Gordon Brown and the long knives

Well, it seems like the knives are out for the Prime Minister.

Still I can’t believe that the Labour Party will ‘ask’ him to resign.

The first official use of the term ‘Prime Minister’ was in 1905 in Henry Campbell Bannerman’s time, although Sir Robert Walpole (held office: 1721-1742) is generally regarded by historians as the first Prime Minister.

Campbell Bannerman’s time was interesting as he was the third Prime Minister between an election, in the same way that any unelected successor to Gordon Brown would be.

Lord Salisbury, Robert Cecil, had won his election in 1895, but retired in 1902. His nephew was a politician and he got the top job without any General election taking place. This was Arthur Balfour. This is thought to be the origin of the phrase ‘Bob’s your uncle!’

Balfour retired himself in 1905 and Henry Campbell Bannerman took charge.

There was also three leaders between elections around the time of the Second World War; Baldwin, Chamberlain and Churchill but given those were extraordinary times, it was hardly surprising.

There are plenty of examples before 1905 of frequent changes of Prime Minister particularly in the reign of George IV, but post 1905 any change by Labour would be the first modern day period (outwith war) that there would be 3 Prime Ministers between elections.

Would the public accept this?

The Prime Minister position is not elected like many Presidents are. Nevertheless many people are already skeptical over Gordon’s unelected position. Tensions would only increase if another Prime Minister took over without a mandate.

In yesterday’s blog I alluded to the fact that Labour was prevaricating over the Malawi High Commisioner post to suit the party not the UK.

If Gordon Brown left office, I would not expect a subsequent election either.

Labour would be wiped out.

No. I expect they will cling on as long as they can, hoping that fortunes improve before the forced election date of 2010.

Much the same as Gordon Brown seems to be doing.

So why change leader then?

No matter about all the speculation I still don’t see any change happening. Gordon Brown has wanted this job for so long he won’t give it up easily.

No-one in the Labour Party wants to be the one carrying the long knives. Many see the job right now as a poisoned chalice anyway.

It’ll have to be left to the electorate in 2010 to deliver the fatal blow.

You can’t trust Labour to do anything right!


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