I was watching BBC World early this morning and happened to see the embattled British Prime Minister announce his new cabinet.

Gordon Brown looks very much like a Labour leader on his way out. His political crisis has been fuelled by the Westminster expenses scandal leading to a series of resignations, including four cabinet ministers. If that wasn't enough Labour has been absolutely smashed in the local body elections - it was somewhat of an understatement for Brown to describe the results as 'disappointing'.

Brown has even lost the support of that Labour stalwart The Guardian. It has declared that Gordon Brown's 'time is up.'

Of course that's all very well but The Guardian's rationale is that Brown must go in order to rescue British 'progressive politics' from a long stretch in the wilderness.

But replacing Brown would simply be rearranging the old deck chairs on the proverbial sinking ship. It won't make any difference in the end. And, what exactly is 'progressive' about the British Labour Party anyway? It's about as 'progressive' as the New Zealand Labour Party - ie it isn't.

It's not just Brown who is deeply unpopular but his entire party. The political chickens have come home to roost for Labour.

Like the former Labour Government here, the Labour Government of Gordon Brown - and of his predecessor Tony Blair- has been all about championing neoliberalism and the 'free market. 'Social democratic' in name only, it has been party of the corporates, the banks, the financiers.

The global economic meltdown though has left the ideology of neoliberalism in tatters and the acolytes of the free market have been revealed as nothing more than snake oil merchants.

And the response of Brown's Government has been to bailed out those responsible for the crisis - while ordinary people have been made to pay the price in the way of increasing unemployment and poverty.

When already wealthy Labour MPs and ministers were exposed billing the taxpayer for all manner of 'expenses', then Brown's fate was decided.

And what is progressive about the British Labour Party? The invasion of Iraq? Pandering to the interests of the corporate elite? Cutting welfare benefits? Allowing the rich to get richer and the poor get poorer?

The British Labour Party is disintegrating and no-one will shed a tear.

Like its counterpart here, British Labour is destined to become a neoliberal relic, politically bankrupt and directionless. For the British left this represents an opportunity to begin the journey to forge a genuine progressive movement that seeks to radically reshape British society. It's what the New Zealand left is seeking in this country as well.


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