Saturday, May 24, 2008
Why Labour Are Stuck with Gordon
Normally, I agree with Matthew Parris's view of the world, but his article in this morning's Times is, I believe, off beam. He argues that Labour's only hope of winning the next election is for Gordon Brown to either step aside voluntarily or be ditched. If he voluntarily stepped aside in the next few weeks and a new leader had time to establish themselves, you can make a coherent argument for them being able to turn around Labour fortunes, except for one thing. It is inconceivable that the British public, let alone the press, would accept a second unelected Prime Minister within a year.
There is also no clear frontrunner to take over. The only two people I can see actually having a chance of success would either not run or not win - and I'm talking about Alan Johnson and Hilary Benn.
In the second scenario, where Gordon Brown is ditched, the mess which would be created along the way would render the party unelectable afterwards - no matter who emerged. And with the same electoral college system which allowed Harriet Harman to win the Deputy Leadership, you have to wonder just who might emerge from that process.
Labour's best chance is to stick with Brown in the hope that he will be able to pull a rabbit out of the bag. But with his luck, any such rabbit would probably be struck down with myxomatosis.
Graphic by Theo Spark.