Thoughts on politics and life from a liberal perspective

Sunday, 25 April 2010

The dignity of Gordon Brown

Martin Bright suggests over on The Spectator that Gordon Brown needs to manage the next 12 days with dignity given that Labour may well end up third in terms of vote share. He also says that this is an election that Labour should not have lost, and that given the mountain Cameron has to climb he likely expected it would actually take two elections.

We are not at the finishing line yet. It is just possible that things could still change. However, I find it difficult to believe that Labour can come first (or even anything like close to first) in vote share. I think people are starting to realise that whatever happens, Gordon Brown will not be the next Prime Minister.

The time for post-mortems will come later and as long as Labour is not in government then it will be a local parish matter for them to resolve.

I hope Gordon Brown is able to conduct the final week and a half of this campaign with dignity. It must be excruciating for a man who has been in such powerful positions for the last 13 years to be running in third place the first time he tries to get his own mandate and finding himself almost an irrelevance in the election narrative. If he cares as deeply about his party as he always says he does then he needs to find the reserves to run down the clock gracefully. He had ample evidence that he could not win an election and plenty of opportunity to stand down and allow someone else to try instead. He refused and destroyed the careers of a number of his colleagues in the process. He owes it to his party not to make that any worse between now and polling day.

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