Monday, April 27, 2009

Let me explain something

For the nth time I received an e-mail this morning, asking me to sign Number 10 petition that demands Gordon Brown’s resignation. This time I wrote back to say that there will be an election next year and this is called democracy.

I understand the petition is being promoted by Guido Fawkes but he does not need any links from me. The whole story shows how little even people who apparently exist within the political circle understand the workings of a state, a government or a body politic, namely this country’s.

Demanding that the elected Prime Minister resign through petition is on the level of saying that because 1 million people of whatever provenance marched against the war in Iraq, Tony Blair and his Cabinet should have changed their foreign policy.

People have every right to march and proclaim their point of view; they have the right to say that a war is not done “in their name”, whatever that might mean. But an elected government has the right to ignore that and, in any case, many of us can say that they were not marching in our name.

While we are on the subject of elected government, let me deal with another canard, that Gordon Brown was not elected to be Prime Minister of this country. No he was not and neither is anybody ever. We do not have a presidential system and elect parties. The leader of the party with a majority (or, if there is a hung parliament, which there might be next year, the one that can form a majority) is asked by the Monarch to form the government. It is up to the party to decide who that leader is and, inevitably, we the voters have to take into account whether we like their choice or not.

If a Prime Minister resigns between elections the party in power chooses another leader who then becomes PM. If Gordon Brown is not the rightfully elected Prime Minister of this country then neither were Winston Churchill in 1940, Anthony Eden in 1955, Harold Macmillan in 1957, Alec Douglas Home in 1963, James Callaghan in 1976 or John Major in 1991.

It was, admittedly, very foolish of the Labour Party to bow to Brown’s paranoia and nominate him as leader without an internal party election. That was, however, an internal problem and, I have no doubt, the party will pay for it. As things stand, Labour is on track to losing the next election and I predict an extremely bloody civil war afterwards. The silencing of all opposition to Gordon will, undoubtedly, be brought up.

So what have we got? A highly unpopular government that did none of the good things it promised to do back in 1997 and managed to destroy the country’s economy, oppressing the wealth-creating private sector and increasing the bloated leach-like public sector. The mess is now so horrendous that even if the Conservative leadership were considerably more intelligent and talented than it is, one doubts they would be able to deal with it.

Gordon Brown goes from one messy situation to another, one disaster to another, one scandal to another. The Government is flailing around, exhibiting all the signs of a dying political entity.

If it goes on like this, it will most certainly die at the next General Election, which will be, as we predicted over and over again on EUReferendum, next May. Brown was not going to the country at any one of those dates helpful political pundits proposed – he was going to go to the wire and that is what he will do.

It doesn’t matter how many people sign that petition – the only thing that matters is how many people will put a cross against the various Labour candidates’ names and how many will put a cross against other candidates’ names.

This is called democracy. Live with it. And stop pestering people to sign stupid petitions.


  1. This is all true Helen - but petitions can be useful as a tool of wider activism, one with enough traction might have a little influence on the voters when the time comes.

  2. And you have examples of this?

  3. I do not.

    If my goal was the ousting of a Labour government, and I promoted such a petition - I would not actually expect the Labour government to acknowledge the petition and pack their bags.

    Rather, I would promote it in the hope that a concrete figure of the number of people wishing for Gordon Brown's immediate departure could contribute, in a small way, to a political climate that is hostile towards him.

    I hastily add that I am not defending this particular petition.

  4. Why is anyone in a hurry to get rid of Brown? Are there any worthwhile alternatives on the horizon?

  5. There aren't, but perhaps Cameron has a little less experience in oiling the cock-up machine.

  6. Whatever Cameron may or may not be like is irrelevant. If the petition achieves what it wants to and Brown resigns we shall have another Labour Prime Minister. So the question of whether there are any worthwhile alternatives is a very important question.

  7. The purpose of the petition is to embarrass McMental and hopefully get him to throw around a few more Nokia's or laser printers. No one seriously expects him to resign. If, otoh, this helps erode McMental's public standing even further then so much the better for when the election is finally called. One thing you can be sure of is that as the petition numbers rise the msm will give it more and more prominence and fuel further momentum.

    As the advert says, "every little bit helps".

  8. "Demanding that the elected Prime Minister resign through petition..."

    Sorry, I must have missed something.

    Just when exactly was Gordo elected Prime Minister?

  9. Yes, flabslab, you did miss something. The whole of the British constitutional structure, to be precise, the particular aspect of which is explained in the posting above. So you missed that, too. Allow me to repeat it for your benefit: we do not have a presidential system; we do not elect prime ministers; we elect parties and those parties decide who will be the leader who becomes a prime minister. This could be decided before an election or during a government's life, as it was in 1940, 1955, 1957, 1963, 1976, 1991 and 2007. Got it now?