Monday, December 10, 2007

Opposition Politics

We live in a world focused by opposition. We must remember this has its limitations. Whilst no-one would deny that there is good and bad in the world and sometimes one person's good is another's bad - rain is good news for umbrella sales - the view of life as only understandable by extremes is daft.

So Gordon Brown had a bad month. When two or three crises came a calling in a row he did not demonstrate a sure pair of hands as Blair used to but rather exhibited 'How dare these bad things happen on my watch.' Now we would probably excuse those who stand for leadership a certain amount of arrogance - pushing yourself forward modestly is almost impossible - but in my judgement (and that of many others to) Brown didn't respond well.

Now to the opposition bit. Opposition politics doesn't see a problem to which they can contribute a solution but a wounded animal who can be killed off and then they can rule the roost.

So a wounded animal can expect a further kicking if he happens to be Prime Minister, not a gentle encouragement to dust himself off and go again. That Mr Bean analogy is going to stick for a while yet. And you know, I am more and more convinced that this isn't quite as good a thing as those who wave the flag of democracy might suggest.

Someone think of a better way. I can't.


Mike Peatman said...

With you there Steve. This government may be
a) corrupted (at least in the case of some)
b) mistaken in some of its decisions
c) incompetent in some areas of its responsibilities

but what ever happened to 'new politics' and constructive opposition? It lasted as long as the opposition was behind in the polls and they needed to look nice.

Alastair Gregg said...

As I read your post I was reminded that the opposition previously branded Brown as 'Stalin'.

Firstly it struck me that that label didn't stick very long.

Secondly, I thought from the opposition’s point of view, if he had been Stalin he would have killed off all the opposition.

I suppose sometimes you have to question what you want in a leader. I for one would prefer Mr Bean to Stalin, although neither is ideal.

Also, like many leaders the actual Mr Bean is more popular abroad than in his own country, where we are mostly sick of him

Yaw Shin Leong said...

Hello Steve,

Warm Greetings from Singapore (a place where opposition parliamentarians hardly exist)

As an active member of the political opposition here. The title of your post caught my attention.

I noted the validity of your criticisms on opposition politics and appreciate your frank perspectives.

Best Regards

Yaw Shin Leong

Anonymous said...

>As I read your post I was reminded that the opposition previously branded Brown as 'Stalin'.

>Firstly it struck me that that label didn't stick very long.

The "Stalin" gibe came from Mr Brown's colleagues not his enemies.

See, for example, here back in March by the ex-head of the Civil Service and Permanent Secretary in the Treasury:

It seems to me that it will stick as long as he continues to exhibit control-freak tendences. In my opinion that will be until he leaves politics.

Matt Wardman