Thursday, 12 June 2008

Gordon Brown - "Callaghan"

As soon as I heard that Gordon Brown won his 42 days detention vote (with concessions of a Byzantine method of implementation that could not be carried through if needed quickly) I thought "Callaghan". He got his vote through thanks to some pork barrel politics in Northern Ireland with the Democratic Unionists just as James Callaghan went to the Ulster Unionists. This is lousy politics. Now in the past going to the Ulster Unionists meant a dangerous sectarianism and that can be so today, though the water charges issue in the North of Ireland affects both communities. It is still shabby, however. The House of Lords won't accept this bill, nor will the European Court of Human rights, and so this bill will now feature in political discourse (whilst people worry about money in their pockets) and the Parliament Act to force it past the House of Lords would take up even more time. Presumably he thought up the number 42 because it is the meaning of life: it seems to be the meaning of his life - to constantly play politics as his government runs out of steam.

By the way, James Callaghan sung that song about "waiting at the church". That was when he flunked a General Election, just like Gordon Brown went on to do nearly thirty years later.

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