Sunday, April 15, 2007

Back to Business


The political scene has certainly not been quiet over the past couple of weeks. Easter has been an excellent break for some - I've hit the ski slopes (literally, too often!) with more luck than judgement, then endured the Pennines in a rare but wonderful heatwave - but pity poor Mr. Des Browne. As Easter started, it looked as if the worst crisis he had faced in his short and undistinguished career as Defence Secretary had at least ended well, with the release of the British naval hostages by Iran. Alas, the beast of spin got in the way, Mr. Browne exercised a poor, if entirely typical, level of judgement, and now his position looks increasingly untenable. He is due to make a Commons statement tomorrow. This is classic 'when should ministers resign' territory, and well worth noting for the upcoming AS exam. It is unlikely that Mr. Browne will resign - that simply doens't happen in this government. But can he last?

Meanwhile, the other Mr. Brown, the one without an 'e', has been meeting a president. Apparently, Mr. Bush asked to see him, not the other way around! Not that many prescient people would relish being in Mr. Bush's company these days, but Gordon Brown's own reputation has been taking a battering recently, so he needs any friend he can get. As to Labour leadership battles, I doubt very much whether the much touted Mr. Miliband will stand, but former Tory would-be leader Michael Portillo offers some advice in his Sunday Times column today.

David Cameron gave an interview to Gordon Brown admirer Andrew Marr this morning and (although I'm biased here) acquitted himself well. Tony Blair has been talking up his legacy with the BBC, and all eyes are now focused on the upcoming devolved assembly elections, with the SNP likely to win in Scotland and present a serious headache for the future of the three hundred year old union, to say nothing of the Scottish premier in waiting!

Whether a minister should resign, leadership battles, devolution crises, watershed elections, a prime minister's legacy...great times in which to return to the study of politics and prepare for exams!

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