Thursday, June 04, 2009

Gordon Brown hangs on, for now.

As I said yesterday, it was as bad as I have seen things in my lifetime, Hazel Blears had stood down two hours before Brown was due to answer Prime Ministers questions, in what was clearly an attempt to undermine his premiership and, for the first time that I am aware of, LBC actually cut away from it's normal programming to listen live as Cameron and Brown faced each other in the Commons.

This was the moment when Cameron was going to put the Brown premiership to bed... except he didn't.

He landed no killer blow and allowed Brown to portray him as an opportunist with no real substance and certainly with nothing that one could refer to as policies.

More opportunities will no doubt come, especially in the wake of today's European elections, but one can't help but think that Cameron might lack a killer instinct. After all, Blears had delivered this one to him on a plate, she had almost begged that he put the Labour party out of it's misery, but Cameron waffled and managed to make his attempt to kill off Brown look feeble and, simultaneously, impolite.

Brown was able to portray the recent expenses scandal as something which was effecting all political parties, which it is, and Cameron's attempts to displace him as a distraction from the adult business of attempting to correct the anomalies which allowed this scandal to take place at all and a sideshow which was un-serious at a time of great economic upheaval.

Brown actually blew him out of the water simply by the fact that he survived at all. Cameron had all the cards, Blears had aided him hugely by the timing of her departure, and yet Cameron allowed Brown to turn the tables on him and deliver a victory for Brown rather than his Tory counterpart.

One of Brown's closest aides vowed "the prime minister will only be taken out of Downing Street in a box", adding: "If he is ousted, no successor would be able to withstand the demands for an immediate general election, and that will destroy us for a generation."
There is a great truth in that. If Brown does not survive then Labour are finished as no incoming Labour leader will be able to avoid going to the polls for an election which they are guaranteed to lose.

So, he staggers on, facing European elections at which his party is guaranteed to be mauled for reasons that I have never quite understood. After all, his party is no more culpable of expenses fraud than the opposition, despite the hysteria which is currently gripping the country.

Every time I switch on talk radio I hear utterly hysterical callers make completely contradictory demands which make no sense to me.

"They are all as bad as each other", they wail, "We need an election."

Why, if they are all as bad as each other, do we need an election? What would such an election achieve? To elect another party who are "just as bad" as the party we have now but at least have a different name?

That's the logic which Cameron is hoping will carry him into Downing Street.

I think Brown should be allowed the time to fix the system in which such abuse was allowed to happen. I think he is being unfairly tarnished for crimes which he has not committed but which others, including many Tories, have.

And that's why today, despite the cacophony of "Brown must go" screeching out of all of our radio sets, I will go to my local polling station and give Brown my vote.

What they are doing to this man is simply unfair. So, even if he only garners one vote in the whole of west London, he will get mine.

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