11 October 2009

Brown can now depart in a dignified way

Following the announcement about Brown’s eyesight, we need to return to the leadership issue.  It alters the dynamics in a significant way.

At present we do not know if his eyesight will stabilise or become more serious.  There has to be a reason why he visited Moorfields on Friday following his routine check-up.  Maybe Brown did undergo a non-surgical procedure such as laser treatment to repair the tears to his retina.

If he is persuaded to stand down (there is further speculation this weekend), health will be given as the excuse.  The reasons are rather different, as we have discussed many times.

There are a couple further points to be made following this latest development.  The argument against having two unelected prime ministers in the same parliament falls away, as does the thorny problem of Labour’s cumbersome rules on electing a new leader.  Under the health scenario, a compromise will be readily agreed to.

As discussed, the parallel between Eden and Brown is relevant.

When Eden resigned in 1957 the excuse given was his health.  He had undergone a botched operation in 1953 which damaged his bile duct, which was subsequently corrected.  However, Eden never fully recovered, although he did live until 1977.  The reason Eden went was due to the Suez debacle.

One other matter.  Eden suffered from mood swings due to the drugs he was on following his operation.  Brown’s mood swings could well be due to the difficulties he has with his eyesight.

But, there is one key difference.  Eden’s reputation never recovered after Suez.  With Brown the reverse could be the case, as Martin Bright suggests:

Both parties now know that British politics could be turned on its head if Labour persuaded Gordon Brown to step down….Brown could yet be recognised as a truly great Prime Minister if he stood down as leader for the good of his party.

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  1. So, if he does stand down, does that mean we have to have a general election? Labour can't possibly have the gall to appoint another unelected PM, can they?

  2. Yes, as I have discussed. If Brown went sighting health, why would there be an objection?

  3. I just can't see them jeopardising the Lisbon Treaty. Cameron would be forced to give us a referendum and all would be lost for the EU's great plan.

  4. Brown wont because no-one in their right mind wants the poisoned chalice that is the Labour leadership and hence be the one in charge of leading them into the wilderness.
    Far better to leave a dead man walking as far as the leading contenders are concerned.