Thursday, 18 December 2008

On Gordon Brown's "Fear" of Elections

As this Blog has shown before, elections (like trials) are potentially disruptive to the onward march of the Establishment, and that is why elections (and their effects) are curtailed as much as possible.

This Blog has also emphasised that Gordon Brown is not to be underestimated. In terms of gaining and accumulating power, he is the most effective politician in decades. But he has never faced a genuinely contested election.

Brown became party leader and Prime Minister by a sequence of manoeuvres and sheer force of will. He also dodges by-election campaigns. And, of course, he bottled the Autumn 2007 non-election.

One does not need much imagination for one to conceive of Brown creating a so-called National-Government-In-Time-Of-Crisis and avoiding a real election altogether.

He would even swallow his tribal anti-Toryism for that (just like he swallowed Blair for ten years, as some things are just that important).

Iain Martin in today's Daily Telegraph explores this issue of Brown avoiding contests, and wonders whether Brown is actually frightened of elections.

For me the answer is that he is not fearful, at least not directly.

Avoiding electoral contests is at the core of his personal political strategy. And this is entirely rational, if you have the political skill to do it.

No ambitious politician is truly a democrat. And, in this way, Brown is indeed a successful and highly rational politician.

In gaining and keeping power without having faced a genuine electoral contest, Brown is in fact the envy of much of the political world.


Ben Emlyn-Jones said...

Hi Jack,

I've become very cynical about politicians I'm afraid. Their true motives are so submerged beneath public performances and duplicity that they remind me of the pea in the fairytale of the Princess and the Pea, buried under 20 matresses. At face value, David Cameron seems a far more admirable and credible character than Gordon Brown, but is this because he is just that: a character? One created by a scriptwriter and director, acting on the stage of the political arena in the theatre of the media?

It saddens me to see people hailing Barrack Obama as some kind of "saviour". All new political leaders are presented as saviours from the administration before them. Blair was percieved as our saviour from the Thatcherite Tories. But if you go back to when Margaret Thatcher was elected you'll see that she was seen as a saviour from the Labour governments of the 70's with their runaway, unjustified industrial action.

I'm not holding my breath, let alone my polling booth pen, for anything better this time.


However, it seems your personal preferences are Tory, eh?
Then your remark about Brown is sort of political "gentlemanliness" ;)
Probably, it is right.