Friday, September 18, 2009

Speculating that Brown will remain

Steve Richards in the Indie has an interesting article about Gordon Brown remaining as Labour Leader to the general election. It is interesting because it focuses on Brown remaining as leader as if that were a new concept. Ever since the fiasco of the election-that-never-was, the coverage of Brown in the media has never strayed far from the view that he will not survive as leader. So the article in the Indie is a bit of a refreshing change.

Richards argues that the Parliamentary timetable prevents a Labour leadership election. With virtually no time left before the election, Brown will remain in place. Gordon as Labour leader at the election has been the line I have followed since 2007 (except for one small wobble). Unseating a sitting Prime Minister against his or her will is extremely difficult. It's happened only once in my lifetime. So, Brown remains as Labour leader til the election. Then the Labour bloodletting may, or may not, begin.

The other issue touched on was the actual timing of the general election. Richards rules out June as going right up to the buffers. Clinging on to power to the very end does not inspire as an election slogan. He accepts May, coinciding with the local elections, as a possibility but downplays it. His argument is that it is still too close to the buffers. Instead, Richards believes that April is the likely time, the same month chosen by Major in 1992. He says he has spoken to a number of Labour ministers who favour April.

Whichever date is chosen, the one certainty is that with the party conferences starting tomorrow with our own in Bournemouth, the election campaign has started. Oh joy!

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