It’s not a good time to be Gordon Brown (texture like sun) right now. The Tories and Lib Dems took a whole bunch of seats in the local elections, Boris Johnson became the London mayor, and there are lots of calls for his head.
It’s led me to think about whether any of the main three political leaders are people I would want to be Prime Minister. And quite frankly, no they aren’t, so I’m hoping a General Election is delayed for a while until someone better comes along.
I have heard it said that Gordon Brown is a natural second-in-command, and I think that’s right. But I’m not sure he realises it. However, for Labour to call for a leadership challenge right now would also be pretty catastrophic. Who would take over? A lot of people think Stephen Milliband might be next, but there’s something a bit desperate about him (like Jordan in I’d Do Anything), and also a little sinister. Me not want. Leave big Gord in a caretaker role for another six months, see who emerges as a contender and then we might be ready for an election fight. Regardless of the mistakes he made, Tony Blair was a leader, was PM material. I don’t see anyone else taking on that mantle in the Labour party right now.
As for the Lib Dems, my de facto party of choice for now (along with the Greens), who is Nick Clegg? I mean, he’s a Sheffield MP and I couldn’t even pick him out of a line-up or recall anything major he’s said. Ming Campbell (only ever a caretaker manager), Paddy Pantsdown, and Charlie Kennedy all had their flaws, but at least you knew who they were. Clegg: must try much harder.
And then there’s the Tories. Much like Neil Kinnock, David Cameron is a pretty good opposition leader. He knows the buttons to press to annoy the ruling party. But, like Kinnock, would you want him running the country? He’s so insincere and smarmy it’s frightening.
In fact, I have an idea that I think may work out best: America, when you’ve FINALLY decided which of Clinton and Obama you want (and elected them, please God, do you really want John McCain in charge?), can we have the other one, please? Ta.