06 May 2009

A question of leadership

Relaunch Tuesday failed to take off.  Perhaps a Downing Street aide forgot to put fuel in the rocket.  Brown is becoming overwhelmed as his political authority drains away.

From our leader we had a ‘still to be thought through’ education plan to force councils to improve schools.  With that, the move to divert attention back onto the policy agenda stopped stone dead as the ridicule of Brown continued.

Fight back Tuesday witnessed a brainless Prescott, Joanna Lumley’s missing letters, a photo in front of swastikas, another YouTube video, and further signs that the Government will fail to get the part sell-off of the Royal Mail through the Commons.  Anything else?

Not only does Brown have little credibility and no authority (he can’t even sack a Cabinet minister that brakes ranks), but any respect for him as prime minister has vanished.  It is an abject failure of leadership that Labour has brought on itself.  Here is Simon Heffer:

A year before Mr Brown became Prime Minister, I was lucky enough to be invited by a Labour-supporting business for what is politely termed some corporate hospitality; and very fine it was too. My host took me aside early on and was unequivocal. Mr Brown could not be allowed to become leader of the Labour Party. His personal flaws were manifest. Aside from his character, his limited understanding of policy outside his own field of economics was a serious handicap. He had, moreover, surrounded himself with some truly unsavoury people. Were he to grab the levers of power, there could be only one result. Everyone knew this, except for his devout followers, whose own rampant personal ambition would blind them to it, even if they miraculously came near to seeing it. We were all in this together: the press had a duty to point out the problem, and to assist the righteous in the Labour movement to head this man off at the pass.

Hopi Sen should realise that Brown has failed.  He just does not have character for the top job.  There is little point rallying around a leader (even if he had the right policies and could get them into the statute book) who will preside over a disaster at the polls.  Labour must do what is right for the party and, dare I say this, for the country.

The point has been passed for concerns to be raised about having two unelected prime ministers in one parliament.  The Labour party rules are irreverent if Brown losses the confidence of Labour MPs.

The present situation cannot be allowed to continue.  The Labour party is doing a disservice to itself by arguing that they should persevere with Brown.

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