Saturday, April 21, 2007

British Politics - an interesting few months lay ahead

Come this May it will have been 10 years since Tony Blair took the Labour Party to a landslide victory over the tired Conserative party that had been in power for nearly 20 years. I could detail how Blair went about winning that election, but i won't. Suffice to say Blair changed the very soul of the labour party to win elections. New Labour is a pale shadow of Old Labour. Now the next few months are going to be very interesting indeed. On the one hand elections are coming in May. The conventional wisdom is that Blair will annouce that he is standing down as the leader of the Labour party after those Elections have taken place. That is just the first part of the process that will lead to Mr Blair leaving Number 10. It appears that Gordon Brown has already begun plotting his leadership election campaign. According to an article on the guardians website, Brown has the support of 217 Labour MP's, 93 are undecided, and 35 have refused to back him. Interestingly enough David Miliband the Environment sectary has been put down as undecided, even though he has said he would support Brown's leadership challenge. Many of Blair's supporters are pinning their hopes on Miliband running against Brown (anyone but Brown they shout). Now in my own opinion Miliband would be better off sitting this one out. As i think he is the future of the Labour party. My feeling is that the next general election will end up being a hung parliament. Which means that no single party has enough seats to form a majority Government in the house of commons. If a hung Parliament does indeed occur then i believe Labour and the Liberal Democrats will most likely form a Government to keep the Tories out. The next interesting development is the fact that the Police have handed in their file on the cash for honours scanadal (it is illegal for Parties to take donations from doners on the provision that the donater would recieve a peerage in the house of lords). This file has to be reviewed by several different lawyers before the CPS decides if it is viable to press ahead with a prosecution, the process could take weeks or months. Those in the frame are some of Blair's closet aides. This may well dog Blair in his last weeks and months in Office. I doubt this would lead him to resigning as Prime Minister because he is obsessed with his legacy and perhaps doing as much damage to the labour party as he can. One final bloody nose for Brown. So he will cling on to his post for as long as possible. Unlike the Tory party the Labour party do not stab leaders in the back, because it's often a messy and drawn out affair that can play badly with the public. Labour MP's are terrified of losing their seats at the next election. Which brings me to David Cameron or as i like to think of him Blair Version 2.0 Cameron and his team have extensively studied the Blair way to winning and keeping power. Cameron has so far only given very sketchy details about Conserative Policys. Instead going for the headlines i.e. hug a hoodie e.t.c I have a distinct feeling that Tory policy will be dressed up to appeal to us the humble voters. And if they do win power, they will pretend to follow those policys, only to subtly change them. I will never vote for the Conserative party, because i frankly dislike them. I joke that i won't vote for them because Thatcher took away my free milk at school. But the real reasons are that i do not share the Conserative outlook. It harks back to a British nation that died with Thatcher when she fell from grace. So the next few months are going to be quite interesting. Party politics will rear it's ugly head and the usual antics will happen in the house of commons. Tony Blair will face increasing pressure to stand down from the Brown camp if the CPS decide to go ahead with a criminal trial over the cash for honours. The elections will go badly for Labour, as a reaction to Blair's arrogance towards his handling of Iraq and other issues. The SNP will most likely clean up in the Scottish elections, starting the path towards a vote on the issue of Scotland becoming an independent nation once more. So if things go well for Blair he will be out of office by July. With Brown almost certainly becoming the Prime Minister. If things go badly for Blair ? He'll leave office in disgrace and not in the blaze of glory that he wishes to leave Number 10 in. Blair's legacy ? Spin instead of substance with only a few good deeds to his name. It's been an interesting 10 years, watching the Blair/Brown relationship develop into outright hatred on either side. Tories being so shell shocked they became incapable of mounting any credible challenge to Tony Blair. The Liberal Democrats slowly building on election wins at local and national levels. And the build up of apathy towards politicians which have lead to some very low turn outs at local and general elections. The next few months will have many twists and turns before the post Blair era begins. Blair will not go quietly though. Most outgoing Prime Ministers have a pop at the detractors and then spend the rest of their lives attacking the Party that has dumped them. Thatcher has only lived this long out of spite towards the Tory party. She is a shadow that Cameron if he likes it or not, will have to excise from the British publics collective memory, if he has a chance in hell of getting a majority at the next election. Brown's leadership scheme. Cash for Honours information.


shlemazl said...


I used to be a card-carrying member of the Conservative party when I lived in the UK.

Maggie "took your milk away", but the lady was not for turning. Instead she turned a bankrupt country into one of the world leading economies.

Kevin said...

Until the ERM went down the tiolet. Which lead to record levels of inflation and unemployment. True Major was in charge, but the Tory party was still dominated by the ghost of Thatcher.

You fall into one of two camps in the UK:
You hate Thatcher with every ounce of your being. And will be first in the queue to dance on her grave.

Or you call her mother and are a paid up member of the Conserative party.

Red Tulips said...

I have to say I agree with Shlemazl. Maggie Thatcher was an invaluable asset to the UK when she was in office.

shlemazl said...

Let's face it: there was NOTHING in common between Mr Grey and Maggie. No way she would have gone for the stupid European currency adventure.

In any case, "the record levels of inflation" lasted but a few days and unemployment has never reached levels predating Thatcher. By the time Major bailed out, the inflation and unemployment were well under control.

Kevin said...

Unemployment levels under Thatcher reached around 4 million. A generation of people unemployed in reality.
The economy did recover eventually through Thatchers reforms. But you either love or loathe Thatcher in the UK. It's that simple.