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2007: A Political Review

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posted on Jan, 7 2008 @ 06:06 PM
What events and occurrences in British politics throughout 2007 stood out for you all? Who were the winners and who were the losers? Here are a few of mine:

1) Tony Blair's departure. The biggest political event in 2007, in my view - a guy who ran the country for ten years, divides opinion like Margaret Thatcher, was at the forefront of rebranding the Labour Party and making it electable as well as (rightly or wrongly) involving the United Kingdom in Iraq. His exit from British politics on June 27th, although expected for a long time, was nevertheless a huge change. Which leads nicely on to...

2) Gordon Brown's accession to the premiership. After some grumbling about a 'coronation' from elements of the Labour Party and the wider public, Brown was throw straight into the deep end with floods, terrorism and disease. The electorate initially loved him, taking Labour ahead in the opinion polls to a level they hadn't been to for years. And then it all started to go wrong... with talk of an election in the air, and Brown still ahead in the opinion polls, the Conservatives wheeled out their secret weapon...

3) At the Conservative Party conference, Shadow Chancellor George Osborne announced a pledge to increase the threshold for inheritance tax to £1million. This took the wind right out of Gordon Brown's sails, which led to him calling off 'The Election that Never Was'. This was a great turning point in political fortunes as the Conservatives pushed ahead in the polls and Labour dropped back. The Government is yet to regain the initiative, but the new year 'Brown Blitz' has already begun in which the Prime Minister will attempt to regain the initiative.

4) The SNP victory in Scottish elections. Although it was extremely close (the SNP had only a one seat lead over Labour), the nationalists managed to gain the upper hand and scrape a victory and cause yet another headache for Westminster. What with Plaid Cymru (the Welsh nationalists) getting an increased share of the vote in the Welsh Assembly elections, who knows where (if anywhere) the trend will lead?

5) The return of devolved government to Northern Ireland. The most troubled Home Nation of the United Kingdom set itself firmly back on the road to peace and reconciliation when once bitter enemies Ian Paisely and Martin McGuinness agreed to share power in the Stormont Assembly. Apparently they get along like old friends now, too. Certainly one of the happier moments of 2007.

So... the winners?

Gordon Brown - Finally got the job he wanted.

David Cameron - Quite a spectacular bounce back in the latter months of the year, capitalising on the non-election. Secured his leadership of the Conservative Party until the next election at least.

George Osborne - The man who set the ball rolling for the Conservative comeback... a potential future leader, perhaps?

Alex Salmond - Finally became First Minister of Scotland.

The People of Northern Ireland - A restored assembly, firmly demonstrating that a return to The Troubles is unacceptable.

And the losers?

Gordon Brown - From conference season onwards, his fortunes changed dramatically. Watch out for an attempted comeback over the next few weeks.

Tony Blair - Lost the top job in British politics. It wasn't the public who forced him out, but his own party.

The Union? - With apparent nationalism on the rise in some areas of the United Kingdom, the future looks somewhat less stable for the Union.

Any events to add? Disagree with my choices? Any alternative perspectives? Fire away!

posted on Jan, 10 2008 @ 12:02 PM
I would certainly agree that the power sharing agreement is Northern Ireland is a significant event and should see the end of a great deal of the violence directed at each side and howful give Northern Ireland a better platform to grow from.

I think Labour, of the three major parties has lost the most in 2007 and the chances of the next Government being Labour are much reduced.

Rightly or wrongly, and it is wrongly, many people are annoyed they have not had the opportunity to vote Gordon Brown in as leader and hence Prime Minister. Labour is still scarred with the Iraq war, and while it may not be the major influence factor in the next general election, you can bet the other parties will use it as a weapon.

I do think the Brown accquired himself well with the flodding and did seem to get the Government reacting and moving in the right direction. I suppose we expect any Government to get going in the light of such events.

In balance, the Government will typically be seen as the loser as it has to govern, and the other parties can spend a great deal of their time, looking at the Government and founding out their failures, and then saying how much better things would be with a change of government.

The big losers are the UK people as different parts of the UK have different policies on education and healthcare.

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