Sunday, January 31, 2010

Whom the Gods would destroy ...

The headline on the front page of today's Sunday Times screams

"Gordon Brown: I will go on and on."

The story behind the quote, which you can read here, is that the Prime Minister has told colleagues he will refuse to quit as Leader of the Labour party after the general election unless that election results in a Conservative majority of more than 20 seats.

So Brown is effectively telling any voter who wants to see a change in the leadership of the Labour party that the only way to make certain of this is for the Conservatives to win a healthy majority.

This may be even less helpful to Labour than Margaret Thatcher's "I hope to go on and on" remark was to her - at least Mrs T had won three elections when she said it.

It is often said that "All political careers end in failure" and knowing when to step down is one of the most difficult decisions for any political leader. In my lifetime the only Prime Minister who went at a time of his own choosing was Sir Harold Wilson and the only Conservative leader in the past forty years who managed his departure successfully was Michael Howard.

As the saying goes, those who learn nothing from history are doomed to repeat it.


sackerson said...

"... they first make mad." GB madder than TB? Moot. Both mad for power; I think TB hung on just to beat Thatcher's distance record as PM. Actual achievement (in the sense of benefiting others) not important for either, I suspect.

Chris Whiteside said...

Yes, you have indeed finished the quote I was referring to.

The basic point being that anyone who has been in power for a long time is in danger of developing a case of hubris.

Jane said...

How the carrion crows gather over a decaying corpse.

If any of these Labour narcissists were capable of caring for the country and the people, they would call an election now and let the people decide. No. Delusions of grandeur prevent them empathising with those at the receiving end. No wonder people are disillusioned with politics. It is not that the Conservatives are losing the initiative, it is simply Labour boring everybody with the prolonged 'phoney' election campaign.

A hung Parliament would be disaster for the country in a first past the post system. The uncertainty would be destabilising. No proper decisions would be made. A collision (Lib-Lab pact) would collapse within the first six months. Another prolonged election campaign. Ever since Gordon Brown took office he has had the electorate waiting to see when he would call the election. Playing with the lives of the people. Let the Labour vultures fights over the spoils, meanwhile there are debts to be paid, security to be achieved, so that people can trade in confidence and essential services to be delivered. Leave Labour to it. Let dog eat dog, where they cannot harm the country. Out of power. A new start with a new Government is the only way forward.