Thoughts on politics and life from a liberal perspective

Saturday, 6 June 2009

A Prime Minister who cannot choose his Chancellor

Something that has probably not been focused on enough following the turmoil of yesterday is that fact that Gordon Brown was unable to move Alistair Darling his Chancellor. James Forsyth has gone into a bit more detail about this on The Coffee House blog.

Brown denied that he had wanted to move Darling but as Kirsty Wark pointed out rather forcefully to Peter Hain last night, Brown's aides had been spinning for days that Darling was out and Balls was in to many senior journalists including Nick Robinson the BBC's political editor. In other words Brown flat out lied yesterday literally about 10 seconds after he claimed he was "honest".

Anyway, I digress. If the PM cannot choose his/her Chancellor then can they even be said to be in control at all any more? I am starting to wonder why he even wants to stay in office now if he has to endure these sorts of humiliations. What's going to happen the next time he disagrees with something that Darling wants to do? Who will make the ultimate decision? If Brown is too weak to move him, he will be too weak to stand up to him later too.

We are in the middle of the worst recession in living memory and it is not not even clear who will be leading the government's economic policy.

This is just one of many consequences of yesterday's farce that will start to become apparent in the coming days.

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