Thoughts on politics and life from a liberal perspective

Saturday, 6 June 2009

Matthew Parris is spot on comme d'habitude

The Saturday article by Matthew Parris in The Times today is spot on about Gordon Brown and the situation the government now finds itself in. He compares Mr Brown to one of the deathly sick Soviet leaders limping on, dragging the rest of his party to political oblivion.

From the corner of my eye I see that the Prime Minister has joined his press conference. He is standing at the podium, waving his arms and saying repeatedly “look”. Deathly pale and grinning waxily - that disembodied smile robbed, it almost seems, from another discarded dummy - he is moving and talking with sort of desperate swagger. Across the bottom of my television screen a moving strap conveys breaking news. “Alan Sugar to join Lords.” “Look,” says Mr Brown, “when the fight is on you don't quit...” “Conservatives gain Staffordshire”. “...I've an excellent team...” “Caroline Flint resigns.” “...She's done a very good job... ” “Geoff Hoon resigns.” “...And there's work to be done...” “Margaret Beckett to leave the Government.”

“I don't think anyone can say that Glenys Kinnock hasn't done important work as an MEP,” he says, as if anyone was saying that. “Conservatives gain Derbyshire.” “Ever since I was a boy,” he begins his spiel on Values. “Conservatives gain Nottinghamshire.”

It is a pitiful sight to watch all of this and I am now fearful that we will get another 12 months of it. Like Matthew, I can remember the last period of John Major's premiership but this is much worse.


Kalvis Jansons said...

So the bet is looking up for me! However, this could all change on Sunday night!

Cardinal Richelieu's mole said...

From Brown‘s perspective (and likely that of his party) there is no alternative but to carry on.

The economic policies he and Darling have devised are designed to produce some faint upturn around next March (Spring 2010), the consequences being suffered the following Autumn by renewed downturn. Accordingly, an election in May 2010 can be viewed as New Labour’s best prospect - certainly better than anytime before then.

The New Labour Party would get rid of Brown if it could do so without fuss but it cannot. A change would not be for any policy reasons, just for style purposes. Another coronation would be objected to by many within and beyond the Party, but the mechanism for a leadership election (involving MPs, members and the Unions) would take too long and be seen to be a self-indulgent distraction.

So Brown holds on - and being a bully and a liar he has surrounded himself with people of less ability and with less backbone than he has himself. So the Cabinet is a nullity.

Otherwise potentially able to shift Brown there are backbenchers. Very few are Old (Real) Labour socialists and so it is the careerist apparatchiks of the New Labour project, committed to nothing beyond saying anything to sound good and so hold onto power, who would have to act. They know only style over substance and therefore lack ability more than courage to do anything useful in this regard.