgow SNP member, I'd be far from delighted. The guy is vehemently anti-independence and pro-Union. And we have some (fairly unhappy) experience of Labour defectors in this part of the world.

Let him take his chances in 2010.

Silent Hunter said...


You may well be proved to be right about Tom; but it certainly took some guts to berate Gordon in front of the entire PLP.

Hate to point out the obvious, but, the SNP do best when they aren't banging on about independence which the majority of Scots DON'T want.

What is the highest rating independence has ever got? 15%? 20%? hardly a mandate to split now is it.

Caron said...

To be fair to Tom, anyone reading his blog would have had a good idea for a long time that he wasn't satisfied with Brown as leader so I don't think this is a reaction to the Euro results.

I have to say I find the actions of the blairites pretty awful - at least you could sympathise with the Tory rebels who took on Thatcher, but I have no time whatsoever with people who've had their chance to ruin the country continuing to muck things up from the back benches.

Ted Harvey said...

I'm wholly unconvinced by Tom Harris's latest self-publisicing stunt.

He failed as a junior Minister so he is just another one in a line of ex second-liners who know there is nothing in this Government for them, and only likely electoral disaster beckons. So there is not great courage in his latest 'repositioning'.

Since being ousted from his
Ministerial role he has flapped around regurgitating one populist line after another on whatever topic the media have on that day.

No, like others, I would not be surprised if he jumped ship and went over to the SNP - but only because he would get another day or two headlines out of that.

Indy said...

Jonnie - the SNP came less than 2000 votes behind Labour in the Glasgow South area in 2007.

A significant part of the seat is part of the Govan constituency in the Scottish Parliament - which the SNP has already won.

There is absolutely nothing 'safe' about Glasgow South.

The SNP won because they have been running an excellent campaign in Glasgow South. Tom Harris has been doing nothing.

Anonymous said...

Silent Hunter:

I'm talking about the membership here. Obviously we pick up a vote from non-independence voters, as Unionist parties pick up independence voters. But joining the SNP means you sign up to this:

"(a) Independence for Scotland; that is the restoration of Scottish national sovereignty by
restoration of full powers to the Scottish Parliament, so that its authority is limited only by
the sovereign power of the Scottish People to bind it with a written constitution and by
such agreements as it may freely enter into with other nations or states or international
organisations for the purpose of furthering international cooperation, world peace and the
protection of the environment.

(b) the furtherance of all Scottish interests."

I don't see Tom Harris sticking his moniker below that, and even if he did the activists on the ground would quite rightly be screaming blue murder.

If he defected he'd need to go the Sillars route of purdah for a while.

And Indy is right - Labour have been nowhere on the ground in Glasgow South, or indeed anywhere in Glasgow. Where are the activists?