Friday, 13 February 2009
The Stench of Decay
Excellent Article by Philip Stephens of the FT
Mr Brown’s party has been in power for something short of 12 years rather than the 18 of the Conservatives. But I detect the same curious, and fatal, mix of hubris and inertia. Office is treated as a birthright but, with a few honourable exceptions, ministers have forgotten what it is for. Ask most of them what Labour would actually do with a fourth term and the best you will get is a diatribe on why the Tories would be worse.
Some would say that such intangible flaws are pretty much irrelevant when measured against the deadly impact on the government’s fortunes of the recession. Only this week, after all, the Bank of England said that Britain faces another year of economic misery.
If Mr Brown’s government is turned out of office next year, the argument runs, it will be because of lengthening jobless queues and its chumminess with now disgraced bankers. The prime minister will have been been mugged by the economic bust he promised would never happen.
Others, within the government as well as beyond it, point the finger of blame still more directly at Mr Brown. Whatever the economic turbulence, the big failure has been one of leadership. No one would accuse the dour Mr Brown of over-enjoying the trappings of power. But, after a political lifetime seeking the job, Mr Brown arrived without a strategy or a project for his premiership.
Even now, the constant flurry of initiatives to counter the impact of the recession seems to owe as much to panic as purpose. Some ministers are beginning to mutter that they should have deposed Mr Brown last summer.
Citizen Fights Back, nearly a result H/T LPUK South East