Gordon Brown’s Last Days

Despite an embarrassing drubbing of his Labour Party at the polls and the resignation of several key ministers, the UK’s Gordon Brown vows “I will not waver, I will not walk away, I will finish the work.”

As I explain in my New Atlanticist post “Britain’s Brown on Borrowed Time,” that’s unlikely to happen.  Nor should it.

The bottom line is that Brown isn’t doing a good job of governing.  He’s been holding on for dear life for a considerable period, hoping to ride out the rough patch, and things are only getting worse. And, as The Spectator‘s Alex Massie points out, this is not mere politics:

John Hutton’s successor as Secretary of State for Defence [Bob Ainsworth, it turns out -JJ] will be the fifth person to hold that job in the last five years. No wonder there’s a total lack of continuity at the MoD. This is, to put it mildly, no way to treat what should be one of the most important jobs in government. And this at a time when, however fitfully, we’ve been fighting two wars.

The Atlantic‘s Andrew Sullivan declares, ” This is how governments die in Britain – a country where elections are not held to a fixed calendar.”  Despite his warnings against Tory hubris, Steve Hynd declares “it’s been clear for some time now that David Cameron would be the next PM whenever the general election was finally called. Today’s disaster for Labour will hurry that day along.”

More at the link.

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James Joyner
About James Joyner
James Joyner is a Security Studies professor at Marine Corps University's Command and Staff College and a nonresident senior fellow at the Scowcroft Center for Strategy and Security at the Atlantic Council. He's a former Army officer and Desert Storm vet. Views expressed here are his own. Follow James on Twitter @DrJJoyner.

Comments

  1. PD Shaw says:

    Andrew Sullivan declares, “This is how governments die in Britain – a country where elections are not held to a fixed calendar.”

    Let’s see, the last election was May 5, 2005, so on a fixed four year calandar like the Yanks, Brown would certainly be gone last month, instead of wondering and waiting.

  2. E.D. Kain says:

    I think David Cameron will be a welcome breath of fresh air for UK politics. About damn time.

  3. An Interested Party says:

    I think David Cameron will be a welcome breath of fresh air for UK politics. About damn time.

    The same was/has been said about our president…now, I would imagine that most people around here would disagree with that, but there we are…

  4. Brett says:

    I don’t particularly put much stock in Cameron (it’s not as if he’s got some type of special background or capability that would make him a decent PM, other than being more charismatic than Brown), but it would be nice to see Brown gone.

    Brown probably knows that as soon as he’s booted out, his political career is effectively dead in the water, so he’ll hold out as long as possible on calling elections in order to give himself more time to turn things around (or, more likely, to ameliorate the possible disintegration of Labor’s rule in Parliament).