02 June 2009

Will history repeat itself?

Thirty years ago the last Labour government was brought down by a motion of no confidence.  Next Wednesday, the SNP and Plaid Cymru are tabling a Commons motion to dissolve Parliament and cause an immediate general election.  The LibDems and the Tories will back the motion.

In normal times this motion would easily be defeated.  Times are far from normal.  Anything could happen over the next week and probably will if we take today as a benchmark.

As Harold Wilson said, “A week is a long time in politics”.  The next week will seem like an eternity to Brown.

Over 13 years Wilson was a class act at keeping the Labour party together.  Can you imagine if Brown stood up and repeated Wilson’s famous phase that he used at the time of leadership speculation in the late ‘60s, “I know what is going on, I'm going on”.  People would just fall about laughing.  The truth is that Brown has no idea what is going on and what will happen over the next few days.  Does anyone?

PS.  The BBC report is factually incorrect.  The 1979 no confidence motion was tabled by the Tories not the SNP.

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  1. But I remember that the Tory Party was better led in those days..

    Ye gods, is it thirty years?

  2. It's always been blamed on the SNP Howard, thanks for correcting it.

    Aye NW, time does fly doesn't it. Is it me or was life a better quality 30 years ago? I don't mean materially.

  3. Scottish Labour has spent to last 30 years trying to pin the blame for Thatcherism on the SNP's decision to back that no confidence motion! Yes the SNP may have helped to deliver the coup-de-grace to the Callaghan government but that was an act of political euthanasia rather then murder. The winter of discontent had seen the public mood shift decisively in Thatcher's favour and the day after the motion was lost, David Alton won the Edge Hill by-election for the Liberals further changing the parliamentary numbers against Callaghan. Even if the government had survived that motion it was only a matter of time before it fell and Thatcher came to power.