Friday, May 07, 2010

The Election: Why Brown Can't Continue, Among Other Things

I don't know what to think about the General Election result.

I am delighted the Conservative Party have failed to win an outright majority, of course. I have a dislike for them that goes beyond reason, rooted in the social destruction they wrought in the 1980s.

I am saddened that so many Labour MPs lost their seats and sorry the electorate didn't take the leap of faith it looked ready to take and give more seats to the LibDems. It shows the old two-party system may now be wired into the DNA of the nation.

I am thrilled the Green Party won a seat, although the ward I voted Green in was held by the Conservatives.

And I could still laugh at the trouncing the Roderick Spode of the BNP, Nick Griffin, took in the constituency where he ran.

But Labour were always going to lose their majority because of Gordon Brown, whom the public has disliked intensely from the start. We prefer our politicians to look like schoolboys or estate agents these days.

Gordon Brown is a poor communicator because he is communicating a message which he doesn't believe in. I don't think he was ever convinced by the New Labour project, not in the evangelical way Tony Blair was.

With adjustments Brown would have fitted in nicely with Michael Foot, or Neil Kinnock. But the political weather had changed and he was prepared to attempt the change with it. I don't think, in himself, he ever succeeded.

This is why you hear so many stories about the contrast between the private and the public Brown. You didn't hear the same thing about Tony Blair because Blair was a believer. And, it must be said, a human hologram.

But the vote of the public has been cast and for Brown at least, the message is clear. The electorate doesn't like him. So for his own sake, in posterity, and for the sake of the public perception of the Labour Party, he must not seek to hold onto power now.

Just because he can is no good reason. I could go out of this cafe and still an ice cream from the spoiled child at the bus stop, but I'm not going to.

I would hate for the Conservatives to form any sort of a government, but theirs is the moral right, and they must be allowed to try. And with any luck Nick Clegg will chisel something useful for everyone out of them before any papers are signed.


This must, I might add, as that great Labour statesman Neil Kinnock has said, be the last election when first-past-the-post is the system we use to find our new government. If we'd had proportional representation last night the results would have been massively, massively different. And the wider the range of opinion in parliament, I think, the more democratic it is. Only narrow self-interest stops the big parties from embracing it.

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