Worst Case Scenario: Brown AND Blair

Discussion in 'Current Affairs, News and Analysis' started by OldSnowy, May 3, 2007.

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  1. OldSnowy

    OldSnowy LE Moderator Book Reviewer

    It appears that the Great Leader could be trying to finesse his position - he may attempt to stand down as Labour Party leader, but remain as PM.

    I am (nearly) speechless. To have one evil scots monomaniac running the country is one thing, to have two of them fighting each other would be worse.

    Hat-tip: Guido Fawkes: http://www.order-order.com/

    This morning there is some confusion about the Lobby, the PMOS told the Lobby this morning that "the Prime Minister was not announcing his resignation as Prime Minister next week. That is not what he would be doing. What the Prime Minister would be doing would be setting out his intentions but he would not be resigning as Prime Minister next week. Asked if he was resigning as leader of the Labour Party, the PMOS said it was a Party, not Government matter and the question the PMOS had been asked was about the Prime Minister's role as Head of Government. After the Prime Minister has announced his intention he will remain Prime Minister. Asked if the Prime Minister would not go and see the HM the Queen next week but after the leadership contest has been concluded, the PMOS said at last the penny had dropped."
    Last week Blair himself said he would be making a party related announcement. Before the 2005 general election Guido suggested that Blair might opt for the Aznar option to square his promise to serve a full term. Look closely at the form of words Blair used prior to Labour's party conference: "I think what is important now is that we understand that it's the interests of the country that come first and we move on. I would have preferred to do this in my own way... The next party conference in a couple of weeks will be my last party conference as party leader, the next TUC conference next week will be my last TUC - probably to the relief of both of us."

    That word formula commits him only to standing down as leader of the party. Nothing about standing down as PM.

    Blair can argue that he gave a commitment to the people at the general election to serve a "full term" and the voters gave him that mandate. He can also argue that he gave a promise to give the next leader of the Labour party "time to bed in". If he stood down as Labour leader but not as PM he could keep both promises. It would also let him keep his grip on power as he tries deserately to get radical Blairite policies and reforms implemented.

    José María Aznar lost the support of the people who had voted for the Partido Popular in 2000 and had to pledge not to run again. In January 2004 Aznar called new elections and designated his candidate, Mariano Rajoy, sticking to his pledge of not seeking office for a third term.

    Is the Aznar option in Britain so outrageous? Has Blair given up the fight for Blairite policies and accepted his legacy will be Iraq and criminal corruption charges against his aides?

    Guido is certain that Blair will still be PM next week, he will be resigning only as party leader. Could he shaft Brown one last time? Would the Labour party support him as PM until the next general election? Outrageous? At his last conference as leader he told us "there are no rules in politics"...

    This is truly a nightmare scenario as far as I am concerned, but at least I can use my vote tonight to do my bit, anyway.
  2. Today's Evening Standard banner headline is:


    I have scribbled 'happy' after the word millions on the placard at my Underground station. At least three people stopped to watch and then clapped!!

    With that headline is it any wonder that people are fed up with politicians and cannot be bothered to vote ?
  3. From what I understand that would be not possible. According to our Constitution the Prime Minister is the leader of the party with the largest majority in the House of Commons or in the case of hung parliament, the leader with the largest share of the vote in a coalition.

    Conversely, when Maggie went she was voted out by Conservative MPs as the party leader. Consequently when she was no longer leader she could no longer remain as PM.
  4. Biped

    Biped LE Book Reviewer

    Anything to stop the police charging him with crimes against democracy. If he steps down as PM, it's open house; and I think he knows this.
  5. err, no. She failed to get a two-thirds vote and decided not to continue in the race.

    The largest party bit is HM's convention, and this normally coincides with the person most likely to form a stable government ... which is HM's aim. The deliberations on who/what should govern after Feb 1974 were very interesting .... loadsa speculation.

    As for Bliar - well, I spotted the gaps between his statements over leaving power and finishing as party leader in his various pronouncements. His not resigning (or offering his resignation to HM) next week doesn't mean he intends to manipulate the situation, more likely that he doesn't want his deputy to take the post while the leadership is up in the air.

    Had John Smith died in office Beckett would have become leader (as she did) AND Prime Minister (which, thank fcuk, she didn't).

    We live in interesting times.
  6. There's an outside chance this might work to our advantage. If Blair pushes his luck a bit too much, dangling the carrot then snatching it away at the last moment yet again, Gordon might just snap.

    Imagine TB strangled to death in the Commons (live TV coverage, incidentally) and GB carted off to Broadmoor frothing at the mouth and gibbering about Granada.

    Yes, just imagine..... Ahhhhhh....
  7. Forgive my summary, but I thought 'voted out' and 'failed to get a [...] vote' would be roughly equivalent. My point was intended to raise the Constitutional issue of the electorate electing a party to power with the head of the party assuming the role of Prime Minister.

    That aside, I'm sure we agree that it's interesting times with a PM who is elected on a full term mandate who then traumatises government by announcing he's off at some stage in the future.

    That and a deeply unpopular PM in waiting.
  8. "Guido is certain that Blair will still be PM next week".

    Actually this bloke Guido is usually pretty accurate, if also a bit of a knobhead.

    But if Bliar stays as PM, Neu Arbeit will be crushed - utterly crushed - at the next election.

    Shurely Bliar wouldn't do something so arrogant and stupid?
  9. Blair to ennoble himself (buy 5, get one free) and run the government from the house of bought men (formerly highly esteemed House of Lords)

    What odds ?.
  10. Damit SasC i have told you before about teasing me !!!!!!!!!!!! i now will have to go have a lie down to wipe the soppy grin off my grill at the thought of that before i pottle off to the village hall to vote 8O

    Edited too Add

    Heres hopeing to KotB conclusions also
  11. Ah, Halo! Then I can consider myself avenged for all the times you teased me in my teenage dreams! Splundig vur thrigg!
  12. For a moment i thought he might have ousted Her Majesty, and turned us into a banana republic with him as El Presidente for life :omfg:
  13. That article seems a bit disingenuous. Blair will still be PM next week because if he isn't, Prescott will have to take over.

    The convention is that he announces his resignation as party leader, but not as PM. Campaigning for the party leadership then starts. An election takes place and a new leader is elected. The retiring PM then goes to HMQ and offers his resignation (she could say no...), advising HMQ that in the view of the retiring PM, she should ask the new leader of the party to take over. She could, in theory, reject that advice and ask Reid/ Cameron/ Dickie Attenborough to take over, but precedent and convention say that she won't. The resignation is announced at the same time as the new party leader is invited to the Palace to kiss hands (now a metaphorical rather than literal description of the process).

    The only things stopping this from happening would be:
    (1) If Prince Philip ambushes the new party leader's limo on the way to the palace and assasinates the PM-designate with some well-aimed No.9 shot (however, since HMQ would be irritated by this impropriety, he won't)


    (2) If Blair goes completely and utterly bonkers, thinking that staying on is a practical proposition.

    The Fawkes article is actually bit of recycling of a nearly 17-year old story. When Thatcher was ousted, it was suggested by some (undoubtedly mischievious) commentators that she might take her revenge on the Tories by staying on as PM.

    The key issue is whether or not the PM can command a majority in the House, not whether or not they lead the party - and there was a case to suggest that Thatcher's majority from 1987 was big enough to ensure that even if 30 Tory MPs refused to vote for her, she still might be able to get legislation through the House had she been barking enough to follow that course of action (she wasn't, and the proposed COA was implausible). Blair wouldn't stand a chance of getting anything through the House given the size of Labour's majority and the number of MPs who want shot of him. If you can't get any legislation through the House, you can't be PM.

    Also, Blair would need HMQ to agree to what would be a breach of constitutional convention. And it's almost unthinkable that she would.

    At the point in this scenario where Blair says 'I'm staying on as PM, even though Gordon is party leader', HMQ responds:'One regrets to say that one disagrees and is inviting Mr Brine arind to ask him to form one's government' and sacks him.

    As I've said elsewhere on Arrse before, if he refuses to go and barricades himself and the WMF in No.10, GOC London (I think it is) and a few chaps wander round to Downing St, break the door down and drag him off to the Tower, followed by a weeping Cherie. While the media photograph the mad PM being carted off in a Snatch Land Rover, Broon walks in and calls the carpenter round to fix the door.

    And even if HMQ didn't sack him for this, Blair would still have to face the Commons.

    If he managed to form a cabinet - which probably would not - he'd then face the prospect of being utterly unable to get anything through parliament, since his now-former supporters, in league with the opposition, would vote against him.

    The only option (again) is resignation as PM, or, if the meglamania kicks in, be sacked (and if he refuses to accept said decision, see 'GOC London take tea at No. 10' scenario outlined above).

    It could, in theory, happen. But not even the Celestial Navigator is so deluded as to believe that HMQ would lack the intestinal fortitude to sack him if he tried to stay on beyond the will of HMQ, his party and the country. He'll still be PM next week - but the chances of him being PM for more than a few hours after Brown (or a.n. other) is elected Labour leader are rather slimmer than Guido Fawkes would like us to think - entertaining though the TV coverage of the outcome would be...
  14. Unlikely. I'm sure he's thought of it, but there is no way he has the political capital to succeed. If he did try it on, I would be off to London to scale the gates of Downing Street and I am sure I would not be alone. Viva la Revolucion!