Thursday, January 24, 2008

So it's goodbye from me...

I suppose the only surprising thing about Hains resignation is that it took so long for him to make his mind up.

Unlike Brown, who already has a reputation for dithering Peter Hain is not known for delaying difficult decisions.

As Northern Ireland secretary he had no hesitation in releasing terrorists and bombers from prison; as work and pensions minister he has had no hesitation in shutting one quarter of Remploy factories (employing 5,000 disabled people) and as a deputy leader he had no hesitation in accepting £103,000 in unregistered donations including an alleged donation from Isaac Kaye - apparently a supporter of the National Party in apartheid-era South Africa, who is said to have given nearly £15,000.

Mr Hain is one of those rare political animals, a man disliked on all sides of the political divide. Whether it is that he is just a bit too ambitious for his own good I don't know; but there are few parliamentarians standing up to defend him today, from any party.

His legacy is profound, because he secures for Gordon Brown the sleazy 'cash for ...' legacy attached to Tony Blairs Government that a change of leader was supposed to throw off.

And there is the prospect of legal cases and court appearances for senior Labour figures right through the lead up to the next election.

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