Gordon Brown resigns. Or does he?

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    10th May 2010

    CHECKMATE, SAYS THE PRESENT PM

    But has he checkmated the would-be king, the king-maker, his own party or the voters? Possibly all four.

    Not that I am suggesting that there was a semantic proviso in Brown’s leadership 0f the party peech. BUT, what if it does NOT “become clear that the national interest … can be best served by forming a coalition between the Labour Party and the Liberal Democrats”?

    If the above does not become clear, does Brown still resign as leader of the Labour party?

    Gordon Brown speaks outside Number 10 at 5:00pm today, 10th May 2010.

    Gordon Brown speaks of resignation outside Number 10 at 5:00pm today, 10th May 2010.

    Gordon Brown actually said this:

    “I would, however, like to say something also about my own position.

    If it becomes clear that the national interest, which is stable and principled government, can be best served by forming a coalition between the Labour Party and the Liberal Democrats, then I believe I should discharge that duty to form that government, which would, in my view, command a majority in the House of Commons, in the Queen’s Speech, and any other confidence votes.

    But I have no desire to stay in my position longer than is needed to ensure the path to economic growth is assured, and the process to political reform we have agreed moves forward quickly.

    The reason we have a hung parliament is no single party or leader was able to win the full support of the country. As leader of my party, I must accept that is a judgment on me.

    I therefore intend to ask the Labour Party to set in train the processes needed for its own leadership election.

    I would hope that it would be completed in time for the new leader to be in post by the time of the Labour Party conference. I will play no part in that contest, I will back no individual candidate.”

    [Brown’s full “resignation speech” here]

    With a deft move Gordon Brown has moved his piece. But is the king or even the kingmaker dead?

    Following Brown’s speech Nick Clegg confirmed that the Liberal Democrats are also negotiating with the Labour party.

    David Miliband, before the start of the 6:00pm Cabinet meeting, told friends that he would be interested in the leadership. Word is that the cabinet would be asked NOT to throw hats into the ring, yet.

    But I noticed this phrase of Brown’s to which none of the news reporters referred:

    “The reason we have a hung parliament is no single party or leader was able to win the full support of the country. As leader of my party, I must accept that is a judgment on me.”

    The lateral sideswipe? As leader of the other parties also failed to win full support, isn’t the judgement on them too?

    The arithmetic does not yet stack up adequately for an anti-Tory coalition, unless agreements have already been made on the quiet between nationalists and other minory parties and even a few independents.

    The Conservatives will be very angry about this, have no doubt. The atmosphere will NOT be as pleasant tonight in their two-handed get-together. And that is to say nothing about the press and their “not anOTHER unelected PM?”

    BREAKING NEWS. 7:00pm: FINAL OFFER.

    7:00pm: George Osborne has just announced that an offer of a referendum on the AV voting system will be made to the Liberal Democrats tonight as a “final offer”.

    7:10pm: William Hague has now confirmed this referendum offer.

    Clearly, as Mr Hague refers to the “second unelected prime minister in a row, and a government that would impose a voting reform without reference to the public” the behind-the-doors negotiations are now outside the closed doors. But Mr Hague would not commit to yeah or nay on Tory support for proportional representation if a Lab/Lib Dem coalition is the eventual outcome. He seemed somewhat rattled by today’s developments. Must say, I don’t blame him.

    I still believe that the only way for our politicians to help re-constitute the confidence of the public is for ALL three main parties to get it together in a national government as I first suggested here on May 7, 2010 @ 17:38. After all it’s the economy, stupid. Isn’t it?

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