PRIME MINISTER Brown was fighting for his political life yesterday, as well as for a future for his right-wing ‘bankers’ government.
Having saved the banks from immediate bankruptcy with his £1.3 trillion of financial aid and guarantees, the general ruling class opinion is that Brown has done as much as he can for them, and must be dumped.
This conviction set the scene for the Tories and their media supporters in the BBC and SKY TV to do their best to suggest that he was either half-blind or half-mad through taking mood altering drugs, and should quit now.
Their line is that only a Tory-led government will be able to impose the savage cuts, the sky-high taxes and the mass unemployment that will be necessary to try to balance the books of British capitalism and stop the disintegration of the pound sterling.
As well, it was suggested that he did not have the guts for the electoral fight, and efforts are continuing to be made to try to force him to sack the law-breaking Attorney General Baroness Scotland, as a prelude to his own resignation.
Brown sought to defend himself by stating on the Andrew Marr BBC programme: ‘I do not roll over.’
He vowed to ‘fight for the future’ and to say ‘enough is enough’ to the bankers over their huge bonuses, and to bring in tough legislation to end obscene bankers’ bonuses.
He tried to deny the charge that Labour ‘has lost the will to live’, that had earlier been levelled at the party by Chancellor Darling.
He also denied rumours about his health and insisted his eyesight is not ‘deteriorating’.
Speaking as Labour Party members gathered in Brighton for its annual conference, Brown maintained that the country was emerging from the recession because of his actions.
He said that he would now ‘prove we are fighting for the future as well’.
And pledged a conference speech that would set out how he will deal with ‘the whole future of our economy and the whole future of our society’.
However, with his government’s popularity at zero because of his right-wing Thatcherite policies, a number of his cabinet appear to have already deserted him, and to be preparing a dirty deal with the Tories.
Lord Mandelson yesterday disclosed that he is ready for a job in a Tory-led national government.
He told the ‘Sunday Times’ he would be willing to put his ‘experience at the disposal of the country’, if Labour lost power.
He added: ‘As I grow older, I can imagine more ways of serving my country than simply being a party politician.’
He continued: ‘If I was asked to do something for my country . . . of course, I would consider it.’
He tried to say that this treachery would be ‘serving the country and not serving a Tory government.’
Peter Hain, the Welsh secretary, said he would never accept a job under the Conservatives.
However Andy Burnham, the Health Secretary, is said to hold the same position as Mandelson, as well as a number of other Blairite ministers.
Lord Mandelson is addressing a Unite fringe meeting. Unite’s leaders are urging motor car workers in Luton to look to Mandelson to save their jobs.