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UK Politics

There is a very good reason why none of the current crop of Cabinet Ministers will come out and call for a leadership election against Gordon Brown.

It's because the next election is pretty much unwinnable for Labour regardles sof who is in charge. It's better to have Gordon as the sacrificial lamb and then mount a challenge to become Leader of the Opposition once the Conservatives are in power and build your base from there.

If a new leader was to replace Brown now, then an election would be almost unavoidable as they would be the second Prime Minister to hold the job without a public vote (Brown hasn't fought a General Election as PM yet as he took over when Blair stepped down *after* the last election). Plus regardless who it is they'd be fighting a loosing cause. Sure, they might be able to build a few bridges but not enough to keep them residing in #10 Downing Street.

To be blunt, if someone took over now I doubt they'd last too long after loosing the Election. So who, out of the serious and viable contenders, is going to want it now? The best thing any of them can do is consolidate their places and start building alliances so after the next Election they can go for the top job.

Thus Gordon Brown will remain as PM. Not because he's doing a good job and has party and cabinet support but because no one else wants the job right now as it's poisoned. The best thing Brown could do that would send his detractors and plotters within his party off-balance would be to resign now. Then someone has to step forward - and risk getting tarnished by loosing the next election. Of course if they win then they're the golden child and those that held back waiting to step in post-Election loss are screwed.

Comments

( 17 comments — Leave a comment )
madwitch
Sep. 15th, 2008 01:10 pm (UTC)
I reckon that's what Miliband is doing, waiting until they lose so that he can challenge.
angusabranson
Sep. 15th, 2008 01:25 pm (UTC)
Completely.
madwitch
Sep. 15th, 2008 01:26 pm (UTC)
He doesn't want to be the leader that lost the election, but he quite obviously wants to be Labour leader. Lots.
davywavy
Sep. 15th, 2008 01:50 pm (UTC)
Which is a shame, because it should be frank Field.
madwitch
Sep. 15th, 2008 02:12 pm (UTC)
Who would get the job is a whole different question, though I suspect Miliband is going to put a lot more work into making himself look like the golden boy of the party, and therefore probably stands the best chance.

He may not be the best for the job, but he'll certainly shine the most.
davywavy
Sep. 15th, 2008 02:16 pm (UTC)
I know; I suspect that Milliband doesn't realise what he's lettting himself in for, as Labour will have to go through a generational change in the same way they did after 1979 or the Conservatives did after 1997 in order to be electable again. I reckon Milliband would become Labour's Williams Hague - a golden boy who just never quite made it.

That said, if they put Frank Field in charg, even I would be tempted to voote for them.
gypseymission
Sep. 15th, 2008 01:20 pm (UTC)
I'm not sure I agree with the basic premise of this. The Conservatives pulled off a seemingly impossible win against labour when they replaced Thatcher with Major, and I think the labour party will try and do the same thing. If anything, the news coming out of the states now makes a mockery of Cameron's claims that our economic position is a local problem with local answers and not a global phenomenon. Even if they do manage to convince the electorate of this, as soon as they are in power they will have to completely change their line of rhetoric which will be seized on by the opposition. I don't think the labour government is dead yet, but definitely Brown's chances of remaining prime minister before and after an election are non existent.
angusabranson
Sep. 15th, 2008 01:25 pm (UTC)
There are just too many people that have become disheartened with the Labour Party. I really can't see them doing well at the next election unless something radical happens and changes the party.

Unfortunately I think it's too much of a risk for a potential leader (such as David Miliband) to gamble on going for the leadership now.

It's much easier to loos the next election and rebuild than go for the gold now, loose the next election and then face party criticism for loosing said election and calls for a new direction and leadership to regain power.

It's possible someone might try it. But I doubt any of the serious contenders will go for it. It's better to wait for a few years and continue to grow your powerbase within the party and establish yourself in the minds of the voting public.
spangle_kitten
Sep. 15th, 2008 01:57 pm (UTC)
They still have just under 2 years to sort things out - I'm not sure if that's long enough, but if the brunt of the economic downturn has passed by then I guess there's a possibility they could pull it off.

But as you say, I can't see them being able to change leader again without an election!

The best they can really do is just to try and weather this storm, and possibly have a new leader shortly before the next election, who can then go on a US presidential style tour saying how great they are, with lots of press coverage before they were confirmed as leader about how great they are.

But as is I am totally unsure who to vote for. I have always voted Lib Dem traditionally, (given the consituancy I've voted in have been Bedford - one of the safest Tory seats going so it didn't really matter - and Weston Super Mare (Lib Dem hotspot)) but now am unsure whether to vote for Labour tactfully to stop the Tories or actually to vote for the Tories. I know such a thought makes me sick to the very core and goes against every value I have*...but my dad pointed out that the Tories would never have dared to do what Brown did with the 10p tax band as it's so blatently anti-working class, and it seems that Labour are becoming more right wing than that traditional right wing party. So it's a lesser of 2 evils sort of thing.

* Says the gal who'd skive off school to go on May Day marches!
hsb
Sep. 15th, 2008 10:36 pm (UTC)
Much of what Labour have done, the Tories would never have dared to do, from forcing through performance-related pay for the teachers during their honeymoon period on.

I felt quite sorry for the Tories in the immediate aftermath of 1997, actually. Obviously, they needed to go, but everything Labour did for months appeared to be taken from Tory plans, whims or impossible dreams, and so they couldn't argue against it. Plus, only Rory Bremner and the Long Johns took the change in stride and actually took the piss out of the new lot, so they were *still* the butt of a lot of jokes.

The traditional right wing/left wing divide is now completely broken. The only party proposing tax cuts is the Lib Dems, Labour is refusing to help the poor, and the Tories have based practically their entire policy on 'being green'.

Clearly, the answer is to follow whoever it was who said the answer was always to vote the bastards out.

H
heliograph
Sep. 15th, 2008 03:22 pm (UTC)
So why are people unhappy with Labour? The Iraq War? Something else? How would things be better if the Torys (Tories?) won?

Everything I know about British politics comes from Time Trumpet. And since they haven't had a new episode in awhile...
angusabranson
Sep. 15th, 2008 03:43 pm (UTC)
I actually think a lot of it stems from the fact that they've been in power for a long time and have become 'the establishment'. Whenever anything goes wrong 'the establishment' get the blame and there are plenty of things going wrong from massive price rises in utility bills (our gas supplies went up by 35% a couple of months ago and that was the second rise this year with a third rumoured to take place in the winter), the credit crunch, the weekly knife stabbings/murders between young kids in London, immigration, war in Iraq, war in Afghanistan, troubles with Russia, Bush, the price of tea, the fact the D&D 4E wasn't what people wanted, etc etc.

Plus the Conservatives have now got a young charismatic leader and Labour has... er... Gordon Brown.

As for what would be better under the Tories. A few things would probably be better and a few things would probably be worse but at the end of the day nothing much will change apart from some people celebrating and some people claiming it's the end of the world and they'll be emmigrating to Canada.

Britain is in as much need of a complete political shake-up as the US and most other countries. We have the two main parties pretty much arguing over the same hymn sheet and the third party has sunk without a trace from the general publics eye after looking like they might actually achieve something a few years ago.
davywavy
Sep. 15th, 2008 10:35 pm (UTC)
Are you a member of the Libdems?
angusabranson
Sep. 15th, 2008 11:01 pm (UTC)
I was up until a couple of years ago when I didn't bother to renew.
davywavy
Sep. 16th, 2008 07:50 am (UTC)
Shame - I was going to suggest to them that they drop their stupid constitutional reforms platform as then I'd be able to vote for them - the LibDems have Vince Cable, who's very clever and able, and the Conservatives have George Osbourne, who isn't, and I'd seriously consider them were it not for their plans to scrap the Lords.
cthulahoops
Sep. 15th, 2008 03:26 pm (UTC)
Firstly, changing leader doesn't require an election, it never has done, never will and never should. The prime minister is elected by parliament.

So, if Labour lose by a landslide, they are almost certainly looking at two terms in opposition, so it'll be a minimum of nine years before they hold power again. If the Tories are anything to go by, there'll be a couple of leadership changes in opposition anyway.

So, they need someone who'll be too old to be a serious candidate for in ten years time or someone who's seat is so unsafe they won't even be an MP after the next election. Right now that's most of the party.

I just hope they try something because as bad as New Labour are, I don't think I can face a Tory landslide.
hybridartifacts
Sep. 16th, 2008 01:10 pm (UTC)
Im not sure I have much confidence in anyone politically at the moment.
Both the Labour and the Tories are lost in a monumental hubris that means they are intellectually incapable of seeing that their belief in unrestrained free market economics is arrant rubbish and actually weakens our economy in the long run and both are also led by the nose by the press and follow short term sound bite policies half the time because they are all too scared of loosing their far too cushy jobs. The Lib Dems, while still having some integrity, just dont have enough get and go to achieve anything much right now. I suspect if the Labour party continues to implode and bankrupt itself as it has been that they might just luck out and become the second party by default though.

I dont know if I am a hopeless optimist or a total cynic in hoping for a day when we actually some politicians who seriously want to serve their country and not their egos or bank balances. I certainly can't stand most of the current crop of self-serving, idiotic politicians. *sigh*
( 17 comments — Leave a comment )

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