Some brief thoughts about British politics as at April 2008...
1. Brown's strength and weakness as a politican
Gordon Brown was clearly better at the "getting power" aspect of being a politican than he is in exercising the power now he's got it. The latter is very different political skill.
Over ten years he accumulated power at the Treasury, and he then forced his way into the premiership (without winning any sort of mandate), but now his limitations are exposed.
A political example of the Peter Principle.
2. The return of semi-coalition government
The backdown on the 10p tax band (I well remember the dopey Labour benches cheering that Budget) and the upcoming wrangles over the 42 day detention period signal a period of semi-coalition government.
Brown will only do well now if the "Government Party" can somehow keep peace with the "Backbench Party". (Callaghan and Major faced the same problem.)
In any case, the once coherent and powerful "New Labour" electoral machine is now dead.
3. The real prospect of increased public sector militancy
The publc sector unions are restless. If they think Labour is bound to go down, then all their self-restraint will vanish.
4. The smug placeholders
Public life now seems full of tiresome and smug office-holders, the eventual removal of each of which will bring a smile of relief: Sir Ian Blair, Michael Martin, Ed Balls.
However, one can only frown whilst they linger on.