Tag Archives: Labour Party

Another Year – Another Leader

A few years back you couldn’t turn on the news without some sort of leadership crisis in the Conservative party – now it seems that the Liberal Democrats have picked up the same disease. I commented last year about the group of relative unknowns who ousted Charles Kennedy. Menzies Campbell won the subsequent leadership election – which ever since I’ve found slightly strange as of the members of the party I know, nobody seems to have voted for him – in fact the majority of them seem to think it was a generally poor move to elect him at all. Indeed most of them seemed to think the party had made a dreadful mistake to oust Charles Kennedy in the first place.

That opinion seems to have been reflected in the opinion of the general public, as the poll figures for the party have slid steadily down ever since, leading ultimately to his resignation as leader today.

But then comes the question of who could replace him, looking at the runners and riders the only two recognisable figures to me are Simon Hughes who having been beaten twice before has ruled himself out already, and Charles Kennedy the former leader. To be honest I wouldn’t be surprised if the party re-elected Charles Kennedy, despite the periodic hiccups such as the recent smoking incident on the train to Plymouth.

Of course the question to consider is whether they should go for someone who is already known or make a clean break. The Conservative party seem to have built their resurgence on the back of a photogenic new leader, and without much in the way of tangible policies either, much as Labour did a decade or so before with Blair. Effectively both grew in a large part out of effectively criticising the sitting government rather than anything particularly radical. Maybe some new relatively unknown leader is what the Liberal Democrats need? Certainly what they don’t need is many more years of leadership instability…

The Non-Election

The news broadcasts tomorrow will be full of the story about our non-election. In late summer Gordon Brown was getting really good poll ratings so speculation started that he would call a snap election.

In recent days the opposition parties have been playing up that Gordon Brown was weak and indecisive for not having made a clear announcement either to call one or rule one out. That is of course because anyone with half-a-brain realised that if the Conservative party managed to make it through their conference without hitting the self-destruct button they would rise in the polls and the Labour advantage would be gone – and it was the Conservative party conference last week.

The Conservatives had to produce a good conference for a possible snap election, but a good conference was all the reason Gordon Brown needed to not call that election. Only an idiot would call an election years before he had to if he didn’t think he had a good chance of winning. As the week went on, the Conservatives held together, the grumblers in their party kept a low profile, and they got lots of good press. Gordon Brown looked at the polls and the positive reactions to the Conservative conference and has ruled out an election.

I seriously didn’t expect a decision until now, and David Cameron is a liar if he says that in the same situation wouldn’t have done exactly the same thing. Would he have had the balls to go to the country with the polls looking so tight? Of course he wouldn’t – politicians are well skilled in the art of keeping power, and any politician given the choice would have done the same – so why in that case do we have to sit through what will be days of sniping that will inevitably come now?

And to think they wonder why millions of people in this country don’t vote!