Should Gordon Brown stand down?

I say dump all three and let Caroline Lucas move in – hoorah!

Seriously though, I know what you’re thinking – ‘stop blathering on about the election and get back to your usual witty and intelligent take on the highs and lows of single parenting.’ Or something along those lines I’m sure… Well, I’m not about to apologise for another election post, even if it is a little off topic, because this stuff matters.

Sure it may be a bit dull, seeing the same recording of Clegg getting out of a car repeated over and over, but the decisions being made at the moment are crucial. If Clegg can stick to his guns and hold tight to his dream of proportional representation, they could even change the face of politics for ever.

A poll was apparently taken today that showed that two-thirds of us think Gordon Brown should have conceded defeat as soon as the result came in. I can see that his dogged determination to cling to power could be annoying, and it would be easy to interpret it as him just being a bad loser, but I’m actually on the side of the minority in this case (no change there then).

Brown isn’t trying to claim victory, he is just doing what’s perfectly within his right. Sure, Labour didn’t win, but the neither did the Tories. Hard to believe as it is, Cameron let what at one point was a massive lead in the polls, slip back to the point of not even being able to secure a majority. He won a lot of extra seats, true, but it was hardly a landslide.

I don’t claim to be an expert, but what I can do is put myself in Gordon’s Brown shoes. Imagine you’ve waited years to get to Number 10 and when you finally do you have a crappy few years, overshadowed by an inherited war, a global recession (for which half the country seem to blame you personally), and a gaggle of MPs who bring disgrace on parliament by abusing the expenses system. Apart from anything else, you’d be wanting the chance to put it right wouldn’t you?

Brown is an economist, and if nothing else I believe he knows how to manage the economy. It must be hugely frustrating for him to think he’s not going to be able to put his recovery plans into action – even more distressing to think Cameron is perhaps just a muffin basket away from ruining it all by prematurely slashing his way through government and publics sector spending, gamboling merrily through Number 10 gathering up paperclips.

Aside from thoughts of the deficit, as a woman who has lived in over 20 houses in her lifetime, I can see why Gordon is so keen to stay put. Moving house is one of the most stressful things you can do – who can blame him from wanting to avoid the chore of defrosting the freezer and waiting a month for his broadband to get reconnected?

I am of course hugely competitive and a terrible loser, so on reflection perhaps not the best person to be arguing Gordon’s case.

So what do you reckon – would you stay or would you go?


P.S. While we’re on the subject of votes, (see what I did there?), check out the links on the left where you can vote for me in the MAD blog awards and the Dorset Cereal blogging awards. My election pledge – ‘Vote for me and I’ll show you my muesli’.



  1. 8 May, 2010 / 8:52 pm

    I’m annoyed at all this hype about how Gordon Must Go. In my interpretation it’s his constitutional job to stay there and make sure there’s someone to run the country, whether or not it’s him. I’d want to be out there with all my stuff if it was me. I think staying on and making sure the rooms are aired till it’s sorted is a very honourable thing.

    • 9 May, 2010 / 1:56 pm

      You’re right – if he had just stamped his feet and run off to hand in his notice we’d have no one in charge at all at the moment.

  2. R.
    8 May, 2010 / 9:10 pm

    If Gordon Brown really believes that Cameron will ruin everything if he takes over he must stay as long as he can do so legally. That means to attempt to secure a governing coalition. If he was a Machiavellian operator for Labour he would give the job to Cameron right now and let him deal with the mess and see him shoot himself and the country in the foot, then, Labour can return to power. Brown could have left earlier but he thought he needed to stay on to help fix the problems even though as a leader in the elections he is a liability. Even if under the deal he was to leave Number 10 he could still have some say on how things are run from behind the scenes if his party is involved and one must assume that he trusts his party more than he does the Conservatives to run things.

    In my opinion, Gordon Brown shows himself to be someone who actually cares, believe it or not, and the party also, and as I said, if they were mean Machiavellian operators they’d pass the baton to Cameron right now and see him damage things so they can swoop in and capitalise on that.

    • 9 May, 2010 / 1:57 pm

      I totally agree – if he were thinking selfishly in terms of the Labour party it would be easy to just say ‘go on then Cameron, we’ll pass on this one’ and then step back, ready to take over when it all goes pear shaped. By wanting to stay on I agree he is showing he really cares about the country.

    • 9 May, 2010 / 1:59 pm

      Steve! He is an actual person you know, with a wife and children. What is it excatly you think he has personally done that warrants a death sentence??

  3. 8 May, 2010 / 11:09 pm

    I’m with Gordon (!) – if he wants any hope in having a say in getting things back on track then his only option is to talk about a coalition government…. good luck to him though!

    • 9 May, 2010 / 2:00 pm

      Good luck indeed – he’s certainly going to need it to bring it back from here!

  4. 9 May, 2010 / 8:35 am

    He won’t and can’t stand down until there’s someone to take over – Cameron hasn’t formally claimed victory and asked Liz if he can form a government. I’m quite taken with the notion that we’re effectively living in a state of anarchy!

    • 9 May, 2010 / 2:03 pm

      We’ll all be on the streets soon smashing shop windows and stealing tellies. I’ve never really got that – surely it would be much simpler to just open the door? And don’t we all have tellies already?

  5. 9 May, 2010 / 2:08 pm

    I totally agree with you, so well put! Unfortunately the Tories have got ALL the main papers, bar the Guardian and Mirror on their side, all of whom are happy to discredit Brown. I’m quite happy for Brown to keep on “squatting”. Like you say, he has way more economic experience than schoolboy Osborne (thought makes me shudder as I write…) and besides, Labour is the party that cares about the kiddies. Tax breaks for the little ‘uns Dave? Nah! Tax breaks for millionaires! The nation was duped. I for one, knew that if I abstained, it would be a blue vote. We can only keep our collective fingers crossed that national interest is indeed put first. Thanks for your post! x

    • 9 May, 2010 / 6:21 pm

      It’s a good point about the papers – I was listening to the review of the news on the radio this morning and they were talking about the role the media had played in crushing the surge in support for the Lib Dems. The tabloids in particular play a massive role don’t they in influencing public opinion? – an obvious statement perhaps but is it right that they have so much power??

  6. 10 May, 2010 / 11:17 am

    What I find distressing is the amount of – or rather lack of – charisma that GB seems to have. I know that in the era of the ten second sound bite and perma-tan politicians it is easy to disregard personal and political charisma as the tinsel on withered pine that is Politics – but watching GB interact with the hoi-polloi is like watching a particularly excruciating episode of The Office. He seems to lack any form of social interactive ability; he’s like Jodie Foster in Nell.

    Because of this he has developed an unnerving ability to alienate himself politically; this is fine – and possibly desirable – if you’re a back bencher, but suicide if you’re Prime Minister. He struggles to be even personable – that’s politics 101.

    He was given the job as a royal succession and his political and personal qualities were not tested upon the general public or international diplomatic arena.

    I think he needs to go. Whether his heart is in the right place or not, whether he can add up better than MS Excel or not or whether he is a ‘nice bloke’ or not – he is not a statesman, an international leader. For that he needs to go.

    • 10 May, 2010 / 12:32 pm

      Personally I find it very attractive if a man can manipulate his macros deftly, but I see your point. It’s a bit of a shame though isn’t it that politics so often comes down to style over substance?

      • 10 May, 2010 / 8:57 pm

        I think in politics style is substance and substance is style and real politik is knowing which is which.

  7. 11 May, 2010 / 4:52 pm

    I’m afraid the election has now lost its bite and has become rather dull as they all fight it out. As for Gordon Brown surely he’d be pleased to retire to Scotland with the kids – I mean he always looks like he hates doing his job and has zero connection with the ‘common wo/man’ a cornerstone surely of every successful politico?

    I’ll vote for you but frankly I prefer granola you know that calhorrific american version of muesli?

    • 11 May, 2010 / 8:30 pm

      I agree – I think he’ll thrive back in the bosom of his family and his constituency.

      I’m pretty sure Dorset Cereals do a granola I can bribe you with.

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