Monday, May 10, 2010

Gordon makes the supreme sacrifice. Now bring on Bradshaw

Gordon Brown was always a party man at heart, and his decision to sacrifice himself in order to facilitate Labour's participation in a potential progressive coalition could yet go down as one of the great political game-changers in recent history.

Where Purnell, Blears, Flint, Reid and Co have failed, Nick Clegg has finally succceded, but for once I share Alastair Campbell's view - that Mr Brown never intended to stay long once the election result had become clear, and that far from 'squatting' in No 10, he was simply carrying out his duty to his country - and his Queen - by ensuring the business of government was carried on.

Against the odds, the prospect of a Lib-Lab dream team that can change this country for good is back in play, while the prospect of a 19th old Etonian Prime Minister has at least temporarily receded.

I am sticking by my view that Ben Bradshaw is the man to ultimately take this forward. Although I would be equally happy with Alan Johnson, it may be time to move to a younger generation of political leaders. David Miliband and Ed Balls will of course start favourites, but I think Labour now badly needs to move on from Blairite-Brownite battles and electing either of those two would simply perpetuate them.

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4 comments:

Toque said...

Paul, do you really think a 'progressive alliance' would be a good idea?

A Lab-Lib Dem-SDLP alliance would be using the votes of MPs elected outside England to govern England, and they'd probably have to throw in the votes of the SNP and Plaid for good measure.

Obviously I'd love to see it because it will drive the Tories into the arms of English nationalism, but in terms of good governance it is a recipe for nationalist resentment and possible constitutional crisis.

Anonymous said...

There is nothing 'progressive' about what the Labour party have been up to under Brown and Blair.

ID cards - progressive?
Torture - progressive ?
flouting international law to invade iraq - progressive ?
trampling on civil liberties - progressive ?

A lot of people hate the Tories because of Margaret Thatcher, but whatever way you look at it they have never, ever done anything as bad as Iraq.

If the Lib Dems sacrifice their principles so easily, I will never vote for them again.

MatGB said...

I can't see the progressive alliance being viable. I can see it being used as a bargaining chip by Clegg to get more out of Cameron, and as a threat by Cameron to keep his MPs in line.

Toque's right about that, it'd really piss of a lot of English voters, and wouldn't be able to pass English only Bills that the Nats will abstain on.

However, I agree completely re Bradshaw, voted for him when I lived in Exeter, and while I disagree with him on some stuff (DEBill and Iraq, for example), he's genuinely open and transparent, and it's no surprise to me that electoral reform finally came back on the agenda when he got into the cabinet.

G Eagle Esq said...

".... the prospect of a 19th old Etonian Prime Minister has at least temporarily receded .... "

Embarasssed schuffling from right talon to left .... and then back again to right ....