But who will replace the man with the deathly smile if and when New Labour lose the next election. Well, Ed Balls is power hungry and barmy enough to, if my friend (who is a government strategist & worked into him for many years) is to be believed. But, can such a clearly unpleasant fellow expect support by his fellow MPs? And surely after the Brown experience the Labour Party will want someone with likeability factor, a factor that discounts Balls.
So then there is David Milliband. He already has the support of James Purnell, who has performed admirably since his resignation, focussing on trying to assess what philosophies a future Labour Party could be moulded around. Unfortunately though, Milliband’s Brownesque lack of backbone, but clearly visible Machiaevellian streak, in trying to get the big job earlier in the year may have ultimately scuppered his chances. He hasn’t done much wrong, but when Brown goes down, surely MPs will remember all those most closely linked to the sinking and turn their backs on them – including Milliband.
Then there is his brother Ed – but will he shaft his big brother Dave? Go on do it Ed! But with his geeky look and youthful demeanor, he’ll need some old heavyweights in his corner and who knows where the Dark Lord (Mandy) will be sat – as he has indicated that this may even be on the Tory benches!
And many publications of note are now purring about John Cruddas. Think it would be a bit like Red Ken becoming Mayor of London but on a national scale. It might work, but this would really depend what Cameron was like as a PM. At the moment, the fact that Cameron goes frowny and crimson when he is telling a porky or on the back foot ain’t great, but compared to Brown’s laughable on air strops, it is perhaps the lesser of two evils. And with Brown and Cameron to choose between, I will genuinely be able to ignore the surface images and vote for the party whose policies I believe will be best for the economy, society and of course myself and my family in the years ahead. I suspect whichever party stops squirming when talking about the cuts and sacrifices that will need to be made as we move into the 2010s will have the most credibility in my eyes. So the choice is between compassionate conservatism or whatever the hell New Labour’s core policy approach will end up being – other than inverse snobbery. So yes it will be the most exciting election for a long time – shame it has taken an economic meltdown to make politics seem so meaningful.
I bet Labour wish they had held a contest to formally Brown elected when they had the chance, then he might have had the moral authority to successfully call off the wolves within his own party.