February 11, 2006


Clarke sabotages Brown's hopes of easy handover (Patrick Hennessy and Melissa Kite, 12/02/2006, Daily Telegraph)

Charles Clarke has thrown a grenade into Labour's plans for a smooth transfer of power to Gordon Brown by claiming the Chancellor may yet face a leadership contest.

The Home Secretary's intervention shatters the carefully choreographed plan at the top of government for the Chancellor to succeed Tony Blair unopposed when the Prime Minister chooses to step down. Mr Clarke is understood to have used a pre-recorded interview for the BBC to suggest strongly that Mr Brown is by no means certain to enjoy a "coronation" and that a contest would be welcomed by certain sections of the Labour Party.

His timing is likely to anger Mr Brown as the comments were made immediately after Labour's disastrous by-election defeat in Dunfermline and West Fife on Thursday.

A succession fight -- a la Bill Bradley vs Al Gore -- is all they need to make them abandon the Third Way as completely as the Democrats did.

Posted by Orrin Judd at February 11, 2006 8:39 PM

Democrats never desired, visualized, comprehended, or worked to attain your frigging third way. They wanted SOCIALISM . Out of the starting gate, they wanted to RAISE TAXES, NATIONALIZE HEALTH CARE, AID COMMUNIST CHINA, until Newt Gingrich and Phil Gram slapped them around. Nuf said. Wake up, smell the roses.

Posted by: h-man at February 12, 2006 6:50 AM

Smell the roses? Forget the roses. Smell the coffee..take amphetamines, do anything but snap out of it.

Posted by: h-man at February 12, 2006 7:00 AM

Yet, instead, Bill Clinton balanced the budget after decades of deficit, passed two major free trade bills, signed Welfare Reform, passed no new entitlements, etc.. Odd sort of socialism.

Posted by: oj at February 12, 2006 7:50 AM

Newt Gingrich was far more responsible for all that than President Clinton, except for NAFTA and it was the Republicans who laid the groundwork for that. One need only observe the difference between the first two years and the last six, i.e. between when there wasn't a Republican majority and when there was.

Posted by: Annoying Old Guy at February 12, 2006 3:23 PM


Certainly having a party more ready to govern as he'd run was a big help, though the budget deal and at least one trade bill came in the first two years.

Posted by: oj at February 12, 2006 4:13 PM