As in life generally luck is an important factor if a politician is to have a successful career at the highest levels. When Tony Blair’s first came to Office his early years were characterized by not only a growing economy which is a plus for any incoming government, but he also had the good fortune not to have experienced any of those uncontrollable events which Harold Macmillan’s mentioned when asked by a journalist what can most easily steer a government off course and onto the rocks “events dear boy events” he replied.
Contrasts Blair’s baptism as Prime Minister with that of Gordon Brown, in the first six months of becoming PM Mr Brown has had to deal with outbreaks of foot and mouth disease and bird flue, flooding which hit mainly in middle class England, the very constituency Gordon Brown has spent a life time sucking up to. The collapse of the Northern Rock Bank and now the Treasury’s Revenue and Customs Department, due to gross negligence has lost the personal data of seven and half million British families, including details of their bank accounts, national insurance numbers and dates of birth.
Whether Prime Minister Brown can haul under its own steam his ship of State off the rocks is debatable, more likely as the vultures in the media gather it will be hauled off by the Labour Parties salvage experts in the full view of the conservative party’s media hacks and the wider electorate. Only to be towed home the long way round to be finally broken up at the next general election. For there is little doubt even without the latest set backs, the current Prime Minister’s administration would still be in a vulnerable position, as the Sub-Prime mortgage market looks increasingly shaky in the UK. With a section of it looking like it is about to implode and in the process it may well take with it a well known bowler hatted high street bank that gambled its future and its customers savings on the sub-prime mortgage market.
To make matters worse Mr Brown has an unstable US President on the verge of attacking Iran and demanding of him that he mimic Blair’s poodle like qualities.
In reality much depends on how Brown handles his relationship with the dying embers of the Bush administration, for come the next general election there will be a new President in the White House and if Brown becomes entangled with Bush over Iran, he will without a doubt go into retirement shortly after GW Bush leaves the stage and rightly so.
It has become clear from the invasion and occupation of Iraq that the markets love a war and if as is predicted the Democrats return to the White House on 2008, the Republicans will be only to happy to leave them a dreadful mess to clear up, especially in the international arena. The added advantage for Bush [and his corporate backers] of attacking Iran is it will provide rich pickings for the multi national corporations for years to come.
Thus for Bush and his neo-conservative pals an attack on Iran is a win win situation, but for Gordon Brown it would be the end of his Prime Ministership, which would end in the same ignominy as that of his enemy Tony Blair, perhaps that is as it should be as whilst Blair was in Number Ten, Brown publicly backed everyone of his dirty needs, from privatizations, attacks on the long term sick and disabled to the foolish wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.
Still we have not quite reached that stage yet and all is still not completely lost for Mr Brown. There is some time to go before a general election, if he wishes to survive Brown would need to remove Alistair Darling at the earliest opportunity and put Jack Straw in his place, for not only is Mr Straw a safe pair of hands he is also pliable and will not cause the PM to much distress. Somewhat harsh on Mr Darling who is a likable and capable minister, but it is high time our politicians stepped up to the plate and took full responsibility when their departments under perform.
There is even a plus for Mr Brown in the child benefit data fiasco, for it could give the PM, if he has the sense to take it, an opportunity to dump the ridiculous, costly and draconian ID card scheme of his predecessor Tony Blair. This would also have the additional advantage of saving the Exchequer billions of pounds, which the PM could channel into desperately needed projects elsewhere and in the process Mr Brown would avoid reams of critical copy and the howls of the civil rights lobby. He also would have more time to build a no strike on Iran alliance amongst his fellow political leaders within the EU and Commonwealth.
Whether he choses this road only time will tell, but if he does not then I’m afraid the Brown Ship of State is doomed for the breakers yard.