Europe: The Final Countdown

We’re leaving together,
But still its farewell
And maybe we’ll come back,
To earth, who can tell? 
I guess there is no one to blame

We’re leaving ground
Will things ever be the same again? 

Its the final countdown…


Labour looks set to face one of the worst defeats it has ever suffered in tomorrow’s European elections, and the prospect of losing control of all of the few councils it is defending in the same day’s local elections. With a wave of ministerial resignations (including Hazel Blears on the eve of the most vital polls before the next general election), Gordon Brown’s authority has been seriously undermined. His Government is imploding, and it’s dragging the Labour party into a meltdown that threatens to make it radioactive for years to come. And, though the expenses scandal has tainted all parties, Labour have suffered particularly badly – perhaps because, over the last decade or so, the Government has already accrued a particularly egregious record of scandal and corruption, and the public have long since tired of it. 

In the run up to these elections, we have seen how Labour activists have been angrily turned away in Lancashire, normally a Labour stronghold. As portents go, this must be approaching the level of seriousness where, leading up to the last US election, a couple of self-confessed racists from the Deep South openly admitted that they would rather vote for Barack Obama than the Republican candidate, John McCain. When even your traditional base of core supporters turn their back on you, you know your prospects are looking bleak, to say the least. Except, Gordon Brown doesn’t seem to know it. Even in the face of growing calls for him to hold an immediate general election, his Government sliding into the political abyss, and the real possibility that the Conservatives could break into Labour’s traditional Northern heartlands, Gordon Brown still doggedly insits that he’ll stay the course until next year, when he must call a general election. Bizzarely, he still clings to the notion that he is the best man for the job of fixing Britain’s economy, and that he alone is most capable of cleaning up corruption and restoring public faith in Parliament. Can he not see that, having failed to adequately protect the economy during his decade as Chancellor of the Exchequer (where his stewardship saw cheap credit send personal debt soaring, and wealth and borrowing being tied up in assets whose value has since plummeted), that he is in no position to promote himself as our economic saviour? And is he equally oblivious to the fact that, being an unelected Prime Minister – not to mention one who thick-headedly refuses to call the general election that would allow the public to clear Parliament of corrupt MPs – that he simply has no credibility as a would-be Parliamentary reformer?

With panic spreading among his backbenchers, who fear that Brown’s ever decreasing popularity, and the body-blows Labour have taken over the expenses scandal, have combined to lose many of them their own jobs come the next general election (whenever that may be), how long can he actually last? Will a drubbing in tomorrow’s polls divert him from his kamikaze nosedive toward a general election next year, and will there be any lemmings left to follow him over the cliff ? 

Here’s hoping that the European elections set the clock ticking on Gordon Brown’s final countdown.


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