It all started out so well for Gordon Brown. After years of being the eternal bridesmaid, he was finally able to don the dress and have his day when Tony Blair handed over the keys to Number 10. Ok…maybe that’s imagery you don’t need. But that’s kind of what happened in 2007. Now-former British PM Gordon Brown was handed the assignment of continuing with the Blair policies and sustaining the political power Labour had gained with Blair’s election 10 years previous. Sounds simple enough, right? So how is it that after only 3 years as British Prime Minister, Gordon Brown has been unceremoniously dumped by the electorate? Hmmm.
Well, first of all, he shouldn’t feel too distraught over it. The British voting public didn’t seem very keen on any of the three parties — Labour just got the brunt of the abuse because it was the party in power. Gordon Brown was highly unpopular. All the polls said so. But in all the postmortems I’ve read on this election, the writers have yet to point to a singular failure on Brown’s part that directly led to Labour’s defeat. Yes, there were comments about his off-mike asides calling one woman who asked him questions “bigoted”, but those kind of things aren’t the ones that definitively swing an election one way or another. In the end, it was voter fatigue with Labour’s 13 years in power combined with the many voters who chose the Liberal Democrats that sealed Brown’s fate, but for the way he handled his own tenure, Gordon Brown has no one to blame but himself.
What I’m currently reading:
The fallacy that continues to dog Project Cameron – John Rentoul (who wrote this killer Tony Blair bio I totally loved) says that David Cameron’s ideas are just as flawed as Gordon Brown’s. Sad part is that in this battle between the Conservative Party (Cameron) and Labour Party(Brown) one of these two will probably end up being UK Prime Minister. Side note: Current UK PM Brown was never going to be Tony Blair. Sometimes a politician is best suited to his previous job, rather than his current one. This is very true of Brown. However, I have no love for David Cameron and his “New Labour” -lite schtick and his obsession with the environment. Of course, that’s generally how the Brits roll anyway — with their entrenched welfare state and their socialized health care with the NHS. Naturally, these are the kind of politicians they like. Bully for them. Moving on…
Jack Kelly on President Obama’s new nuke deals. Here’s the bottom line as far as I’m concerned – if President Obama really believes that we are facing a more challenging time in dealing with nuclear threats, then he’s got the wrong solution to this. We can’t be voluntarily reducing our own nuclear arsenal and stopping production on more modern weapons at the same time North Korea and Iran are ramping up their nuke production. This seems backwards to me. The United States of America may very well be the only country which would be willing to voluntarily do this — and that’s exactly why we can’t do it.
A cautionary tale from Europe – Greece’s monetary struggles – a result of overspending and a massive entitlement society.
According to the BBC, the struggling Labour government of Prime Minister Gordon Brown is considering allowing private firms to run NHS hospitals. You know…because the National Health Service has done such a smashing job with providing quality health care and efficient service to the good citizens of the UK. But you know that innovator and inspiring leader Gordon Brown — can’t settle for perfection. Pay attention. This is what the ultimate goal of Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton is for YOUR health care. Sure they come up with slightly less scary proposals than what the UK’s got with the NHS, but that’s where they are headed. Make no mistake about that.
On the subject of Gordon Brown himself and his struggle as PM, I’m not sure what exactly his endgame is to keep his job. He keeps throwing ideas up against the proverbial wall and watching to see if they stick. Not much is sticking for him these days. Of course, let’s be honest — if I was one of the lucky folks to get a phone call from the British Prime Minister — that would turn my head a little bit in favour of the guy. But Gordon Brown will never have the sizzle of Tony Blair, and there’s nothing he can do about that. It’s my humble opinion that the guy’s in over his head. He was fine in his supporting role in the Blair government, but he showed nothing special in that role that suggested he was ready for the top job. He was the guy who Labour deemed as next in line, and he was never seriously challenged as Blair’s successor. Maybe that was a mistake.
So says the Financial Times.
McCain is even scarier than Bush because he will start more wars! He will spread more “democracy by force”! He’s actually serious about dealing with rogue states! He really is a neocon, and his “realist” advisors — mere window-dressing. Be very very afraid of this man. He’s a close friend of Bill Kristol, who, as the left reminds us, has to be the most terrifying advocate of pre-emptive war EVER. The Financial Times’ writer, Anatol Leiven, worries that McCain won’t talk to our allies enough before pursuing US foreign policy. He seems to be fearful that a President McCain would get the UK into another war. Does he seriously believe that PM Gordon Brown (for as long as he remains PM) and possible successor, David Cameron, have the same instincts as Tony Blair as far as a joint venture in more wars? I don’t know the answer to that.
I do know what would happen if we let Europe attempt to defend itself. It would be a miserable failure. The UK has its own national identity crisis right now. The leadership there is willing to surrender piece by piece the UK’s national sovereignty. There’s a reason why PM Brown and Labour will not allow the people to have a say on the Treaty of Lisbon, which gives more and more control and authority to the European Union. It’s not much different from the EU Constitution, which was decisively rejected by several EU member states. Why do I bring that up? It’s important to recognize the signs of a fading power in the world. A country unwilling to protect and preserve its own existence would hardly be a country willing to defend its allies, or to be a useful asset in the pursuit of the terrorists.
All I have to say to those like Leiven is: Be careful what you wish for. After 4 years of President Obama or President Hillary, you might be sorry that you questioned the wisdom of electing John McCain.
Looks like Gordon Brown will have a little trouble duplicating Tony Blair’s electoral success. That was one heck of a short honeymoon for current UK Prime Minister Gordon Brown, and like here in the US, it’s about the economy. Apparently his finance minister does not share his skill in economic matters, but you would think that Gordon Brown could give the guy a few ideas. It’s odd that Brown has struggled so much as Prime Minister. After all, he made quite a few brilliant moves as Chancellor of the Exchequer. He isn’t Tony Blair, and that’s what the good citizens of the UK thought that they wanted. Even with all of his years in the Blair orb, it’s not clear that he was the right guy to take Blair’s place in Number 10. Voters are fickle though, even across the pond, and they could change their minds tomorrow.
Until then…the latest poll has the Tories leading Labour by 13 points. (h/t – Real Clear Politics)
The numbers– Conservatives – 42, Labour – 29, LibDems – 21
Tories once lost elections on the economy. Will this be the reason Labour loses power again? The leader of the Conservatives, David Cameron, sure hopes so.