18 October 2005

Why Gordon Brown should never be PM.

I've always made clear my preference for Blair over Brown and this article by Polly Toynbee signals why. Through all his support for PFI scheme disasters and tax credit fiascos, Brown hasn't once admitted he was wrong and changed tack.

Compared to Brown's stubbornness to acknowledge mistakes, Blair appears relatively contrite. Contrary to the left of Blair image some in the Labour party have attributed to Brown. Just like the left of Labour image the Lib Dems have cultivated with the electorate, is a fallacy when you look at the evidence of policy which just doesn't back this up.

On top of this who realistically could say that Brown's sleep enducing speech at the conference was even a patch on Blair's performance. Even enemies of Blair conceded this much.

Brown just doesn't have the charisma or the credentials to carry off the job of PM. With him in charge faced with the 'Blairite' appeal of Cameron, we could lose the next election.

Thankfully and hopefully the Tories will probably go for extreme right candidates like Fox or Davis or even the laughing stock that is Clarke. Of course this 'Blairite' image of Cameron doesn't reveal the true Cameron who is a flat-taxing right winger in instinct, but his charm and youth would leave us open to defeat if we have Brown in charge. Brown could quite conceivably be another Callaghan.

So if not Brown, who could we choose? It's a difficult one but like Diane Abbott says if Cameron is by some miracle chosen, we need someone of similar age to combat him.


  1. If we are (as Abbott was) talking about skipping a generation, that rules out everyone whose name has cropped up so far as a possible alternative to Brown. We're really looking at the people who've been talked of as "possible future leaders" in more distant terms. Of these, only David Miliband and Ruth Kelly hold high office at the moment, and neither seems like a serious contender for the leadership to me. But if Blair reshuffles his cabinet before Xmas, others could enter the running. It's difficult to imagine any of them beating Brown in a leadership contest, but I wonder if Brown could perhaps be persuaded to step aside in favour of one of his proteges, namely Douglas Alexander.

  2. Yeah, I think you are absolutely right. We can't underestimate the importance of a bright young candidate like Cameron (though of course nobody has any idea what he stands for. Well ok we know he is Eurosceptic and a flat taxer, which are not good omens.)

    Cameron has the media image to win it, so a lot of his extreme policies might get glossed over, which is very worrying. Unfortunately as Blair showed, image is everything and Brown just hasn't got it.

  3. Remittance Man26/10/05 4:05 pm

    OK, we come from oposite ends of the political spectrum (although I too score quite nicely as a libertarian on PoliticalCompass) but isn't there a problem in this whole leadership succession? So far you've only really mentioned Brown's media presence or lack thereof.

    Shouldn't the choice of leader (and possibly PM) be based on the candidates' policies? Brown, Milibrand, Kelly, Alexander? What do they really stand for? Are they just Blair MkII or will they head in a different direction.

    Hopefully the ongoing conservative leadership campaign will draw these details from Cameron and Davies. Where will we get the same info on possible Labour leaders?

    If, as I genuinely hope, the next Labour leader calls an immediate general election to validate his/her position as PM, it would be nice to know what they actually stand for (if only to provide ammunition for us nasty right-wing bloggers and commenters).


  4. RM, I believe Brown is New Labour in terms in policy but crucially he just hasn't got the charisma as a leader to win elections. Without that he is useless. Personally I'd like to see Ken Livingstone as leader, he's a winner and he is a policy genius. He's the best PM we will never have.

    Obviously whenever the new leader takes over, they will hold the election in 2009 or 2010. Just like I never expected Major to call an early election, you do have a point on this though.