When will the PMs go?

Two interviews, and two hints about when the Irish and British PMs will go… David Milliband tells the Today Programme that twelve months is a sensible guess, (sound file) though it won’t necessarily stop the Westminster junkies from tongue wagging about the planned manner of his departure… On Morning Ireland Bertie’s response will bring some dismay to his opponents, he’ll stay till he’s sixty and then ‘paddle his own canoe’…He just about wraps up the proportions of the hill the opposition has to climb to unseat this most managerial of taoisigh par excellence… Why stay on… “now we have problems of success rather than what brought me into politics, which was the problems of failure…”

His theme is risk of trusting an economic success with an untried oppositon, then goes on to suggest that the public wants to get more out of him, and lists a whole series of infrastructural problems in health and roads, which are still largely unaddressed. “I’m quite happy to rehearse the failures. Rather than be appalled by it, I have to get out and do something about it”. There’s also a reference to a seventeen percent population rise. Masterly use of context that is largely missing from oppositional discourse.

He also puts a slight damper on speculation that he’s going to put in a spending spree to entice voters “They (the voters) are not going to be conned by any party [on that score].”

A calm, steady start to the election campaign. There seems to be some parallels between Kenny and Cameron – cycling shorts for one. Primarily, it seems, that the best each can look forward to is to improve the parliamentary standing of their respective parties and put them within striking distance of government in the following election round. Though Cameron may think himself the luckier of the two since he will not have to face a proven incumbent next time around.

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  • It’s quite a decent situation for Cameron. On the one hand he has Blair in office who is doing his level best to cause angst in the Labour Party whilst a lame duck PM always helps the Opposition recruit and gain momentum in the polls.

    On the other, he can look forward to (possibly) a bitter succession battle followed by a dour old geezer who will take Labour leftwards again.

    Getting to striking distance for the next time round as Mick puts it is a realistic goal though it may be possible to go further than that this time round – even with the boundaries working against us in many parts of England.

    A lot will depend on the Lib Dems but does anyone think they are setting the pace at the moment?

  • Slugger O’Toole Admin

    Hard to tell with the LD’s. Their greatest weakness is their current strength in the south and south west. This is precisely the place where the small business men are getting antsy about paying Brown’s stealth taxes.

    Local Tory councils are also claiming responsibility for the renovation of schools (which the last Tory government allowed to nose dive into an outrageous decline), when they had nothing to do with the channelling of money towards it. So the clear water between ‘nice’ LD authorities, and ‘nasty’ Tory ones is becoming less apparent.

    My only reason for not putting all £24 in my Betfair account on the next government being Tory is the cultural resistence to them in the north, Wales and Scotland. That, and a genuine ambivalence over how Brown will perform against Cameron. The latter being something I understand is exercising the minds of the Cameron inner sanctum.

    Mick (sorry about the admin label)…

  • Turbopaul

    If the report into Lord Levy is damming and published as promised, during Sept, then Tony Blair will have no choice but to step down.

    If this report is published then Tony Blair should use his speech at the Labour Party Conference to step aside!!!!!

    As to who will provide the biggest challenge to Gordon Brown, David Milliband seems like Blair’s apparent heir so it is interesting to hear him speak of “one years time” as the timetable for Tony Blair to step aside.

  • slug

    Turbopaul dont you know that Tony is planning

    to appear on Songs of Praise and Newsround
    to travel on many modes of transport
    to be photographed in front of 20 iconic buildings built since 1997
    to be the soloist who WONT play an encore.

  • Turbopaul

    This letter supporting Tony Blair with 49 MP’s signing it seems to be like the Football chairman giving his manager his “total support”, just before he sacks him.

    Perhaps the Labour party is gearing up to stick the knife in at conference and the letter of support, supports this theory??????????

    Alasdair Campbell went becuse he was becoming the story and deflecting attention from the govt’s programme.

    Tony Blair should consider this before clinging on by his fingertips, damaging the govt and party in the process!!!!!!!!!

    Peter (permatan) Hain should re-form the “Time to go” campaign, only now it is food for thought for Tony Blair’s retirement date.