Wednesday, May 02, 2007

The Gould decade?

Comment is Free today features a somewhat preposterous counterfactual by Neil Clark speculating on what sort of country we would now be living in if Tony Benn rather than Blair had just chalked up 10 years in power.

I have already posted a comment to this effect HERE but it seems to me that a much more plausible alternative history would have Bryan Gould celebrating a decade as Labour premier - for the simple reason that unlike Benn Gould could actually have become Labour leader in the 90s.

In 1992, he was offered a deal by John Smith under which Smith promised to support him for the deputy leadership if he stood aside from the leadership race and allowed Smith a coronation. Had Gould agreed to this, he would have become deputy leader and thus acting leader when Smith died.

Blair or Brown would still have challenged him for the leadership, but there is just a chance that Gould might have been able to put together enough of a coalition to hold onto the job. Had he done so, he and not Blair would have become Prime Minister on May 2, 1997.

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1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Does anyone know if Duncan Brack is doing a third counterfactual book?