July 23, 2008

Gordon Brown's secret source of strength

Friedrich Nietzsche's most famous, and most misquoted, aphorism is "From the Military School of Life - Whatever does not kill me makes me stronger." Nietzsche was probably being sarcastic, his first bout of military service ended when he injured himself while mounting a horse. His second left him with dysentery and diphtheria, from which he never really recovered his full health, plus the syphilis that would eventually kill him.

For Gordon Brown on the other hand the aphorism could turn out to be more literally true. The by-election in Glasgow East should be a walk in the park. It should be absolutely locked down for Labour, especially since half the population are part of Labour's welfare dependent client state. However things are looking rather different, it could even be that Labour will lose what is not just one of their safest seats but one of the safest seats of any party in the whole of the UK. Which is why Gordon Borwn's position as Labour leader and Prime minister is safe.

Why is he safe? Simple because should he be toppled there will be an election, and even with the inevitable bounce that all new party leaders get Labour will lose a lot of seats and probably end up in opposition. Would any sensible aspirant leader of the Labour party want to be in the hot seat when that happens? To go down in history as the shortest serving and least successful Prime Minister ever? No, far better for Gordon Brown to carry the can and then try to pick up the pieces afterwards. Nor are the back benchers going to mount a coupe either. As it stands all of them will have a fight on their hands to retain their seats, a very large number of them will lose this fight and find themselves out of the only job that they have any experience of, just as a recession starts to bite. Far better to wait out the bad years gorging on the over generous expenses of a Member of Parliament and spend the next two years preparing for the inevitable. The worse things get the more likely that should an election come early their acces


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