Thoughts on politics and life from a liberal perspective

Sunday, 3 May 2009

If they want change, Cabinet Ministers need to resign

The criticism of the government/Gordon Brown by Hazel Blears as reported in The Observer is interesting and it seems pretty clear to me that it is the opening shot in a new round of Cabinet infighting. There are also reports that both Alan Johnson and Jack Straw have refused to say whether they will run for the leadership.

The problem is that speaking in code and muttering about "not getting the message across" is all well and good and can be parsed by political pundits and the rest but it is not clear enough.

When Thatcher was toppled in 1990, it came about because Geoffrey Howe who had been Chancellor and was then Foreign Secretary resigned and criticsed her directly in his resignation speech, suggesting that others should challenge her. John Redwood also had the courage to resign and challenge John Major in 1995 although he was not a big or credible enough beast to fell Mr Major but if someone like Portillo or Hesseltine had done so the outcome could have been very different.

My point is that for there to be change, there usually needs to be a grand gesture to precipitate it that nobdy can misinterpret or misunderstand. It seems to me that much of the Cabinet realise that Brown has to go if they are to stand any chance of avoiding complete annihilation at the next election but none of them so far have had the guts to actually do something about it.

I know that (s)he who wields the dagger seldom wears the crown but somebody has to step up. They will all be out on their arses in 12 month's time anyway and will likely be out of power for a generation so really, what do they have to lose?

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