Thursday, September 07, 2006

Lame duck PM

picture of Tony Blair
Blair buys nothing but time.

Tony Blair should be a happier man tonight, the knives have been put away for now, there will be a short period of calm, enough time to plan what to say to the Labour Party Conference in Manchester, then the gloves will be off as the fight between the Blairites and the Brownites resumes.

Having made it clear that he will step down sometime within the next twelve months he has bought himself a little time in order to see how the party accepts it's future. However problems will mount up starting with the Queen's Speech, how can a government make proposals to Parliament on the basis that the Prime Minister may not be at the helm to see them through? Will these be the plans of Tony Blair or of Gordon Brown, who may yet find that his succession could be spoiled by the introduction of a "Blairite" candidate?

Will Blair be in power when the Welsh and Scots go to the polls for what may be seen as a referendum on the Blair years, rather than a serious election to their respective bodies?

How will our foreign allies in Europe and the USA view H.M. Government knowing that the PM is about to be changed?

Will Blair be allowed to bow out in a blaze of glory amid his "legacy tour"?

Will the Prime Minister continue to be ever so slightly out of touch with his Parliamentary Party?

Will he continue to be his "own man", or will he feel obliged to take every policy and plan to No. 11 for approval?

There can be little doubt that the government now led by Tony Blair will be seen as "lame ducks" just about able to tread water until a new leader is elected, Blair's authority drained even further today, he is now backed into a corner and cannot get out of it without the tacit approval of his Chancellor. This cannot be good for the U.K.

As he said today, the public cannot be treat as irrelevant bystanders in all of this, therefore - and I concur with Manchester Blackley MP Graham Stringer here - he ought to fire the starting pistol for the Labour leadership election at the party conference.

You know it makes sense!


BBC News

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