Sunday, February 21, 2010

What if...? The Gordon Brown survival manual

I've just finished a weekend of filming and photographing candidates and I'm sitting on the train at London Bridge waiting to go back to the flat. The news is of Brown the bully in the press. Well, this is hardly news. He's known for brooding and being bad tempered. Basically he is not well tailored for the job of PM.

Nevertheless, PM he currently is. How long he remains is yet to be seen. There are a number of different possible outcomes at the general election. The most likely, which I have argued for the past two years, is that there will be no overall majority majority for any party. Labour losing does not mean the Conservatives have won. What if Labour loses but is still the largest party? What happens to Brown then?

Does Labour continue in office and if so, with Brown as Leader and PM? Losing a Parliamentary majority at the election is not necessarily a requirement to leave office. If Labour were to remain in office, could they get rid of Brown if they wanted to? Certainly his determination to hold on has been demonstrated over the past two years. Indeed, it could be a scenario in which Brown feels more secure: the election behind him, the Tories haven't won, he's still in office, Labour are trying to run a majority government. Hardly the time to attempt a prime ministerial political assassination.

And even if Labour are not the largest party, Brown may still survive as long as the Tories are short of a majority. The chances are, there will be a second election (I would put my money on May 2011 if I were a betting man - which I am not.) Labour may want to avoid a leadership challenge if they go into opposition to a minority Conservative government for fear that a bout of infighting could tempt the Tories to go even earlier and tempt the country to give Cameron a majority.

So Brown the bully? Tell us something we didn't know. Brown the quitter? No, he isn't! We may all be stuck with him for some time to come. His survival manual would certainly make for interesting reading.
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