Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Why Labour isn't dumping Brown

Simon Heffer writes a piece in which he suggests that the obvious course of action for the Parliamentary Labour party to get of Gordon Brown:
...Labour MPs know what to expect when a party continues to be loyal to an obviously defeated and discredited leader. The party soon loses so heavily that it is out of power for several terms. For many MPs, it is the end of a political career. Many ministers suffer a similar fate, eventually clawing their way back into employment only after two or three years of misery and humiliation. Does Labour want its own 1997?

Self-interest should dictate it does not.
If it was that obvious then why is nothing much happening? Gordon Brown is an electoral disaster who possesses none of the policy and character strengths of a John Major. That he has to go is indeed obvious, but it might not happen, and there is a reason for this. According to a parliamentary friend of mine, you have to think about who Labour MPs actually are. For most of them being an MP is the best job that they have ever had, more responsibility and better pay then they could command in the private sector. Most Conservatives on the other hand take pay cuts to enter parliament. So, let's say you are a Labour MP. You are on a majority of a few thousand and mathematically virtually certain to lose your seat at the next election. You have been told that a change of leader means an early election, which will make you unemployed. So, you back Gordon because at least that means nearly two more years in work. If there is going to be a coup it will come from those with majorities in the 6-8000 range who have everything to play for, but given Labour's arcane rules there aren't enough of them against the small majorities and the huge majorities who have no particular reason to dump Gordon. That is why he clings one.

Just where did you think the 'a new leader means an early election' stuff actually comes from?

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