Friday, July 25, 2008
To Think He Plotted Ten Years For This!
Starting with the false election debacle last October it's been a tale of incompetence and misjudgement and bumbling incoherence. All this followed by electoral wipe-out in the local elections, the London mayoralty, Crewe and Nantwich and now, unthinkably, in his own back yard, Glasgow East.
The SNP exploited disaffection with Labour in Scotland brilliantly to overturn a 13,000 majority with a 22% swing. This upset ranks with Winnie Ewing's in Hamilton 1967, Margot Macdonald's at Govan in 1973 and Jim Sillars' at Govan again in 1988. On top of these recent defeats Brown faces an immediate future in which he has to cope with: an economy sliding into certain recession; diminishing tax revenues in consequence and ballooning public debt; and a credit crunch which has not yet fully run its course.
The Guardian quotes a once loyal Scottish Labour MP as saying 'We all know that Gordon will go in October or November.' Whoever would want to fight so hard and long for a job carrying so much grief and stress? I can already detect those trees of Birnham wood moving apace towards the Dunsiname of the party conference 21st September in Manchester.
The summer recess works in his favour, as does the lack of an obvious successor but Sky News speculates that the end could come via: a top level 'coup'; a backbench rebellion; or the kind of sniping and resignations which nearly did for Blair when Gordon made his 'coup' attempt in 2006.
I'm starting to doubt there was ever any Brown plan other than taking over and see what happens.Yes, we were all glad to see Blair go but no one expected the utter shambles that followed, the lack of vision, the complete alienation of Labour's base thanks to the 10p tax disaster and a narrative straight from Alan B'stard's book of ideology.
It's going to be a long two years
But Brown has taken it to a different league(like Ken Bates). Labour are so feeble and useless now, one really has to worry about the image of the country(we could end up being perceived like Italy at this rate).
John Major must be delighted. He thought he was destined to die as Britain's worst Prime Minister. But Gordon is well on course to overtake him(after only a year, and with two more to go). Labour really must get rid of him. It won't help them(too late), but for the good of the country, a senior Labour figure is going to have to sacrifice their career for their country(as William Hague sacrificed his for his party in 1997). They will have no chance of winning, but the country deserves better than what we have got(and any change could scarcely be worse). Hopefully the media will start to speculate with names. It won't be Milliband, I suspect he wants the top job rather than Gordy's last 18 months. Sturdy and (relatively) competent veterans like Straw and Charles Clarke would be my preferance, until they have the guts to call an election and end this sorry mess.
Dave has more chance of becoming PM than Prince Charles has of becoming King. One wonders why Brown ever wanted the job. He clearly has no ideas. Dave's jibe about "wanting office for the sake of it" has clearly stuck. Never elected. No mandate from the British people. And no idea how to govern. Get rid of the clot and lets get on with serious politics.
I fear to say I agree with all the points you both make, including, Michael, your re Brown being a worse PM than Major(who has been harshly misjudged in my view.
Government incomes will be vastly lower than projected(even current projections seem wide of the mark). Spending will certainly have to be cut(a good thing of course). And taxes might even have to rise as well. To the simple voter, Dave will be to be blame for this. Blair took over when the economy was moving into a great boom. He was able to spend(or waste depending on your take) huge sums of money without increasing the tax burden (much). And the simple voter gave him credit. I suspect Brown and his colleagues, knowing they are pretty much f***ed anyway, will let the budget deficit soar and leave the Tories a mess(Brown's version of the Nero Order, with no Albert Speer to save us). And, given the global economic mess, I suspect it will be harder to fix than most people realise.
Dave - our PM in two years, God help us - will have more than his bike to worry about if that happens. A happy thought(!).
Poor old Dave; I agree he'll have it tough but he won't mind- as a driven politico it's getrting there and staying there which obsesses him.
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