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Brown for PM? Who asked us?

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posted on Jan, 24 2007 @ 07:46 AM
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I suppose this is a bit of a rant here, but who asked us if we wanted Brown to take over from Blair? Shouldn't there at least be an internal Labour election for their new leader?

I don't see why Gordon Brown should be allowed to just walk into the job without some form of process.




posted on Jan, 24 2007 @ 08:51 AM
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There will indeed be an internal Labour Party election to select their new leader when Blair leaves Downing Street (who will become the Prime Minister). Brown is the favourite (by far) to win it, and I'd be extremely surprised if he didn't. But he won't be allowed to simply takeover.

[edit on 24-1-2007 by Ste2652]



posted on Jan, 24 2007 @ 09:52 AM
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Nobody is ever "asked" who they want as PM.

We elect our own constituency MPs to Westminster.

We don't elect the PM, the political parties do that when they choose who is to be their leader, providing that party gets the most MPs elected to Parliament.

Gordon Brown will be duly elected (or selected, if there is no contest) as Labour party leader and will become British PM when that happens.

There is no general election contest for PM and there never ever has been
(despite how some insist they see it).



posted on Jan, 24 2007 @ 11:30 AM
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Both Ste2652 and sminkeypinkey are right that there is no legal requirement for the people to vote on a PM. That is not the UK system.

I do agree there is a moral case for this as at the last general election, many people who voted Labour, vote for Tony Blair.

Just to move off topic slightly.

Other than death in office, how many times in the last 100 years, has an PM been selected not off the back of a general election?



posted on Jan, 24 2007 @ 02:43 PM
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Well excuse me but for most I reckon that the only 'moral case' here is seen by those who imagine a new and slightly more palatable tory leader means the tory party should get a chance to reverse their loss in may 2005.

Fat chance.


Brown will face the electorate at the timing of his choosing, not that of the tory press or the tory party.
Those are the rules.....and some of the comment in the press is little short of a calculated and deliberate playing on some people's ignorance of the rules.
He may go for a mandate 'of his own' quickly (within a year) or he may wait the almost 3 full years or so he will legally have. That's part of how our democracy works.
It's a representitve party-based democracy, not a Presidential system.

I'd just remind tories how right and proper they thought it was when it was a tory PM (Thatcher, nov 1990) stepping down and how they backed (Major as PM) clinging on and how they did not call a general election until almost the very last possible legal moment in the 5th year of that 'term' (april 1992).

Frankly it's a damned cheek - the tory party have never done what some of them and their pals in the press are now insisting Brown should do, ever.
But it is all related to the general campaign to insinuate Brown will be in some way 'illegitimate' along with the repeated anti-Scottish xenophobia the tory side are trying to whip up.

It's also stunningly illogical and a total double-standard.
They claim they hate what they describe as Tony Blair's 'presidential style' and yet they treat the British PM-ship as exactly that.

Sir Alec Douglas Home was another tory PM who stepped in after being appointed (without a vote) to lead the tory party and be PM when Harold Macmillan retired in 1963.
He served as British PM from October 1963 not choosing to face the electorate until losing the next general election in October 1964 (again at almost the last possible legal moment 5 years into the 'term').

S'funny how torys are all for 'tradition', 'stability', 'the national interest', the law and the rules when it's regarding themselves but when it's Labour suddenly it's a matter of 'legitimacy', mandate or the public needing to endorse the change.

I can relate to genuinely 'ordinary members of the public' holding the view that perhaps it would be better if Brown sought public approval asap on stepping into the PM-ship but as for the tory party, their supporters and their friends in the tory press?
They are simply being (as per) outrageous and thoroughly hypocritical.


[edit on 24-1-2007 by sminkeypinkey]



posted on Jan, 25 2007 @ 06:54 AM
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What galls me is the behind the scenes horse trading to ensure that no one challenges Brown for PM.

At least with the Tories last thing, there was more than one candidate.

I think if the Labour party were to encourage an election, this would defuse some of the bad feeling here. Not that many ordinary people would get to vote on the next PM.

Not sure how this works in the Labour party? MPs, Trade Unions and members?

I know the Tories changes things recently on how the leader is elected.

At least if there was an election for leader of Labour/PM, and you have a LAbour MP, you can at least see them and attempt to influence them.



posted on Jan, 25 2007 @ 11:13 AM
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Originally posted by Freedom ERP
What galls me is the behind the scenes horse trading to ensure that no one challenges Brown for PM.


- No there isn't.

There is a discussion within the Labour party over how the Labour party conducts its affairs (and the selection of party leader is most certainly the Labour party's own affair).

More than a few hold the perfectly reasonable view that there is no point going to the expense and trouble of having a contest if Brown is likely to win by the thumping margin he is certainly likely to win by.


At least with the Tories last thing, there was more than one candidate.


- If you're referring to Cameron then yes, they did hold a contest, but they were not actually in power at that point.

If you're referring to John Major then yes, they held a vote......but only because they had to continue with the mechanism the tory MPs had used to ditch Thatcher.
Getting rid of Thatcher was why there was a contest in the first place; it is not as if Thatcher had stood down and thereby triggered a contest.


I think if the Labour party were to encourage an election, this would defuse some of the bad feeling here.


- I think the vast bulk of this supposed "bad felling" is simply coming from the tory party, the tory press and their supporters.
Why on earth should the Labour party put itself through hoops just for them?


Not that many ordinary people would get to vote on the next PM.


- Nobody ever 'elects' the PM in the UK.

The PM is the leader of the largest political party at Westminster and that is a matter for the political parties themselves.

We do not have a Presidency.


Not sure how this works in the Labour party? MPs, Trade Unions and members?


- If there is a contest it will be decided by the regular party membership, the affiliated Labour party membership in the Trades Unions and the Labour Parliamentary MPs.

The rules of the contest
Each prospective candidate needs the support of 44 Labour MPs before they can put themselves forward.
The winner will be decided by a ballot of trade union members affiliated to the Labour Party, ordinary Labour Party members, and the Parliamentary Labour Party, the results of each of which will be weighted to make up a third of the total vote.
Any candidate with a majority at that stage will become leader.

en.wikipedia.org...(UK)_leadership_election,_2007


I know the Tories changes things recently on how the leader is elected.


- Yes indeed; very very recently discovered the PR benefits of party democracy but went through all sorts of rows to ensure it didn't turn up another Ian Duncan Smith or Michael Howard.



The rules of the contest
Much speculation surrounded the review of the rules, as it is widely estimated that the system eventually adopted could prove a help or hindrance to particular candidates with strong support in certain areas of the party. However, on September 27, 2005, the proposal to change the rules was rejected. [2]


[edit] The current rules
Under the rules adopted in 1998, under which both Iain Duncan Smith and Michael Howard were elected, a leadership contest can be initiated either by the incumbent leader resigning or by the Parliamentary Party passing a vote of no confidence in the present leader. The latter is called if 15% of the Parliamentary Party write to the Chairman of the 1922 Committee. If a vote of no confidence is passed, a leadership election is called and the incumbent is barred from standing in it.

The returning officer is the Chairman of the 1922 Committee. Candidates must be nominated by any two MPs taking the Conservative whip. If only one candidate stands (as happened in the 2003 leadership election) then they are elected nem con (uncontested).

If two candidates stand, then the election immediately proceeds to a ballot of all members of the party. If more than two candidates stand, then MPs first hold a series of ballots to reduce the number to two. On each round, the candidate with the fewest votes is eliminated. (If two or more candidates tie for last place, as happened in the 2001 contest, then the ballot is repeated, and if the tie remains, all bottom-placed candidates are eliminated.) Candidates may also withdraw between rounds (this also happened in the 2001 contest).

The series of ballots by MPs continues until there are only two candidates remaining. At this point the all-member ballot begins; this lasts for some weeks. To be eligible to vote, an individual has to have been a paid-up member of the party for at least three months. The candidate who tops the poll is declared leader.

en.wikipedia.org...(UK)_leadership_election,_2005


At least if there was an election for leader of Labour/PM, and you have a LAbour MP, you can at least see them and attempt to influence them.


- Oh come on Freedom ERP, that's really really 'thin'.

In any event you are always at liberty to write to any MP directly if you choose.


[edit on 25-1-2007 by sminkeypinkey]



posted on Jan, 25 2007 @ 01:09 PM
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Originally posted by sminkeypinkey

Originally posted by Freedom ERP


At least if there was an election for leader of Labour/PM, and you have a LAbour MP, you can at least see them and attempt to influence them.


- Oh come on Freedom ERP, that's really really 'thin'.

In any event you are always at liberty to write to any MP directly if you choose.


[edit on 25-1-2007 by sminkeypinkey]


Thin. Quote right sminkeypinkey. What MP is going to care what a constituent says on the leadership issue. (As if any MP is going to change their mind anyway.)

If there is an election for the Labour party leadership, they will have made their mind up aleady and if you MP gets a promotion in the first Brown cabinet resuffle, you know they were beyond changing.

I have also spoken with people from all three of the major political parties, and it is not just Tory or SDP who have expressed concern at the next PM. Labour voters I have spoken to are just as concerned as other party voters.

This concern is not just a "Tory" thing.



posted on Jan, 25 2007 @ 03:39 PM
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Freedom ERP,

When you spoke to Labour voters did you ask if any of them were unaware that Blair would step down during this term as PM? I find it hard to believe that anyone who cares about who is our next Prime Minister could claim to be so ill informed so I fail to see how they could claim to have been voting for Blair alone.

I voted for a Labour candidate standing on the same manifesto as both Tony Blair and Gordon Brown in the full knowledge that Blair would not be in office at the end of the term and that I was giving my mandate for a five year Labour Government whoever was their leader.

However, you may rest assured, there will be an election for the next Labour leader (although I rather doubt that the alternative candidates will have any serious credibility).


[edit on 25-1-2007 by timeless test]



posted on Jan, 25 2007 @ 04:13 PM
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Originally posted by timeless test
Freedom ERP,

When you spoke to Labour voters did you ask if any of them were unaware that Blair would step down during this term as PM? I find it hard to believe that anyone who cares about who is our next Prime Minister could claim to be so ill informed so I fail to see how they could claim to have been voting for Blair alone.

[edit on 25-1-2007 by timeless test]


Afraid not Timeless. I think you over estimate the intelligence of the vast majority of UK voters. Most of them are only thinking of their pockets.

I am interested that you think there will be a contest for the Labour leadership. Other than Brown, who else do you think?



posted on Jan, 25 2007 @ 04:44 PM
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Originally posted by Freedom ERP
What MP is going to care what a constituent says on the leadership issue. (As if any MP is going to change their mind anyway.)


- Well the fact is that the choice is the Labour partys, not just the Labour MPs.

The Labour party leadership is a matter for the whole Labour party and it is not something open to a vote by the general public.

The general public will get a say when the next general election comes along, as is the way of these things.
That may be soon or not. Those are the rules.

But as far as the leadership of the Labour party is concerned that is a matter for the Labour party - that is to say, the whole Labour party and not just the MPs.

Naturally it will be a choice from amongst the elected Labour MPs
but, if contested, it will not be their choice alone, it will be the choice of the whole party.


If there is an election for the Labour party leadership, they will have made their mind up aleady and if you MP gets a promotion in the first Brown cabinet resuffle, you know they were beyond changing.


- You seem to be under the illusion that it is a matter that the MPs will decide alone, it isn't.
If there is a contest it will be decided by the whole party, not just the Labour MPs.


I have also spoken with people from all three of the major political parties, and it is not just Tory or SDP who have expressed concern at the next PM. Labour voters I have spoken to are just as concerned as other party voters.

This concern is not just a "Tory" thing.


- Well I'm sorry but I beg to disagree......

.......and SDP!? How very topical, 1981 and Limehouse declaration of you!


The tory press and various tory Mps are the only people in any number I have seen persistently making any kind of issue out of this.

Everybody but everybody I know in the Labour party has been counting the days until Gordon Brown takes over we have known its inevitable and totally expected
(and years of press reports, interviews and various vox pops at conference etc show I am not in a minority here) .

The only reason there might not be a contest is because the entire party knows Gordon is it's overwhelming clear choice (and has known that for years).

For the sake of 'appearance' and 'form' you might possibly find a 'young gun' like Milliband standing or maybe even John Reid but I doubt it as Gordon will win by miles whoever takes the job on, frankly what's the point?
It's a waste of time, effort and resources.
A pointless distraction in fact.

Gordon brown has been the Labour partys clear choice to succeed Blair pretty much ever since Blair took office.



[edit on 25-1-2007 by sminkeypinkey]



posted on Jan, 26 2007 @ 06:22 AM
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Originally posted by sminkeypinkey

Originally posted by Freedom ERP



If there is an election for the Labour party leadership, they will have made their mind up aleady and if you MP gets a promotion in the first Brown cabinet resuffle, you know they were beyond changing.


- You seem to be under the illusion that it is a matter that the MPs will decide alone, it isn't.
If there is a contest it will be decided by the whole party, not just the Labour MPs.

[edit on 25-1-2007 by sminkeypinkey]


I understand that the leadership of the Labour party is voted for by the whole party. It is just I have the right and ability to discuss this with my MP easier that joining a trade union or the Labour party

As for how many of the voters realised that the leadership of the Labour party would change before the next general election. Not many

And the arguement that a leadership contest would be a waste of time and money for the Labour party. Giving the party the right to elect the next leader of the party can never been seen as a waste of time or money. It gives the leader a mandidate. Unless Brown gets a mandidate from the party, party members will be able to say, " did not elect Brown to the leadership so it is not my fault and I would have voted for some other leader"

I can remember when Thatcher was removed from the leadership of the Tories and no one expected John Major to become the next leader. The front runners were Hestletine and Ken Clark.

Just same could happen to the Labour party



posted on Jan, 26 2007 @ 07:34 AM
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The only way Brown can become leader is by declaring his candidacy and either winning an election or, if no other candidate declares, he wold be elected unopposed.

No one would be able to say it was anything other than entirely legitimate.

Whilst there is still a (very) outside chance that Reid will have a go it appears less and less likely by the day but I also still believe that a token candidate of some description from the left will emerge although with nil chance of success.

Finally, I can only say that if "not many" Labour voters realised that Blair would not see out the full term then there's an awful lot of deaf dumb and blind voters out there.

[edit on 26-1-2007 by timeless test]



posted on Jan, 26 2007 @ 10:57 AM
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Originally posted by timeless test

Finally, I can only say that if "not many" Labour voters realised that Blair would not see out the full term then there's an awful lot of deaf dumb and blind voters out there.

[edit on 26-1-2007 by timeless test]


It would be fun to find out. And I wonder how close to the truth you might be, Timeless



posted on Jan, 26 2007 @ 04:26 PM
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Originally posted by Freedom ERP
As for how many of the voters realised that the leadership of the Labour party would change before the next general election. Not many


- No.

People cannot claim ignorance here.

Tony Blair said he was stepping down in Oct 2004; months before the may 2005 general election.

It has at several various points been the biggest political story there is in the UK and few can honestly claim they were completely unaware that Blair is going and soon and that Brown is almost certain to replace him
(it has been being talked about here, quite literally, for years).


And the argument that a leadership contest would be a waste of time and money for the Labour party. Giving the party the right to elect the next leader of the party can never been seen as a waste of time or money.


- It can be if the result is so overwhelmingly going to be for Brown, as it is.

Who on earth wants to just go through the motions? What for?


Unless Brown gets a mandidate from the party, party members will be able to say, " did not elect Brown to the leadership so it is not my fault and I would have voted for some other leader"


- No, not when the party knows itself well enough to know Brown is going to win by miles (as it does.....just like every serious commentator out there).

What candidate is going to step up to be thrashed out of sight?

Their own canvassing will be telling them how futile it would be.


I can remember when Thatcher was removed from the leadership of the Tories and no one expected John Major to become the next leader. The front runners were Hestletine and Ken Clark.

Just same could happen to the Labour party


- It is nothing like the same.

No-one really expected Thatcher to go at all.

So the subsequent leadership election was hardly one predicted.
Major was simply the safe middle-ground choice for the Thatcherites and Hesseltinies, who wasn't seen to be involved in her deposing.

[edit on 26-1-2007 by sminkeypinkey]



posted on Jan, 29 2007 @ 05:15 AM
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Thanks for all the replies guys.

It's all a little academic to me anyway because in N.Ireland we can't vote for the UK government! The Conservatives do stand here, but don't many votes, but Labour refuses to organise a party in N.I.

That's why we have sectarian parties here I think.



posted on Feb, 28 2007 @ 01:04 PM
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It seems there might be more contenters for the top job. I for one welcome this.

It will be interesting to see who else will stand?



posted on Feb, 28 2007 @ 02:21 PM
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Yeah, but it's unlikely that they'll get very far. I'd hazard a guess that the only person who stands a chance at taking Gordon Brown on and winning is David Milliband (who, I have to say, looks a promising politician), who has said he will not stand against Brown.

politics.guardian.co.uk...

An interesting article, I think.



posted on Mar, 1 2007 @ 08:09 AM
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Other than the hassle and cost issue of running an election for the next leader of the Labour party, why does everyone think Brown is the natural choice.

I don't think all of the Labour party are in agreement with the direction the party has taken since Blair became leader.

Why no strong candidate from the Left of the party? If Brown is elected, then the Labour would move even more to the center ground rather than moving back to its roots.



posted on Mar, 1 2007 @ 01:38 PM
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Labour won't have a left candidate for a while now (depending how left-wing you mean... Gordon Brown is to the left of Tony Blair, for instance, but neither are socialists) - they dabbled with socialist policies in the 1983 election, and it gave a Tory landslide with a 144 seat majority. Generally, you'll find that for the Labour Party to take a left-wing stand, the Conservative Party has to take a right-wing stand and vice versa. They basically try to balance each other out on the political spectrum - right now, Labour moved to the centre under Tony Blair's leadership and the Conservatives are doing the same thing under David Cameron.



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