Monday, 26 November 2007

The Scorched Earth Strategy of Impossibility Brown




I will do such things — what they are yet I know not, but they shall be the terrors of the earth


Gordon Brown is a fretful, brooding man, and his frustration is unbearable. By choice he would now be plotting the downfall of the Tories on a battleground of his own choosing 18 months hence. In practice (barring mental breakdown in the interim), he knows he will be cornered and humiliated in 2010.

Subliminally if not consciously, his thoughts are turning to a scorched earth strategy. Evidence ? The reckless and utterly infeasible goals he now proposes – an unachievable house-building programme, one million of which to be ‘zero carbon’! but still affordable to the masses; an equally impossible range of energy and emissions targets which are to be ‘legally binding’, whatever that could possibly mean; & raising the school leaving age to 18. Designed to show he is focused on the long term and will not buckle in the face of negative headlines.

These are not the programmes of a man who expects to be around to be judged on their success or failure, but rather bear-traps for his enemies, be they Cameron or Miliband or the less corporeal terrors that torment him.

Trotskyites, whose concern is the collapse of bourgeois society, are wont to make ‘impossibilist’ demands. Prime Minster Brown is embarking on destructive, impossibilist programmes: and he wields considerably more power with which to cause damage thereby than any British Trot ever did.

ND

19 comments:

mutleythedog said...

To right Mr Unslicker, I genuinely think he is going a bit mad! Imagine waiting and wanting something so much and for so long, then when you finally get it, it turns out to be nothing like you expected, and basically a bit shitty.

Nick Drew said...

Know what you mean Mutt, it's a tragedy of Shakespearean proportions

but in this case, call me hard-hearted, even mustering all my humanity I find it really difficult to sympathise

you canines are so much more forgiving of human weakness

Ed said...

Yes, it must be hard to get to the top and then to find out that people think you are a w*nker!

dearieme said...

Please be informed:- Scots tend to avoid the word "ill", often replacing it by "no weel". In Mr Brown's case, the whole diagnosis would be "no weel in the heid". Similarly "I am in excruciating agony" becomes "it's a wee bit sore".

hatfield girl said...

It may be that we should contemplate the general election to be held by 2010 as a non-event. Should it be held (and visualising reasons to extend the usual parliamentary 5 years is simple) then the terms upon which it is held are wholly within the Leader's grasp.
When they speak of 'Gordon's second term' so certainly, when his vision's policies need to run for 2 and 3 times the full length of a parliament, and at times up to 2050, we should know that the failures of Aznar (terrorist strategy of tension misjudged in strength and timing and blows back in regime face), Berlusconi (failure of technical adjustment of the vote because computer fix chief lost nerve in the middle of the voting, and anyway Prodi had made compensatory arrangements) and Scotland (Alexander tried belt and braces approach with computer fixes, postal vote fixes and confusing ballot papers annulled fixes but the anti Labour vote overwhelmed them all, just), will not be made with this regime.

Ed said...

I agree with HG. I can easily imagine this government cooking up an excuse to "delay" the election, or for standing on a very authoritarian ticket after a "tragedy". I just don't trust them at all.

Nick Drew said...

(there now, you see Ed 2:16 and dearime were just beginning to work on my sympathies, and then comes HG and Ed for a second bite, and I am sharply brought back to my senses)

On balance, I think we get our election. The most likely trajectory is that Brown soldiers on, doped up to the eyeballs (that wife of his could be in a powerful position if she wanted), but strapped into the El Cid position by the dumb, panic-stricken, but still fairly disciplined ministerial phalanx. By the time Balls or Alexander starts trying something unpleasant the civil service will have seen the way the wind is blowing and will not cooperate

there is no plausible counter-coup by the last generation of big-ish beasts (Clarke, Milburn, Reid or Hewitt, ...)

though I have to accept a Straw putsch is not out of the question; there is little you could rule out with that man

CityUnslicker said...

apart from Condi, ND

hatfield girl said...

So shortly he'll be in the El Cid position, (you've got to be right there, ND, just think of those weirdly straight legs and his rigidity), and the country is run by Balls and Alexander, if they can hold off Straw (who has the advantage that he's writing our new constitution and our new bill of rights).

It's worth looking up electoral fraud - a fine, exhaustive account of what awaits us all.

electro-kevin said...

Brown is a liability and extremely dangerous at the moment - rather like a wounded beast.

I wish someone would put him out of his misery.

mitch said...

Would a shooting war with Iran justify no election? ...just thinking is all.

Nick Drew said...

CU - see what she says if he gets the top job !

HG - it's also worth looking up what Mr Straw did to obtain the presidency of the NUS ... (he knows what I mean)

EK - welcome back and I'm sure Straw would be happy to oblige (see above): he may well prove more decisive than certain others have been when holding the dagger

Mitch - welcome. Well, a shooting war with JAPAN didn't. Nor did a looming war with Iraq save Mrs T (despite her trying hard to play that card). I honestly don't think a HoC majority could be whipped for suspending an election, and HM the Q might even be stirred to play one last constitutional hand (or am I fantasising, HG ?)

Nope: he will go down like Stalin - they'll wait quite a while before they dare to check whether he's really 'gone'.

CityUnslicker said...

speaking of electoral fraud - look their chairman of the labour party had to resign today - just fancy that!

Newmania said...

Of all of them the single stupidest may be the 18 year old leaving age . Only someone who went to a really selective school could vote for that.

At that stage of the Play Lear is , of course , more bonkers than , brooding . He has no power to do anything and the pathetic "I know not what" is intentionally comic. He identifies with the storm and the tragic pity is the sight of a sad old git who think he is calling upon the heavens.

Only the presence of the Fool and the pretend fool divert the audiences laughter and retain the tragic tone.

Who is the Fool and who is Kent ? Who, if any, is our sane representative suffering almost unbearable agonies watching the foolish and the mad ?

Buggered if I can think of anyone in the cabinet.

dearieme said...

Brown didn't stay at school until he was 18. Come to that, neither did I. Nonsense on stilts.

Nick Drew said...

Not in the Cabinet; I think you're right Mr Mania

((Andrew Marr ?))

I feel La Toynbee and the Tub of Lard each have roles to play in this for our delectation, I look forward to hearing from them both

Mark Wadsworth said...

Excellent post, only by the time I had read the equally excellent comments, I have forgotten what urbane and pithy comment I was going to make. Ah well.

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