Thursday, April 30, 2009

Labour stalking horse?

There is a post on Labourhome discussing the possibility of a stalking horse putting up from the Labour back benches in order to oust Gordon Brown. I have no information on the veracity of this, but my understanding of the Labour's arcane rules is that it is almost impossible to remove a sitting Labour Prime Minister without very large numbers of MPs backing a challenge and then only after a lengthy process. That is not the whole story though, because a revolt on a much smaller scale could in practice finish Brown without the whole mechanical process having to be followed to the end. The trigger would be the elections on June 4th, where the party is running several points behind polls that preceded last year's catastrophic results.

Now the arguments for and against persisting with Gordon Brown have been rehearsed at great length in Labour circles. Calculations are made if Brown can recover in time for a general election and arguments made that a second unelected leader would trigger an immediate general election. Most of this is froth. The facts are that Brown has not shown himself to be an effective leader either of the Labour party or our country. While the former does not bother me that much it should concern any Labour supporter. More importantly, we need good national leadership, especially when we are in the worst recession since the 30s. There is absolutely no school of management or organisations that suggests maintaining an ineffective leader in a post is a strategy for success. In harsh political terms, going into a general election under Gordon Brown is likely to result in a very, very bad result for Labour. Under someone else they may lose, but with Brown the result may be so bad that is resonates for decades.

So, the crunch will come in June. Let us hope that the same Labour MPs who spinelessly let Brown take the helm despite knowing better than the rest of us what was really like will find some courage and do the right thing.

No comments: