Monday, May 10, 2010
Time For Labour to Accept Defeat and a Future in Robust Opposition
If Gordon Brown's fate has been to resemble not just one but several Shakespearean tragic heroes – cursed in his relationship with Tony Blair by a jealousy worthy of Othello, racked in the first months of his premiership by the indecision of Hamlet – then today he was Macbeth, seemingly playing out his final act. Like the embattled Scottish king holed up in his castle, watching Birnam Wood march on Dunsinane, Brown sat in No 10 knowing that, a few yards away, enemy forces were gathered, preparing to combine and seize his crown.
Looking back a few months, when Labour faced a meltdown, possibly obliteration as a political force, this outcome is far from being a disaster. Labour still possesses its urban heartlands and the Liberal Democrats, as the price of their seduction by power, risk complicity with what is destined to be a hugely unpopular government. Labour can expect to take seats off both come the next election and, after 13 years in power, they need a period in opposition to tgake stock and regroup.
First job? Get rid of Gordon. As Wintour observes:
Cabinet members believe the public will not change their negative view of Brown, and despite what they see as his stamina, personal courage and dignity in the campaign, he probably cost Labour 40 seats.