It’s time Alan Johnson was replaced by Cooper or Balls


by Sunny Hundal    
9:05 am - January 13th 2011

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For a party leader who promised an end to ‘Punch and Judy politics’ – Cameron was so full of ad hominems yesterday at PMQs that even Telegraph commentators were embarrassed for him.

But despite the government’s rapidly falling approval ratings – Labour is dismally failing to convince the public it has a solid handle on the economy.

And there’s only one person to blame for that: Alan Johnson.

The only time in recent years Labour has forced the Conservatives on the defensive on the economy was during the Labour leadership election, when Ed Balls was firing on all cylinders.

Alan Johnson has become a figure of ridicule. But rather than bat them away and force the government on the defensive, his stock keeps falling.

Even worse, it seems Alan Johnson is pushing Labour towards the ideas of the last government (Indy, today):

Ed Miliband will admit that the last Labour Government was too slow to use the “language of cuts” as he steps up his efforts to re-establish the party’s economic credentials.

The Labour leader will also acknowledge that the Brown and Blair governments were wrong to allow the City of London to enjoy “light tough” regulation and to let the economy become too dependent on financial services.

The first point above illustrates how the failed strategic triangulation of the past still pervades the Labour right. Alistair Darling tried this when he said Labour would introduce “tough cuts” of around 20% in the last election.

Osborne easily outsmarted them in his Budget by declaring he was going to cut less than Labour (19%). It was a strategic disaster, even though Conservatives were planning to cut more through local councils.

Labour didn’t lose the last election because they were behind on economic credibility (the two parties were roughly matched) – but because they ran out of ideas and energy, and offered voters no clear reason to vote for them. The economic policy was different only if you were a policy wonk who paid attention to detail.

By joining the “language of cuts”, Ed Miliband legitimises Osborne’s narrative and lets him declare that Labour was ‘finally admitting their mistakes‘ of the past and that he was simply going to be tougher in dealing with those mistakes.

Government approval has fallen massively over the last six months because people are worried about the Tory assault on our economy. They want to hear an alternative, not someone trying to split minor differences.

Unfortunately, while Alan Johnson is shadow chancellor, all we’ll get is more confused triangulation and failed attempts to win the narrative on the economy. We need Ed Balls or Yvette Cooper to set a different agenda.

(I accept a re-shuffle this early is unlikely, but the call needs to be made anyway. AJ has failed dismally.)

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About the author
Sunny Hundal is editor of LC. Also: on Twitter, at Pickled Politics and Guardian CIF.
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Story Filed Under: Blog ,Economy ,Labour party ,Westminster

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Reader comments


1. Prince Hamlet

As someone who was supportive of Johnson when he was appointed to the role, I have to say I agree with this OP. I heard him on Radio 4 yesterday evening and dear Christ, I felt sorry for the man – clearly he’s trying to keep his head above water but it’s increasingly clear he hasn’t got a clue.
Maybe not a reshuffle just yet though; might be better to wait until a natural break like after the elections in Scotland and Wales. Right now it would give the right-wing press a field day.

2. Solomon Hughes

Very true – Johnson was made shadow chancellor as a “compromise” with the New Labour / David Miliband-y hardcore, who were angry that Ed M had won – and particularly objected to the possibility that Ed Balls might become shadow chancellor. And Johnson has been useless ever since . So very good time to say that Ed Miliband needs to junk this rubbish from the last government and set out his own, new stall .So it is worrying that there seems to be a bit of a New Labour rebellion, an attempt to push Ed M back to the right at the moment – as in recent statements from Dougie Alexander and (a particularly ridiculous one) from Tessa Jowell.
I would say that , having seen Yvette Cooper speak (on a City of London platform) during the economic crisis, and seen her more or less at the time say there was no need to impose reform on the banks , that – while better than Johnson – she has her limitations.

By joining the “language of cuts”, Ed Miliband legitimises Osborne’s narrative

Your objection to this misses one crucial point- the narrative is true. It’s the people who believe in magic money who think we’re living in a fairy tale.

Johnson doesn’t need to be an economist- even a postman can see that.

Aren’t you a little embarrassed, Sunny, after supporting Ed Miliband for the leadership on grounds of his economic stance, to now be arguing that the economic direction of the Labour Party comes entirely from whoever is the choice of Shadow Chancellor, and not at all from the leader? Can we not expect Ed himself to chart the course, irrespective of who is his number 2? I’m flabbergasted to read an Ed M supporter suggest so candidly that the leader has so little control over economic policy that the best we can hope for is a Shadow Chancellor who moves him, and the party, back in a direction you approve of.

You’re right that there’s only one person to blame for Labour’s economic woes, but it isn’t AJ. Ed clearly doesn’t know whether he’s coming or going on the deficit. If he can be buffetted one way or the other by those around him, as you suggest, that’s only a further indictment of his directionless leadership. And surely, whatever you say, the last thing he needs is to give the impression that a different Shadow Chancellor, with firmly entrenched views and a strong personality, can pull him and the party in yet another economic direction.

What a mess.

Dear Sunny

Let’s concentrate on enabling all members and supporters to participate in debate and enable informed decision-making.

Moving the bums around on the front bench is no substitute.

Oh please let it be Balls…the Coalilition will have a field day with Brown’s most loyal henchman in the role whilst Labour tears itself apart from within as he gets back to his old divide and conquer tricks, briefing against from within so he can get his hypocritical little mitts on the top job.

7. Frederick James

“there’s only one person to blame… Alan Johnson”

That seems a bit harsh when it is transparently obvious that the party leader hasn’t got a clue either.

It is not the man though, it is the policy. Labour is stoically soldiering on with the ‘least said soonest mended’ approach. They see that if the Tories keep using the Country’s vulnerable people as a scapegoat, then it will keep the pressure of the bankers.

Ed Milliband was supposed to be this figure of the Left, yet he is standing behind the Tories and delivering kicks to the groin of those must in need of help. A pretty sickening spectacle in my eyes, but pretty acceptable to the majority of the Labour Party and it seems the Left in general.

A better strategy would surely be to build a narrative that points out the huge deficit is down to the need to prop up the Country because of the banker’s hubris. Instead of allowing the Tories to blame the deficit on spending on hip replacements, why not link the Tories with the bankers? Why doesn’t every Labour spokesman use ‘Any Questions and say something like:

‘Well, as a Tory (lib Dem) you are prevented from telling the truth, you are unable to admit that we ran up a deficit to save the Country from your friends, when they nearly bankrupted the Country. The reason ‘Mrs Smith’s’ day-care is being closed down is to make sure banker’s bonuses can be paid out. Your mates and paymasters got 6 billion quid this year, that would have kept that day care open, then again, Cameron/Clegg/Osbourne never meet terminally ill people during skiing holidays, but they do meet bankers all the time and they want top jobs in the City in the future’.

We can all dream, because the Labour placeman this week will say the moral equivalent of:

‘Sorry to hear about your day care centre, love, but to be honest, it was probably shit anyway. The Tory is right, you can fucking whistle for it. I think bankers are doing a grand job’

Errors and mistakes of judgement aside, we know the party is making a hash of being in opposition. Labour activists, from the sideline, are not included in the Westminster politics game being played (which I imagine is to hold off proposing anything until they really have to), the coalition’s ideological cuts drive is taking place now, the party has to reflect the local energy against the coalition, otherwise what is it there for. AJ’s days are numbered.

@Sunny, Carl et al

The problem goes beyond AJ tho – EM himself doesnt seem to understand what’s going wrong, and ultimately like any shadow cabinet minister AJ takes his lead from EM. I honestly think Labour members were sold a dud in the leadership contest.

Whilst Cooper and Balls are potential appointees to the post, there are others who can fit the bill and are safe pair of hands such as John Denham, Angela Eagle or even Liam Byrne. But the ones who could come without any economic baggage and be welcomed by Labour grassroots would be Hillary Benn or Peter Hain.

So plenty of options for the Leader.

12. Evil baby-killing Tory conspiracy

@8:

“‘Well, as a Tory (lib Dem) you are prevented from telling the truth, you are unable to admit that we ran up a deficit to save the Country from your friends, when they nearly bankrupted the Country. The reason ‘Mrs Smith’s’ day-care is being closed down is to make sure banker’s bonuses can be paid out. Your mates and paymasters got 6 billion quid this year, that would have kept that day care open, then again, Cameron/Clegg/Osbourne never meet terminally ill people during skiing holidays, but they do meet bankers all the time and they want top jobs in the City in the future’.”

Could you perhaps explain why, if the deficit was caused by the bank bailouts (for I assume that that is what you’re referring to), we were running one long before the financial crisis, and are still running one now, long after the bailouts have stopped?

@ 8 Jim

Reality check FAIL

Even Darling and the last Labour government accounted only about 10bn for the bank bailouts in comparison to the 150bn budget deficit. Even that 10bn figure is probably too high now as RBS and Lloyds shares recover.

The 850bn number which is often bandied about was mostly very short term cash (under 3 months), which was used to unlock money markets just after lehmans went under. It has basically all been repaid, leaving the only real exposure being the government’s ownership of RBS and Lloyds.

So, where does the 150bn deficit come from? Well, it’s not from building hospitals and schools – that was paid for off balance sheet via PFI. In reality, what happened was that the governments wage and welfare bills went stratospheric without any real improvement in productivity – hence he massive structural deficit when tax revenues fell.

I do agree with this one. I wouldn’t be surprised to see a change, either. Alan Johnson got the position because when Ed Miliband was elected his challenges were more to do with controlling his party than fucking the Tories.

Alan Johnson was a somewhat necessary choice to reassure those in the party who were bitter about David Miliband losing.

If he wins in Oldham then those challenges will largely be vanquished, if they haven’t been already. Then he can focus on taking the fight to the Tories. The Balls/Cooper policy is the best way to do that.

Johnson has proved himself to be weak and shallow in every job he’s held, he blows with the prevailing wind in pursuit of a comfortable life for Alan Johnson. The most stupid and charmless man ever to hold the office of Chancellor should be an easy target for anyone but Johnson is totally ineffectual. Ed Balls put up a very good showing and I’d be happy to see him back.

It’s worth at least addressing Labour’s big problem in all this. Since about 1994, the economic principle that drove New Labour as a project was to encourage the boom in the financial and property markets, and to use the increased tax revenues from that to finance a substantial expansion in the state. Fears that these booms were just cyclical, and ought either to be reined in or at least regarded as temporary were dismissed – boom and bust had been abolished after all.

One of the most coherent responses from the left to the financial crisis has been that the financial sector was really being too profitable during the boom years (a refinement on that being that the ‘profits’ being made and taxed were basically illusionary) and that reforms need to be made that reflect that. That is, of course, all well and good but getting rid of the sort of massive profits that so rile the left also means getting rid of the bumper tax revenues that go with them.

One half of the equation has collapsed. What does that imply for the other half? Well, Labour could try and maintain increased public spending by substantially raising general taxation. But we’re talking very substantial sums here. Labour say they want to eliminate the structural deficit by 2016 – if this is all to be done through tax rises that’s £90bn they’re going to have to find – 2/3 of the total income tax take. I can’t see this being electorally successful.

So cuts of some form are going to have to be made – but cuts are, as we are seeing, unpopular. Why take the hit on suggesting cuts if you don’t have to? Surely it’s better to gain political capital by opposing each individual nasty cut, without having to sacrifice it by proposing your own? Alternatively, deny the validity of the question. There’s no such thing as a structural deficit: growth will take care of it. We can make up what we need by taxing ‘the rich’, ‘the bankers’, ‘the fat cats who got us into this mess in the first place’ etc. None of this is especially credible – but who cares? Economics is complicated, and most people don’t understand it. Give them a tune to hum (‘they say cut back, we say fight back)’ is a good one), and let the messy policy bit go hang for the next few years.

From that perspective, having a genial rather slapdash shadow chancellor is quite a good idea – if it were Ed Balls the media would expect him to have coherent policies, and would pick at any gaps remorselessly. With Alan Johnson there’s likely to be a lot more eye-rolling laxity. Given that there won’t be an election for four years, and that AJ is pretty unlikely to be shadow chancellor when there is, I don’t actually think it’s such a bad thing leaving him in place. That fuzzy incompetence is actually something of a plus.

@13

No, tax revenues collapsed. Spending actually remained remarkably steady in its levels and growth.

Tax revenues as a proportion of GDP collapsed from 38.6% in 2007 to 37%, and is not projected to recover until 2014. (With a sharp absolute fall as well) http://www.guardian.co.uk/news/datablog/2010/apr/25/tax-receipts-1963 That’s after having grown nearly every year since Thatcher’s deep restructuring of the economy and her mass unemployment and recessions.

We just effectively found out that a large part of the sector of our economy formerly considered most productive actually does not exist, and therefore the things we were buying with it are contributing to the deficit.

The 850bn number which is often bandied about was mostly very short term cash (under 3 months), which was used to unlock money markets just after lehmans went under. It has basically all been repaid, leaving the only real exposure being the government’s ownership of RBS and Lloyds.

Quoting myself in aid here:

About £750bn is made up of guarantees and indemnities that have not been called in, and are unlikely ever to be called in now. A further £75bn odd was spent in buying up shares in RBS and Lloyds – it is this, plus the loans to B&B that actually make up the ‘bailout’. And since the bailout ‘worked’ (in that RBS and LBG are not bankrupt, and are now at least partly profitable again) it is reasonable to anticipate that these shares can be sold, gradually, at a profit.

http://liberalconspiracy.org/2010/08/10/1-the-real-extent-of-benefit-fraud/

But it’s too late to backtrack entirely on accepting the need for some cuts; that would be an outrageous U-turn.

And the claim that to accept the need for cuts – any cuts – is to fail to offer a real alternative to the Tory narrative has never made any sense. The Tories also claim there’s a need for tax rises; if we agree but say those tax rises should be higher and/or targeted differently, are we failing to offer a ‘real alternative’? Of course not. Saying the cuts should be half as deep as the Tories say is just as radically different from their position as saying tax rises should be twice as high.

@6. Tyler

Oh please let it be Balls…the Coalilition will have a field day with Brown’s most loyal henchman in the role whilst Labour tears itself apart from within as he gets back to his old divide and conquer tricks, briefing against from within so he can get his hypocritical little mitts on the top job.

Hahahahaha why don’t you ask Gove about how he had a “field day” when opposite Balls on BSF after the election? And, as Sunny said, Balls Bloomberg speech on the economy was a game changer, the problem was that EdM failed the follow through by appointing AJ to shadow Osborne. Missed opportunity, that. Balls would have hit the ground running and the result would have been Osborne being scared to enter the chamber. As it is, Osborne is being given a free ride.

There is another issue that Sunny didn’t mention. HM Opposition is about opposing, but equally so it should be seen as the government in waiting. AJ as Chancellor? I think not.

If EdM has a reshuffle I hope it is Cooper who gets to shadow Osborne.

Be fair, folks. Alan Johnson wasn’t given the job because he knew anything about the economy. He was given it because he doesn’t.

The last thing Ed Milliband needs is a strong and credible chancellor to rival him. Even Blair had problems when that happened, and as has been noted Milliband is no Blair.

Balls or no Balls at all! Assess his leadership with more depth!

@12. Evil baby-killing Tory conspiracy

@8:

Could you perhaps explain why, if the deficit was caused by the bank bailouts (for I assume that that is what you’re referring to), we were running one long before the financial crisis, and are still running one now, long after the bailouts have stopped?

The majority of the deficit is due to the recession. The recession was due to the risky business of the banks (particularly the investment banks). Since the economy is heavily dependent upon the commercial banks they had to be saved. There was no bailout per se, instead there was a part-nationalisation. The money handed to the banks in this nationalisation will be paid back when the banks are de-nationalised (hence why it is not a bailout). The majority of the deficit was caused by the fall in tax revenues and the rise in welfare payments.

A small part of the deficit, the so-called “structural deficit” existed before the financial crisis. However, this was due to Brown not taxing enough. Remember, in 1997 lowest rate of income tax was 22%, then we had the 10% fiasco, and finally settled on the lowest rate of 20%. That cut from 22% to 20% is the source of the deficit.

Also, the deficit Labour inherited in 1997 was larger than the one that existed in 2007, and Brown reduced the deficit until 2003 when it started to rise again. The Tories are hypocrites for pointing towards the deficit, since Major’s deficit was larger than Brown’s.

“HM Opposition is about opposing, but equally so it should be seen as the government in waiting. AJ as Chancellor? I think not.”

Balls or Cooper as Chancellor are even more unthinkable

@24. Bourgeois

Why? Both are economists.

Alan Johnson was a poor choice for the job. He is a blairite and therefore will fuck up the labour party. Give him local govt or something, but don’t have a blairite as shadow chancellor.

It was a sop to the right of the party, but the right of the party got us into this mess with the tory policies of letting the city do what they want, and then bail them out when they got it wrong.

Blair had his chance and they fucked up. Time for something new.

It’s probably time people realise that nobody outside of the Labour party likes Balls or Cooper. They’re both terrible media performers and personify what people don’t like about Westminster politics. They should be moved away from prominence not towards it.

Parachute Duncan Weldon into Barnsley East and make him Shadow Chancellor immediately, I say: http://duncanseconomicblog.wordpress.com/2011/01/02/an-economic-strategy-for-labour/

@Bourgeois #10

The problem may well extend beyond AJ which is why I mentioned what I felt was Westminster politics game beng played, but this is less a criticism of AJ per se, and more a plea to EM and get either Cooper or Balls to replace him. EM was worried about being seen as too radical with Balls as Shadow Chancellor, but it’s quite clear to many of us who support the party, and oppose the coalition’s agenda, that oppositional voices are needed.

If not Balls or Cooper then why not listen to Paul above who is doing a bit of PR for Duncan Weldon’s unofficial campaign

If you are trying to find someone who is able to clearly and articulate an economic position to the public, neither Balls or Cooper fit the bill. Both are wedded to the Brown’s economics, which has already been rejected by the public. You need new blood.

@17 Jon

Tax revenues collapsed, but spending remained the same….well done, you have described in a most basic sense what a structural deficit is.

Have a GSCE economics pass.

But seriously, the structural deficit comes in a great part from increased social security spending and the massive increase in public sector workers (and big increases in their pay) under the Labour government.

@23 Richad Blogger

The structural defict is about 7-9% of GDP, compared to the deficit as a whole of about 11.5%. The structural deficit is not small at all – its enormous.

Also worth nothing that Labour stuck to the previous Tory spending plans till 2002, when the deficits were decreasing, before Brown started on his spending spree and ran deficits every year after, despite good GDP growth (which you Lefty Keynesian types should have been saving for spending in a recession)

For those supporting the idea of Mr Balls or Ms Cooper as shadow chancellor (and I do not deny the idea has merit in terms of competence and presence at the dispatch box) two problems:

1. As Mr Balls especially, but also Ms Cooper, were part of the treasury team under Gordon Brown’s chancellorship, and as Mr Milliband was also one of this team, don’t you think this presents a rather open goal for Labour’s opponents – the team that caused the recession reunited as it were.

2. Is it really sensible to have as the leader of your party the son of a prominent party-supporting philosopher who eased his way into politics, who beat his brother in a competition for the job, and then to place in the second most important position in the shadow cabinet a man married to another member of the shadow cabinet (the deputy leader is already married to another MP remember, and there are sisters in the shadow cabinet as well…)? It kind of implies that the Labour party is an oligarchy with its leadership forming a separate caste, almost all highly-educated and middle class, but closed off from the outside world. For all his failings, Mr Johnson does not give that impression.

I’d suggest if you need to replace Mr Johnson (and the current opinion polls make this kind of unlikely) then it would be a very good idea to find someone new and from outside the normal cosy cartel of ex-ministers?

“It kind of implies that the Labour party is an oligarchy with its leadership forming a separate caste, almost all highly-educated and middle class, but closed off from the outside world. ”

Watchman, have you heard of the bullingdon club?

Planeshift,

Yes, but the Conservatives could easily argue that since both the Prime Minister and the Chancellor are the only members of their family for how long (over a hundred years anyway) to be in government, and that they have no close relatives in government with them.

I think the problem would be that claiming that people come from privileged backgrounds is all very well (but opens you up to the reply, ‘yes I do. So?’) but can make you sound like you have a chip on your shoulder. The fact that there is in reality a small and seemingly pretty closed elite controlling the Labour party is a bit of a worry, not something to ignore because the two senior Conservatives both passed through the same drinking club (at different times). Even if the Conservative leadership were as cliquey as Labour seem to be, I’d still suggest this is a very bad image. If Labour want to be the party of the people, how come it is led by such as small subgroup of the people? And do you want to make that more obvious?

Why are you playing this well-worn Tory game – i.e.When the Tories (and in this case their puppets the Lib Dems) are looking droopy and lacking direction – pick off the Labourite front bench one by one – by way of a diversion. We had all this when the New Labour Home Secretary’s job was changing hands on a weekly basis – mostly due to hysterical hounding by a Tory media with the scent of blood it its nostrils. Sod that. It’s Cameron and Osborne who have proved themselves not up to the job ( in less than twelve months) – hound them – not Alan Johnson. Sunny – you are rabble rousing in the miserable, squalid manner usually associated with modern tabloids. Do try to be a little more circumspect – a little less sensational – the Tories are desperate for allies now – are you suggesting that they are the only ones with ‘ a handle on the economy?’ If you are – time and the electorate sure are going to prove you wrong. Your opinions as expressed in this article can only help and succour this contemptible government and, as the sainted Mr Blair once memorably asked, “Who needs the Tories?”
You?

Duncan Weldon for shadow chancellor – I agree Paul :)

@32 Gordon Brown, Ed Milliband, Ed Balls and Yvette Cooper caused the world-wide recession? Blimy, the UK still punches above its weight!

Agree – would be nice to see Alan Johnson made minister for democratic reform – he’s a long term supporter of PR. And creating a new minister would show Labour commitment to changing politcs and help win over more past lib dem voters


Reactions: Twitter, blogs
  1. Liberal Conspiracy

    It's time Alan Johnson was replaced by Cooper or Balls http://bit.ly/hO3dIC

  2. MayorWatch

    RT @libcon: It's time Alan Johnson was replaced by Cooper or Balls http://bit.ly/hO3dIC

  3. susan press

    RT @libcon: It's time Alan Johnson was replaced by Cooper or Balls http://bit.ly/hO3dIC

  4. Soho Politico

    .@Sunny_hundal says Lab needs Cooper or Balls as Shad Chanc. Apparently because EdM is incapable of setting econ policy. http://t.co/1jcE5zD

  5. Emily Davis

    RT @libcon: It's time Alan Johnson was replaced by Cooper or Balls http://bit.ly/hO3dIC

  6. sunny hundal

    Alan Johnson needs to be replaced by Yvette Cooper or Ed Balls; he's an embarrassment http://bit.ly/hO3dIC

  7. Gavin Lambert

    RT @sunny_hundal: Alan Johnson needs to be replaced by Yvette Cooper or Ed Balls; he's an embarrassment http://bit.ly/hO3dIC

  8. Andy S

    RT @libcon: It's time Alan Johnson was replaced by Cooper or Balls http://bit.ly/hO3dIC

  9. Gavin H

    “@sunny_hundal: Alan Johnson needs to be replaced by Yvette Cooper or Ed Balls; he's an embarrassment http://bit.ly/hO3dIC” Really? Not sure

  10. Gavin H

    “@sunny_hundal: Alan Johnson needs to be replaced by Yvette Cooper or Ed Balls; he's an embarrassment http://bit.ly/hO3dIC” Really? Not sure

  11. Gavin H

    “@sunny_hundal: Alan Johnson needs to be replaced by Yvette Cooper or Ed Balls; he's an embarrassment http://bit.ly/hO3dIC” Really? Not sure

  12. Ryan Jackson

    RT @sunny_hundal: Alan Johnson needs to be replaced by Yvette Cooper or Ed Balls; he's an embarrassment http://bit.ly/hO3dIC

  13. Ryan Jackson

    RT @sunny_hundal: Alan Johnson needs to be replaced by Yvette Cooper or Ed Balls; he's an embarrassment http://bit.ly/hO3dIC

  14. Ryan Jackson

    RT @sunny_hundal: Alan Johnson needs to be replaced by Yvette Cooper or Ed Balls; he's an embarrassment http://bit.ly/hO3dIC

  15. Daniel Drage

    RT @sunny_hundal: Alan Johnson needs to be replaced by Yvette Cooper or Ed Balls; he's an embarrassment http://bit.ly/hO3dIC <<< so true

  16. Daniel Drage

    RT @sunny_hundal: Alan Johnson needs to be replaced by Yvette Cooper or Ed Balls; he's an embarrassment http://bit.ly/hO3dIC <<< so true

  17. House Of Twits

    RT @sunny_hundal Alan Johnson needs to be replaced by Yvette Cooper or Ed Balls; he's an embarrassment http://bit.ly/hO3dIC

  18. Jonathan Davis

    RT @libcon: It's time Alan Johnson was replaced by Cooper or Balls http://bit.ly/hO3dIC (Excellent argument from @sunny_hundal here.)

  19. Matt Bolton

    RT @sunny_hundal: Alan Johnson needs to be replaced by Yvette Cooper or Ed Balls; he's an embarrassment http://bit.ly/hO3dIC

  20. Alister Jackson

    RT @libcon: It's time Alan Johnson was replaced by Cooper or Balls http://bit.ly/hO3dIC

  21. technicalslip

    RT @sunny_hundal: Alan Johnson needs to be replaced by Yvette Cooper or Ed Balls; he's an embarrassment http://bit.ly/hO3dIC

  22. Emma Fitzgerald

    RT @sunny_hundal: Alan Johnson needs to be replaced by Yvette Cooper or Ed Balls; he's an embarrassment http://bit.ly/hO3dIC

  23. Kate Higgins

    @alexmassie thought provoking post. See mine on Alarm Clock Heroes and purpose of the pitch. http://bit.ly/hO3dIC

  24. Soho Politico

    I can't help feeling that, if a leftie wrote this about a Lab figure Sunny likes, he's be calling for unity in the ranks http://t.co/1jcE5zD

  25. njclc

    RT @libcon: It's time Alan Johnson was replaced by Cooper or Balls http://bit.ly/hO3dIC

  26. jongoodbun

    RT @libcon: It's time Alan Johnson was replaced by Cooper or Balls http://bit.ly/hO3dIC

  27. Soho Politico

    Labour must ditch gaffe-prone embarrassment, says Sunny on @libcon. They're not talking about who you think. http://t.co/1jcE5zD

  28. Soho Politico

    Labour must ditch gaffe-prone embarrassment, says Sunny on @libcon. No, he doesn't mean who u think. http://t.co/1jcE5zD

  29. Andrew Tennant

    'La la, la la, I can't hear you!' say Labour on the economy: http://t.co/1jcE5zD @SohoPolitico @libcon

  30. Rachel Hubbard

    TimeAlanJohnsonReplacd http://goo.gl/Jvkl0 GovtApprovalBigFallsO/6MthsPeopleWorryToryEconomyAssaultWant2HearAlternativNotSplitMinorDifferenc

  31. Ed Miliband and the battle of the narratives | Liberal Conspiracy

    [...] is why it’s especially daft to posit that this is the perfect time to get rid of Alan Johnson as shadow chancellor. This isn’t to deny that he’s out of his depth, or at the least hasn’t even [...]

  32. blogs of the world

    The problem may well extend beyond AJ which is why I mentioned what I felt was Westminster… http://reduce.li/d6fxer #replaced

  33. Jonathan Taylor

    Hear hear. RT @libcon: It's time Alan Johnson was replaced by Cooper or Balls http://bit.ly/hO3dIC

  34. Connaire Demain

    RT @Jon2aylor: Hear hear. RT @libcon: It's time Alan Johnson was replaced by Cooper or Balls http://bit.ly/hO3dIC

  35. Curious Questioner

    RT @Jon2aylor: Hear hear. RT @libcon: It's time Alan Johnson was replaced by Cooper or Balls http://bit.ly/hO3dIC

  36. jennifer roberts

    RT @Jon2aylor: Hear hear. RT @libcon: It's time Alan Johnson was replaced by Cooper or Balls http://bit.ly/hO3dIC

  37. sunny hundal

    Damn, I only called for Alan Johnson to go about…a week ago? Even I'm scared of my own powers http://bit.ly/hO3dIC

  38. Richard Blogger

    I think I had better make sure I keep on the right side of @sunny_hundal his powers are awesome http://bit.ly/hO3dIC

  39. Ali B

    RT @sunny_hundal: Damn, I only called for Alan Johnson to go about…a week ago? Even I'm scared of my own powers http://bit.ly/hO3dIC

  40. Rocky Hamster

    RT @sunny_hundal: Damn, I only called for Alan Johnson to go about…a week ago? Even I'm scared of my own powers http://bit.ly/hO3dIC

  41. Jac Mantle

    RT @sunny_hundal: Damn, I only called for Alan Johnson to go about…a week ago? Even I'm scared of my own powers http://bit.ly/hO3dIC

  42. sunny hundal

    @DPJHodges It's time Alan Johnson was replaced by Cooper or Balls http://bit.ly/hO3dIC





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