It’s the politics,stupid

5 06 2009

The closest I came to Gordon Brown was in a club in Soho (not that sort) about eight years ago. He came in with Ed Balls, sat in silence looking uncomfortable for about fifteen minutes, then left. All I can remember otherwise is that he looked too large for the chair. Looking back I can now see this experience as a symbolic precursor of Brown’s time as Prime Minister.  He did not last long, had nothing distinctive to offer, never looked comfortable and had insufficent support. The only reason the analogy breaks down is because he was obviously too small for the job, not too big.

The leadership ‘challenge’ to Brown, such as it is, comes as yet another distraction from the serious problems raised by the recession. We have now had a string of spurious public debates since the recession started. The first was over greedy bankers, the second MPs expenses and now the infighting within a doomed party. The media and the political establishment have whipped themselves into a lather each time and one wonders what desperate trivia they will come up with once the supposed ‘silly season’ of summer news begins in earnest this month.

Nothing positive can come out of the Brown debacle whether he survives or not. None of the supposed challengers to Brown represent anything different in terms of politics or policy. The best that anybody can say about the frontrunner to replace Brown, Alan Johnson, is that he looks better on television. Labour has lost its way and the best hope it has is to limp towards a general election defeat next year.

The Conservatives stand to win the next election by default, despite having little distinctive to offer. A new Conservative government, elected on a vacuous political programme, would have little mandate to tackle the severe fallout from the recession predicted to hit the UK over the next 18 months. In those circumstances the cycle of decaying authority which has affected Labour over the past five years is likely to happen even faster to the Conservatives.

When Esther Rantzen is seen as the answer to the political vacuum in this country then surely we are asking the wrong question. The time must surely be on us when a serious effort has to be made to create a new political movement, based on a belief in social and economic progress. We have a simultaneous economic and political crisis, to a degree unprecedented  in modern history. If this is not the time then when?

add to Add to Blinkslist add to furl Digg it add to ma.gnolia Stumble It! add to simpy seed the vine TailRank post to facebook



Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: