September 26, 2005


Brown to lead 'as a New Labour PM' (JAMES KIRKUP, 9/25/05, The Scotsman)

GORDON Brown will today declare that he will lead Britain as a New Labour Prime Minister, setting himself on a collision course with trade unions and the old left with a personal manifesto continuing Tony Blair's programme of reform.

In what the Chancellor describes as his vision for Britain for the next decade, Mr Brown will symbolically embrace the Blairite agenda he has often appeared to resist, telling the Labour conference the party "must and will be New Labour."

Mr Brown's deliberate vow to uphold Mr Blair's policies is a calculated attempt to appeal to former Tory voters in the centre-ground who worry that the Chancellor will try to take Labour back to the left when he assumes power in the next two years.

That transfer of power is now all but inevitable, with even the most Blairite ministers at the Labour conference in Brighton yesterday openly discussing an amicable, phased handover which would see Mr Brown appointed unopposed.

Bill Clinton's greatest failure was his inability to recast his party in such a fashion, as witness the near inexplicable fact that his own VP ran as a New Deal/Great Society liberal rather than as a New Democrat, ceding the Third Way to George W. Bush and the GOP.

Posted by Orrin Judd at September 26, 2005 7:58 AM

Why is Blair stepping down?

Posted by: erp at September 26, 2005 9:45 AM


Everyone has a shelf-life.

He's now got to the point where:

1) he's knackered
2) his party is more popular than he is.

Brown is almost certain to win the next two elections for Labour, Blair increasingly less so.

Posted by: Brit at September 26, 2005 11:32 AM

Could it have anything to do with Cherie">">Cherie and the revelations in a new book, Tony And Cherie, A Special Relationship, written by journalist Paul Scott?

Posted by: erp at September 26, 2005 11:49 AM

Cherie is a bit of a liability, it's true. But time is the biggest factor, as it was with Thatcher.

We just don't like them hanging around too long. Your two-term limit is an excellent idea. We don't have an official time limit, but we do have a pretty effective unofficial one.

Posted by: Brit at September 26, 2005 12:08 PM

Thanks. It's good knowing you guys are watching our back.

Posted by: erp at September 26, 2005 1:06 PM

He and Brown had long agreed that after Blair had his turn he'd yield.

Posted by: oj at September 26, 2005 1:29 PM

Gore nearly won with all that quasi-socialist claptrap, remember?

Another few years of our current immigration policy -- enough to turn states like Colorado and Arizona -- and the socialist rhetoric will be potent stuff for the Dems.

Posted by: Paul Cella at September 26, 2005 2:22 PM


We had peace and the strongest economy in world history--how'd he lose?

Posted by: oj at September 26, 2005 2:31 PM

According to you, because he didn't run as a New Democrat. In my view, he lost because he was rather unlikeable and because the country had grown fatigued with the Clinton era, a fatigue that would have only been compounded had Gore run on Clinton's record.

Posted by: Paul Cella at September 26, 2005 2:43 PM

I think Gore almost made it because of voter fraud, manipulation of military balloting, chicanery in overseas and absentee ballot counting. We were a little better prepared in 2004 and we better be very prepared to combat it in 2008.

Posted by: erp at September 26, 2005 2:52 PM

Clinton was unable to transform his party because he was (and is) unconcerned about anything other than himself.

Posted by: Robert Schwartz at September 26, 2005 6:20 PM

OJ is right that they've long been known to have made a 'gentleman's agreement' that Blair would acquiesce to Brown after his 'turn'.

But doubt has been cast on whether Brown and Blair have the same idea of how long a 'turn' should be.

Posted by: Brit at September 27, 2005 7:15 AM


You contradict yourself. Gore was unlikable because he ran as a screaming, angry populist. He was a scold during the debates, and thought he could intimidate Bush. In some ways, he ran as though 41 was his opponent

Had he run as a cheerful good time guy, promising to extend the Clinton 'prosperity', he would have won (probably 49 - 48 - 3).

But he was too proud to do it. Too smart. Too full of lust (for the job). Note that had he attacked Nader, he probably would have won. Clinton certainly would have tried to neutralize old Ralph, but Gore was too full of strategy to do it. However, an upbeat campaign surely would have painted Nader as a crotchety old fussbat, and drained him.

Posted by: jim hamlen at September 27, 2005 2:31 PM