Saturday, November 04, 2006

The Coronation of King Gordon

Well, well. It looks increasingly as if Gordon Brown will become Labour leader - and thus Prime Minister - simply by the mere process of existing! Peter Hain, the oleaginous Labour front-bencher who is one of several pygmies to have declared for the Labour deputy leadership race, and who fancies himself as a born-again Brownite, is the most recent Labour figure to have suggested that there will be no contest (BBC News story here). Hain tries to have it both ways, by announcing that he would, of course, much rather there was a contest (as, he says, would his chum 'Gordon'), but then lambasts the Blairites for trying, in his words, to 'contrive' a contest. Hmmm. A typical New Labour fix!

I'm not sure that it is necessarily a bad thing that there will be no contest. Conventional wisdom has it that there should be a battle of ideas, etc etc, but that is surely for the General Election, when the public can actually get involved. One expects, on the whole, a change of leadership for a party in government to represent a degree of continuity, and Brown's leadership - for all the personality differecnes - will certainly do that. The real issue for Labour - and this was the same issue for the Tories when they crowned Michael Howard - is why they have so few significant figures at the top of their party who could make any realistic claim to the leadership.

1 comment:

C H Daly said...

To be fair, Blair and Brown are the architects of New Labour. I think that (especially after the now infamous pact between the pair over who would lead the party), everyone has always known inside Labour that Brown would succeed Blair, as leader of the party if not as PM.

I think that the question of Miliband's future is a very interesting one as well. I am sure that is not at all by chance that he was appointed environment secretary as the Tories have begun to build their environmental, green campaign. I think also that Miliband has done well to resist or at least detach himself from the leadership contest. Had his political career been tarnished by getting out of his depth in his political youth ,a la Hague, it would have been a travesty.