Is the Brown Premiership coming to an end?


by Leon
24th November, 2007 at 10:58 pm    

The moment Gordon Brown announced there would be no election something clicked into place for me. I couldn’t put my finger on it at the time but a few weeks later I was struck by this sudden sense that Gordon Brown’s days were numbered.

This fed into a conversation with a good friend (and Labour party supporter I might add), we both concluded that he’d be gone in six months but without doubt within twelve. Uttering out loud those words I was almost shocked to hear myself say them! I had no special knowledge, no divine insight or great analytical skill just this strong instinct that this was it for him. I usually don’t make judgments on such abstract grounds.

Since the ‘no announcement announcement’ the government has come to look more and more like the last days of Major premiership. Crisis and incompetence, one after another have come tumbling out into public view. Brown’s controlling style has become a great deal more transparent and more embarrassing for his Ministers and supports.

It transpires I’m not alone in thinking his time is running short:

Secondly, I think somebody is going to resign. Maybe somebody quite big. Sooner or later a figure important to Mr Brown’s credibility or authority will decide they’ve had enough and quit. This is as likely to be in a fit of pique as a mood of calculation.

Admiral Lord West, the PM’s new big-tent security adviser, must have been tempted to walk out when carpeted and humiliated by Mr Brown last week. Mr Miliband must have had his red-mist moment when his speech was unspoken before he had spoken it. Lords Malloch-Brown and (Digby) Jones cannot surely stay the course for ever. The Governor of the Bank of England must have known private rage recently, as Brownite dweebs tried to undermine him.

This has all been within a few weeks. Can the PM get away with sheer bad manners indefinitely – especially if his stock falls farther, his inner circle narrows and the resources of the protection racket he runs begin to fail? So I’ll nail my colours to the mast. Mr Brown could become the Steve McClaren of British politics. Something is going to happen, something quite nasty. What, we must wait to see.

I agree, that last line is my sense also; I think we’re seeing the last days of Gordon Brown’s Premiership (and possibly the Labour Government).

I think his time as leader and Prime Minister is running out, and running out fast.

Update: Paul Linford and OurKingdom have also picked up the scent. Ben Brogan joins the fray with this piece. And for those that think we’re being far fetched or don’t think it’s possible, ask yourself this: six weeks ago did you know that Ming was going to be gone all of a sudden?

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    Stock Market Information…

    I couldn’t understand some parts of this article, but it sounds interesting…




  1. Justin — on 25th November, 2007 at 9:27 am  

    All of which begs the marrow-freezing question of who would succeed him…

    Jack Straw.

  2. Metatone — on 25th November, 2007 at 10:49 am  

    It’s partly an inevitable consequence of some political realities and some choices:

    1) The reality is that 10 years of government is the point where people get tired of the incumbents. You can go on longer, but the more the opposition get their act together, your days are numbered.

    2) The choice to become a very centrist party puts a premium on the “theatrical display of competence.” If you’re not good at PMQs then you’re already under pressure, a few PR disasters like the lost CDs and you are sunk.

    [Of course, if there were obvious policy reasons to vote Labour rather than Party of Dave, Gordon would be in better shape, but the all that pandering to Tory press and supporters now makes Gordo look like Dave-lite...]

    Of course, the sadness is that for our democracy we do need a change of government. One party rule is not a good thing and 10 years is long enough. Problem is that Cameron is going to send us off on at least five years of more lunatic privatisation projects, neo-liberal voodoo economics and anti-European posturing. Time for me to move abroad I think…

  3. douglas clark — on 25th November, 2007 at 1:38 pm  

    The jury is still out on Gordon. What it does mean, North of the border, is that Mr Salmond seems statesmanlike. And thus someone to vote for. UK breakup, anyone?

    It would only need some, preferably high profile, English sports commentator to suggest that Scotland should not have an international team. Then you’d be right royally screwed.

    Obviously, we’d need to invade the Orkneys and Shetlands for their own good. Yanks would stand and clap at such an obvious ‘bringing of democracy’ We would, clearly, be bringing ‘peace on behalf of all mankind’

    Oil revenues? What oil revenues?

  4. Rumbold — on 25th November, 2007 at 2:10 pm  

    Would that you were right Leon, since it would be great to see the back of Gordon Brown. However, I fear this will not be the case until the next election (which may not take place until 2010). Unless there is a general election, Brown can only be toppled from within the party (as he will never resign), which in practice means the parliamentary Labour Party.

    Despite appearances to the contrary, Labour MPs are not stupid. They know that to start a civil war in order to get rid of Brown would damage the party. Many of these MPs are New Labourites or Brownites, whose sole purpose for being in power is to remain in power (see ’1984′). Since they have little in the way of actual ideological beliefs, they are willing to submit to the Brown regime if it keeps them in office, as they realise a divided party looks bad in public.

    Labour rebels are few and far between, and they are more pro-Brown than they were pro-Blair. Unions too are happy again after Gordon Brown bribed them to support him using taxpayers’ money.

    The EU constitution will prove a hiccup, but no more than that, as enough Labour MPs will remember the lessons of the eighties. The Bolsheviks will be here to stay for another few years.

  5. El Cid — on 25th November, 2007 at 2:32 pm  

    I think it’s fair to say that Brown’s stature has been seriously dented. So much for dour Scottish competence after 10 years of smiley smarmy Anglo-Scottish style over substance. Now we just have Scottish and dour.
    And with the UK economy set to slow sharply next year (the consensus is for growth to slow to 2% from 3%, but I’m tipping 1.5%) and the housing market set to correct (though not crash), it’s gonna get worse for him.
    He’s got it all to do if 2009 and 2010 is going to serve him up another majority. I’m beginning to have my doubts.

  6. Sahil — on 25th November, 2007 at 2:58 pm  

    “Since they have little in the way of actual ideological beliefs, they are willing to submit to the Brown regime if it keeps them in office, as they realise a divided party looks bad in public”

    I totally agree, this is a party whose sole purpose is to remain in power by whatever means. I am not voting for them even if it means the Tories get in power. The parallels between 1990-1992 and at present is astonishing. I’m sick of being treated like a neglected lover (Sic) and I can’t be bothered with these lot anymore. I totally agree with you Leon, I smell something in the air.

  7. douglas clark — on 25th November, 2007 at 3:09 pm  

    Rumbold,

    The Bolsheviks! This government has a Stalinist core, methinks.

    Identity Cards? What the hell is that all about? It is, frankly along the lines that the state owns you, that the state is in some measure your parent. It is, in fact neither. It is accountabilty gone mad. A delight for bureucrats everywhere.

    Or detention. What is that about either? If the state can level a charge at you, then let them. Otherwise, you ought to see yourself as freeborn. I do, despite the states intrusions. Though, Eton baby is no obvious alternative. An institutionised little wannabe.

  8. Edsa — on 25th November, 2007 at 7:33 pm  

    It is a relief to know that Gordon Brown is poorly regarded by this forum.
    On 2nd July 07, following the attack on Glasgow airport on 30Jun07, Brown claimed the terrorists were “particularly against the values that we represent.” Earlier he had said on BBC Radio AM programme: “We will not be intimidated and not allow anyone undermine our British way of life.”

    There was no reference to Britain’s military interventions in Iraq and Afghanistan, motivating the jihadists or boosting their recruitment drive.
    This culture of denial lets British leaders feign innocence about the West’s murderous interventions in the Middle East for the last 100 years – from Algeria to Afghanistan.
    ————————

    In January 2005 Gordon Brown declared, at a press conference in Tanzania of all places:
    “the days of Britain having to apologise for its colonial history are over. We should celebrate much of our past rather than apologise for it. We should talk about enduring British values – they stand for the greatest ideas in history that grew in Britain and influenced the rest of the world: tolerance, liberty, civic duty; our strong traditions of fair play, openness, internationalism. These are great British values.”

    But in the colonies, laws institutionalising discrimination & segregation were rigidly enforced, even in most churches.
    And do decades of race abuse and attacks on black & Asian migrants (not to mention deaths in police custody) in the UK signify tolerance?

    In Feb 2006, Amnesty International condemned UK’s violation of Human Rights such as detaining suspects without charge + curbing of civil liberties + invasion/torture in Iraq….

    This Gordon Brown must go. He is a more wooden version version of Tony Blair.

  9. Rumbold — on 25th November, 2007 at 8:23 pm  

    Douglas:

    “Identity Cards? What the hell is that all about? It is, frankly along the lines that the state owns you, that the state is in some measure your parent. It is, in fact neither. It is accountabilty gone mad. A delight for bureucrats everywhere.”

    Identity cards, though a waste of money and infringement of liberty, are merely the latest in the long line of government attempts to control everything. We are already watched everywhere we go by CCTV, while hundreds of thousands, if not millions, of state officials have access to our personal data. Agents of dozens of government agencies can enter our home if they want to, and we are paying for it all. ID cards are merely the icing on the top of the superstate.

    “Or detention. What is that about either? If the state can level a charge at you, then let them. Otherwise, you ought to see yourself as freeborn. I do, despite the states intrusions.”

    Exactly. They should either have evidence or should let you go. The balance must be tilted in favour of the individual, rather than the state (which spuriously claims to be protecting society in this way).

    “Though, Eton baby is no obvious alternative. An institutionised little wannabe.”

    So if you go to a private school you are incapable on running the country? The Conservatives, for all their faults, are the party most likely to reduce the power and size of the state. The left-wing parties (in general) wish to increase the state’s grasp, while the right (in general) will retract it. Take your pick.

  10. douglas clark — on 25th November, 2007 at 9:02 pm  

    Rumbold,

    So, where do I sit in terms of a political party?

    Excessive governance is ridiculously bureaucratic. On that we are agreed.

    We also seem to agree that individual rights are more important than trumped up charges.

    Whilst I might argue that a privilleged Etonian background does, in fact, make you a tosser, I’m not going to argue that point, right now.

    What I am seriously asking is whether or not there is a political party that I should subscribe to.

    I suspect not.

  11. sonia — on 25th November, 2007 at 9:27 pm  

    i think rumbold will soon convince us to vote Tory douglas. rumbold, you are quite a persuasive fella. mind you, my problem is with parties full stop. and perhaps humans too. but then, being the extreme libertarian anarchist misanthrope i am, ill just vote green.

  12. sonia — on 25th November, 2007 at 9:29 pm  

    or something.

  13. sonia — on 25th November, 2007 at 9:34 pm  

    why should a privileged etonian background automatically make someone a tosser?

    i can’t see any reason for it. of course there are some privileged etonians that are tossers, but then so are many people who went to state schools, no?

    there seems to be a view floating around that if you’ve been brought up in filthy luxury you can’t possibly understand life as everyone else lives it. and that you’d be unconcerned and cushioned from life. for some people, sure, that might be true. for others, it might simply make you hungrier for life.

  14. douglas clark — on 26th November, 2007 at 2:37 am  

    Sonia at 11, 12 and 13,

    Deep down, under all the knee jerk stuff I come out with, I have in fact huge respect for both you and Rumbold.

    So there.

    My ideas about educational elitism are not fully formed. However, I don’t think I think that public schoolboys are brought up to see themselves as anything other than the ruling class. Which is fine for them, and not so fine for me. Or perhaps your good self, either.

    And hungrier for what exactly? Life just is, is it not? We tie ourselves up in knots of race, religion, class and political factionalism when we go beyond acceptance of our very fortunate existence.

    Rumbold and you both cut across that divide. Which is why I am grateful for finding this site. Honestly held views, and no lack of mutual respect.

  15. douglas clark — on 26th November, 2007 at 3:06 am  

    Rumbold at 9,

    Identity cards, though a waste of money and infringement of liberty, are merely the latest in the long line of government attempts to control everything. We are already watched everywhere we go by CCTV, while hundreds of thousands, if not millions, of state officials have access to our personal data. Agents of dozens of government agencies can enter our home if they want to, and we are paying for it all. ID cards are merely the icing on the top of the superstate.

    I take it that that is a yes?

    Exactly. They should either have evidence or should let you go. The balance must be tilted in favour of the individual, rather than the state (which spuriously claims to be protecting society in this way).

    Absolutely.

    So if you go to a private school you are incapable on running the country? The Conservatives, for all their faults, are the party most likely to reduce the power and size of the state. The left-wing parties (in general) wish to increase the state’s grasp, while the right (in general) will retract it. Take your pick.

    There is no evidence that the Tories believe anything much different from New Labour on the States right to intervene. Correct me if I am wrong.

  16. Oli — on 26th November, 2007 at 9:36 am  

    Brown is no where near the level of person I would expect to be in charge of our country, but then again neither was Blair. ‘New Labour’ is becoming more like a conservative party, supporting those with money, and payign off the jobless layabouts who they cannot be arsed to take a stronger stance with. The conservatives seem to be moving more into the labour catagory by supporting young workers and those who are willing to work.

  17. Rumbold — on 26th November, 2007 at 7:08 pm  

    Douglas:

    “So, where do I sit in terms of a political party?”

    Conservatives. You know it makes sense.

    “I take it that that is a yes?”

    Yup- I agree with you on ID cards.

    “However, I don’t think I think that public schoolboys are brought up to see themselves as anything other than the ruling class.”

    What do you think happens in private schools Douglas? As Sonia said, it is impossible to generalise about these things. I went to a private secondary school (non-boarding), and I cannot remember this idea of us as the natural ruling class ever being broached. Maybe I went to the wrong school though.

    “Which is why I am grateful for finding this site. Honestly held views, and no lack of mutual respect.”

    Agreed- it makes for a great discussion atmosphere.

    “There is no evidence that the Tories believe anything much different from New Labour on the States right to intervene. Correct me if I am wrong.”

    While David Cameron seems content to dress himself in some of the clothes of socialism, the Conservatives in general still believe in the freedoms of the individaul over the state, which is why in that respect a Conservative government would be better.

    A Conservative government is unlikely to create a land of milk and honey, but at least there will be no government official, paid for by the taxpayer, telling you the health risks involved in consuming milk and honey.

    Sonia:

    “I think rumbold will soon convince us to vote Tory douglas. rumbold, you are quite a persuasive fella. mind you, my problem is with parties full stop. and perhaps humans too. but then, being the extreme libertarian anarchist misanthrope i am, ill just vote green.”

    You are beginning to walk the right path Sonia. Now repeat after me: vote blue, go green. Heh.

  18. Leon — on 27th November, 2007 at 10:42 am  

    Deep down, under all the knee jerk stuff I come out with, I have in fact huge respect for both you and Rumbold.

    Yep me too, and I echo Sunny’s view that Rumbold is one of the better Tories around (I really wish there were more like him…) but he still aint going to convince me to vote for the party! :D

  19. sonia — on 27th November, 2007 at 12:41 pm  

    rumbold heh :-) we’ll have to see! personally as far as i can see, New Labour repeats the parrot fashion the fashionable market fundamentalism theory so i cant see much difference there, plus its so common now that regarldess of party stripe one always hears that simplistic stuff. a lot would depend on where cameron sees the sustainable communities agenda going. but really, my main objection to the tories is really the silliness over Europe. still, again mind you, the whole goldplating thing shows Labour aren’t particularly sensible when it comes to the whole nation-state vs. EU thing either.

    and then, also, my problem is, even though the Tories may claim they are ‘minimal’ govt (i.e. can’t be bothered to fund infrastructure and public services anymore) they’re still – like all the other political parties out there – still going to legitimize and prop up the nation-state in the most problematic ways possible – so in the end, it really makes no difference to me. I might well vote Tory, i really can’t see much difference – in ways that matter to me – practically now between New Labour and Tory.

  20. sonia — on 27th November, 2007 at 12:45 pm  

    and there are im sure plenty of ‘proposed’ policies which someone might put forward and say ah have you considered this or that? which is always useful, but the other main thing is i dont trust political parties saying ‘this is what we will do’ and doing something completely different, and you know what, its too late then, you’ve elected them in, and are completely powerless, until the next election. very silly that, puts people in a very awkward position. can’t sack ‘em or say oi you’re not doing what you SAID! whether they’re tory or labour or green or whatever. the system is the problem here

  21. Rumbold — on 27th November, 2007 at 4:58 pm  

    Leon:

    “Yep me too, and I echo Sunny’s view that Rumbold is one of the better Tories around (I really wish there were more like him…) but he still aint going to convince me to vote for the party!”

    Thanks. My plan to corrupt Pickled Politics seems to be working. My undercover mission for CCHQ is nearly over, and shortly I will reveal that I am Norman Tebbit and that you have all failed the cricket test.

    Sonia:

    “and then, also, my problem is, even though the Tories may claim they are ‘minimal’ govt (i.e. can’t be bothered to fund infrastructure and public services anymore) they’re still – like all the other political parties out there – still going to legitimize and prop up the nation-state in the most problematic ways possible – so in the end, it really makes no difference to me. I might well vote Tory, i really can’t see much difference – in ways that matter to me – practically now between New Labour and Tory.”

    Why not vote for a proper libertarian party then?

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