Monday 19 November 2007

Brown down the pan?

How many months ago was it that Gordon Brown was invincible? My memory tells me it was only two months ago but it seems longer.

Now he is most definitely vincible. His opinion poll ratings have bombed - down to an approval rating of minus ten points against a rating of plus forty-eight in the summer (maybe he's looking to steal Joe Louis' nickname?)

Not only but also; the Conservatives are ahead of Labour and the Lib Dems are miles behind and can't save him. It looks increasingly like Brown will lose the next election. Even if he confounds that prediction, though, there's a thought that will be nagging away at the back of his mind - what if he's Labour's John Major?

Major's victory in the 1992 election was ever so slightly unexpected but it guaranteed that his government struggled on long after the enfeeblement period cranked in for the Conservatives and the time that they should have spent in opposition renewing themselves was instead spent ripping themselves apart and meaning that the 1997 election nearly destroyed them, handing Blair the platform from which to win three elections.

Brown's nightmare must be that he strings out this Labour government to the point of destruction, leaving Labour facing a similar rebuilding exercise and a Conservative party back in government for a decade. It might even be to the long-term benefit of the Conservatives to lose the next election, turning the election after that into a 'critical juncture' election.

Fortunately, of course, Scotland will be voting SNP, protecting ourselves against the worst excesses of any Westminster government and striding happily along the road to independence.

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