Wednesday, October 28, 2009


Cameron Likely to Find More Than One Term is Beyond Him

A week last Sunday Andrew Rawnsley suggested Cameron might only last one parliamentary session. It seems a trifle early to be gazing ahead like that, but we'll all be doing it soon, so why not. He points out that the last 30 years have witnessed periods in govbernment of quite extraordinary length: 11 years for Thatcher followed by 7 years by Major for the same party. Then 10 years from Blair followed by two more, to date by Brown. Rawnsley notes:

Between 1949 and 1979, Britain got through many more prime ministers. Attlee was followed by Churchill, Eden, Macmillan and Douglas-Home, the last old Etonian at Number 10. Then came Wilson, Heath, Wilson again and finally Callaghan. Not one of those prime ministers achieved more than six continuous years in Downing Street and the average stay was more like four.

The columnist wonders if Cameron will be someone who stays in for two or three terms or if he will be a 'one term wonder'. Is the ealier postwar pattern about to reassert itself? There are reasons to think incumbency might not be the huge advantage it has been in the past.

1. The MPs expenses has created a very 'anti-politics' mood which is likely to make any kind of government difficult.

2. The economy will not be so accommodating as it was for Blair in 1997, albeit on a basis we came to see was unsound.

3. The initial period of any Cameron government is likely to be characterised by deep cuts to bring down the deficit. Paying off the debt is liukely to be an extended and unpopular affair.

All in all, it is going to be tough for any government and Cameron might have to just enjoy his period in Number 10, as it might well be only until 2015 at the outside. For what happens then my crystal ball is entirely and murkily unreadable.

The real problem for new labour is that it's now a New labour party, it has cleared out anyone who was labour, if Miliband takes over Labour has to fight along the lines of being a Better Tory party then the Tories.

The grass roots of the Labour party has been decimated, at the last election in my area labour had to hire people to go around knocking on doors as the activist base as been decimated.

Of course when you asked these people a question they just moved on, because I know one of them who is and was a Lib Dem.

How sad it is to see a party like this go like this.

I will be willing to give the Tories time to sort out the mess, even if it's not labours fault people will blame it. Life in my house is bloody awful under a labour government, my kids will either have to pack up and leave home to get work or stay here and stagnate, because of labour.

Cameron might well be sacked in five years time, but the Tories will be in power for the rest of my life time, because I do not want to have another twelve years of new labour.
I agree with Robert. The thing about the long slow swings of the pendulum is not about popular governments, but unpopular oppositions, and the appalling chaos inherent in Labour at present makes it very unlikely that it will be able to win an election in 2015, or even before 2020.

That said, of course, had Rawnsley suggested a challenge to Cameron from the right of the party led by Liam Fox in about 2016 - that's a scenario I could see playing out.
Two words which sum up why Cameron will not serve more than one full term as Prime Minister: Boris Johnson.
You raise a good point skipper. I don't see Cameron being a long-term PM (3 terms) but I think he definately has two in him.

Reasons? Well Cameron isn't a particularly good politican in my view but he is going to win two terms for much the same reason as Blair managed MASSIVE majorities in 1997/2001.

Not necessarily because he is loved, but because the alternative is so bad. I think Labour are going to be out of power for quite a while, atleast 8 years, nothing like 4 or 5.

Even then, like Robert says, if they ditch Cameron and take on another leader I don't see why they won't win another term! That's all pie in the sky, but I think Cameron has atleast 2 terms.

"He's sh*t, but he's better than Labour" will be prevaling wind I feel.
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