29 Jul 2009

Brown ‘unlikely’ to lead Labour at next election

A former Cabinet Minister tells me it is “exceptionally unlikely” that Gordon Brown will lead the Labour Party into the next election.

Labour rebels acknowledge that some support for the project has gone but claim some new blood is coming in, in particular from the soft left.

The argument runs that the “opportunity cost” of removing Gordon Brown reduces the closer Labour MPs get to the General Election – the May 2010 date with the electorate would be unarguable and there would be no need for an earlier election.

The former minister acknowledges that the possibility of a contested leadership election reduces the closer to polling day you are – part of the June attempted putsch was based on a streamlined contest timetable.

So Alan Johnson’s name would be firmly in the frame. True believers in the project point to Bob Hawke, who took over the Australian Labour Party the same day the 1983 general election was called, and won.

The problem is no one is promising victory and no candidate is straining to grab the conch. Alan Johnson’s “I’m not fit to tie Gordon’s shoelaces” routine last month would likely be repeated.

The rebels’ credibility took a king-size knock in June when the numbers couldn’t be mustered. You have to think the odds are still strongly stacked against a successful coup but folk have not given up and it looks like there will be at least one more attempt on Gordon Brown’s political life before the year is out.

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15 reader comments

  1. Steve Willis says:

    Won’t Labour just be led into the next General Election by their best political operator – Lord Mandelson? So, no change from previous elections :-)

    1. Robert says:

      Well girls he is still here worse luck so this lot was total balls, and talking of Balls he might well be the next leader if brown walks away after losing, so we can then say this really is a Balls up….

  2. retired rambler says:

    ..and having watched peter mandelson on last night’s news***ght, i would not bet against this!

  3. Anthony Martin says:

    The system that allows for the manipulation of the the General election date, is yet another example of the disgusting way the British establishment works. As for who leads the Labour Party at the Gen. Election, really doesn’t matter. They’ll be gone for a very long time anyway, just like the Conservatives have been.
    The choices for the electorate is very poor when we look at the worse of the two evils. (Many people I speak to are going to vote UKIP, BNP, or anything but Labour or Conservatives)
    Best thing people could do is emigrate, as so many are doing. Unfortunately, it’s the rich scum that are able to get out of this sinking ship, that they’ve contributed to.
    The collosal mess that these Capitalistic fat-cat run, western governments are now in, is down to the goverment policies, bankers, corporate fat-cats & individual greedy people.
    Who would really relish taking over this mess?

  4. Victor Southern says:

    Of course, Brown could just manage to hold on and lead the party to a crushing defeat – and then go.

    He has ruined almost everything else so why not this?

  5. Alex says:

    Hasn’t this story popped up about 12 times since GB became our non-elected PM?

    It really is a boring story now.

  6. red star says:

    A hopeful blog

    This former cabinet member must give up

    At some point MPs have to got to lead and address the GB issue. The centre left is desperate for labour leaders to take a joined up political commentary to the electorate . The view outside parliament is that “our MPs still don’t get it”

    As a lab activist I fail to see how GB can successfully be marketed in the coming election as a “5 year premier” .

    red star

  7. Bob Macdonald says:

    After Newsnight last night, I think we just saw our new PM. Mandelson was coy like a school girl but he definitely had a prime ministerial tinkle in his eye. I woke up last night and had a vision: and it was him in the role.

  8. Steve Willis says:

    Never lose sight of the fact that Politics is about taking and keeping power. It’s a ruthless game and truly nice people don’t play it.

    1. phil dicks says:

      Brutally accurate.

  9. J H Holloway says:

    Watch out for rumours starting to circulate in the Autumn about Gordon’s eyesight. Once you hear that, you’ll know Mandy has pressed the button and he’s certainly got a chance to be a caretaker PM. Nobody else in Labour would stand up to be so heavily defeated and it would also leave cabinet ministers with clean hands for leadership in opposition.

  10. Mike Unsbridge says:

    I’d rather not see more old ladies in crippling agony because of Tory posturing on NHS cuts. I’m not over the moon with Gordon but at least he understands real life – not like the leechy disciple of Margaret “no such thing as society” Thatcher: Cameron.

    1. phil dicks says:

      MU- your sentiment’s right , but there will always be “old ladies in crippling agony”(and increasingly men): there must be a third of our citizenry fading away in our nursing homes -thank God for them (matrons, care workers, etc) – but that’s a big proportion-of-us.
      What therefore are we ?
      What does that make us?
      Are old people ‘a problem’ and if so who decided that surviving was problematic?Isn’t survivng (like WW1 warriors) a celebratory thing?
      We have a huge problem here – old people living lives even they feel to be problematic, a State that desperately wants to do the right thing, and a culture that doesn’t know its ethical a.. from its elbow. We have to start seeing ‘the old’ as our part of the ‘life deal’, that this is a factored-in aspect of the society we want.
      Not a burden.

  11. Dennis Junior says:

    I am not surprised by the revelations with the theory of Gordon Brown could not be leading the Labour Party in the Next General Election…

    1. Dennis Junior says:

      Probably, Mr. Brown, knows…that he could lose the LABOUR government if he is still around….

      NB: I am not a political operative in the United Kingdom…

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