April 14, 2008 Leave a comment
I always thought is was only Tory leaders who had their succession talked about within a year of their leadership. However there’s been plenty of talk in the media about Brown’s successor over the past week.
I’m presently reading Gyles Brandreths diary of the last term of Tory Government, and it’s interesting how the future leadership contenders of the Tory party were viewed with horror by some with such a lack of credible contenders. People with views or a track record which would split the party. That’s why we had an unready William Hague and an unable Iain Duncan Smith when former Cabinet figures such Ken Clarke, Michael Howard, Stephen Dorrell, Peter Lilley, John Redwood etc were still on the scene.
So if, as we all hope Labour are kicked out of office, what would the succession be. Well Brown’s favoured successor seems to be Ed Balls. Initially this had me howling with laughter, but this was soon replaced by hopes and prayers that this odious man takes the reins. It was Drop the Dead Donkey that gave Peter Lilley the slimy git of the week award 14 weeks in a row. If that show was still running, surely Balls would win the award closely followed by his wife. I really can’t see Labour voting for Brown mk2 without the charm so he is probably out the running. Shame.
So who’s in the running. Milliband x 2 (both too geeky), Jacqui Smith will be ejected from the Commons, Harriett Harman is Harriett Harman which rules her out, Hilary Benn is likeable but seems to shy away from tough controversial jobs so I can’t see that. More credible are the chances of Alan Johnson, Alan Milburn and James Purnell. Each of these have drawbacks though. Milburn is not linked with Brown so should Labour want to get back to Blairism, then he could be the man. Unlikely though. Johnson seems to be keeping his head above water at Health but did lose out as Deputy leader which didn’t suggest he’s loved by the unions and grassroots. That leaves smooth talking photoshop man Purnell. He would probably be the most acceptable media face to attract the southern voters, but I can’t see the roots warming to him.
In conclusion then, it looks like a mess with no heavyweight contenders, and plenty of drawbacks with the frontrunners. I’ll revisit this when bookmakers put some odds up.