Friday, June 16, 2006

Labour contest would be "meaningless" - Ken

A few weeks back, a propos of Ken Livingstone's comments about the Barnett Formula, I speculated that he might be positioning himself as a potential "English Candididate" in a future Labour leadership contest.

Well, I'm wrong apparently. According to the BBC today, he's endorsed Gordon.

Furthermore, he reckons Brown's first act as PM should be to call a General Election, in order to give himself a clear and distinct mandate and forestall any cries of "Tony wouldn't have done this..."

There's only one problem with Ken's analysis, seducitve though it is. It is that no Prime Minister - let alone one as cautious as Mr Brown - is going to call an election while ten points behind in the opinion polls.

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8 comments:

skipper said...

I think the logic of the idea is that once a new man has the keys of Downing St, all previous bets are off and a 'new broom' campaign can be manufactured to give the appearance of a completely new government, a la John Major in 1990. I'm sure it wouldn't work like that this time around though. Major was seen as so different because he was: a low key male of no definite views but politically consensualist provenance. Brown however, is the co-begetter of New Labour and would be more likely to be tainted by his predecesor.

SPL said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
SPL said...

Also, it would silence critics who, rightly or not (probably the former), argue that a change of PM requires another mandate from the electorate.

Bob Piper said...

skipper is spot on. Ken should give us the choice.

RedEye said...

I remember Michael Heseltine saying in an interview that, had he won the 1990 leadership contest, one of his first acts as Prime Minister would have been to call a General Election.

Birdman said...

Gordon Brown is tainted by being Scottish at a time when that country is awash with anti-English sentiments. He is also seen as being sly; unattractive; desperate for office to the extent of supporting England and promoting a faux Britishness and the incompetent dispenser of a large part of the country's gold reserves.
He looks like a geography master at an inner-city Scottish comprehensive and not a leader on the world stage. And as for those teeth...

jane said...

skipper is right, but I am reminded of the dismissal of Gough Whitlam, Australian Labor PM, in 1975 by the then Governor-General (appointed by himself not by the Queen incidentally) - the G-G said at the time that the dismissal was conditional upon a general election being called immediately. The election result overwhelmingly confirmed the imposed prime minister, Malcolm Fraser, in office. The conclusion I draw is that a general election helps but does not entirely legitimise, but also that party leadership is of interest mostly to the chattering classes. Gough Whitlam would not have gone to the country in 1975, because the polls were against him, so someone else did it for him.

stalin's gran said...

Sounds good to me - can we have a Governor General too?