As can be seen with my earlier blogs, I never did think too much of Gordon Brown. In his part of the Blair years, he privatised and he cut jobs of people in the state sector doing important jobs. He was largely in control of domestic government, via a grip on the purse strings, and through his constant noes to Blair.
Now he has surrounded himself with comparative minnows in government, including this increasingly hapless Alistair Darling. We know that Northern Rock collapsing is not his fault, though a decision to throw vast sums of money at an increasingly worthless body is his decision along with others. They did not do this to Midlands car makers, even in a General Election and running around making noises about giving all the marginal assistance that the usual fringe economic agencies can. Nor did Alistair Darling lose the CDs by bunging them in the post - ah, don't worry, it'll get there. Ah yeah, that's the Royal Mail we are talking about, or is it TNT (and shall they expose the 23 year old individual who popped them in the envelope?)... No, but Gordon Brown merged two big government departments: one that wasn't broke and did not need fixing, and has tried to get them to do more while losing a high proportion of workers. There's the Home Secretary who presides over not knowing what levels of immigration are happening, and then the health service still isn't right - Norfolk finally filled up its beds and so people are being treated in ambulances. A bit like the prisons then - they're full.
It's that sense of nothing working. Meanwhile, Vince Cable as acting Liberal Democrat leader has been on a blinder. Well, he used to help run Shell. He has a way of mildly asking questions that are like a sharp knife, with a manner of enquiry, pointing out and exposing. Twice the primary school budget in a year sunk into Northern Rock, or all those Millennium Domes - clever images. I happen to think both candidates for the Liberal Democrat leadership have potential talent: Nick Clegg is the obvious thoughtful politico, who could do the vision thing and organise a party, and Chris Huhne is another person of business organising experience. Though I wanted Chris Huhne to win last time I slightly favour Nick Clegg now. However good Vince Cable has shown himself, he does not have to do the "future thing" and all the party organising, and put strategy into his questions. It's just that, on the narrow matters of events, Vince Cable is setting a high standard against no expectations (unlike David Cameron, who is having to perform against increasingly high expectations and that demand to be seen to represent more people as they get fed up with the government - something that the next Liberal Democrat leader will have to do too).
When I think, "Move over Darling," I don't mean the Chancellor, who'll obviously won't last the distance of the last one. I mean the lot of them headed by Crisis Man Gordon Brown - wearing his underpants in the manner of that other superhero, John Major. That's right, he didn't want an election. I bet he is at least pleased about that decision, as he occupies the throne of Number Ten for no obvious reason.
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