Poor old Gordon Brown. He must be wondering today if even his wife and kids love him.
What a week for him! His Chancellor was caught out lying about the speed of economic recovery, less than two days after his Budget. To keep face with his party, he had to do a temporary U turn on MPs second homes, and now, probably the worst moment of his career, the one that even the political commentators didn't see coming, he has suffered his first defeat in a Commons vote.
When Lib Dem leader, Nick Clegg called for a motion to offer all Gurkhas equal right of residence in the UK, the Government were expected to win, if only by the skin of their teeth. But lose they did, the motion being carried by 267 votes to 246, with 27 labour rebel backbenchers voting in favour of it, even though Mr Brown tried to do a deal with them. This in effect means that Mr Brown was defeated by his own party!
This was the first time that a government had lost an opposition day debate since Jim Callaghan in January 1978, and fourteen months later he was forced to call an election.
Mr Clegg must have been feeling smug, it was the Lib Dems biggest Commons victory in their twenty one year history.
As soon as the result was announced there were shouts of “resign!”. Perhaps this should have been offered as a motion as well!
This was one battle the Gurkhas weren’t expecting to win, but in the end, justice prevailed.
It’s not cut and dried yet but I’m sure it wouldn’t be presumptious to open the champagne bottle.
Even if Mr Brown reneges on this one, the Gurkhas have kick started the beginning of the end of New Labour, and I for one salute them for that!