Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Tories back in the saddle. Is this a horse they want to ride?

The werewolf is pleased that the eternally frumpy and unimpressive Gordon Brown resigned from the Prime Ministership of the United Kingdom. That simple act was long overdue. Brown was a dud extraordinaire.

Tony Blair, despite his flaws, was a tough act to follow. Every trait that made him such an impressive, likeable and charismatic PM, Brown seemed to lack. Where Blair articulated, Brown stumbled; when Blair charmed, Brown put to sleep; Blair project a moral conviction, whereas Brown seemed to unenthusiastically read retreaded talking points. Was their ever a more stark study in contrasts?

 Although a little left for the werewolf, Blair possessed a combination of personal tact, political deftness, and deep appreciation for the transatlantic “special relationship” that should define Anglo-American relations. Brown is a freakin’ Scottish dial-tone. Brown may be one of the most underwhelming and unimpressive leaders of a great western power since that joke of a U.S. President Jimmy Carter. At least Carter can find marginal redemption via his eccentric killer bunny sightings, naïve county bumpkin act and bad peanut farmer jokes.  Hopefully, with David Cameron as the newly ascendant Prime Minister, a degree of charm, conviction, style, and gravitas will be restored to the venerable office. Let it be noted that Mrs. Brown looked far more stately and elegant than her drab husband, something that took the werewolf  unawares.

This brings a second point to bear. It’s a shitty time to govern, anywhere in the civilized world. That unto itself should be a call to govern in order to try and usher in stability and a restoration of something better than what we currently have in place. However, given the United Kingdom’s bizarre electoral system, and the Tories shortfall of the minimum votes needed to form a government, the werewolf wonders if slipping into bed with the naïve and strangely out-dated Liberal Democrats is the best course of action towards achieving their long-term goals of righting the various deficiencies and hurdles Britain faces both economically and strategically. The last time a hung-parliament was formed in the mid-1970s, it lasted a few months before crumbling. Here are the question the werewolf wonders, will the Liberal Democrats prove to be reliable coalition partners who will deliver the needed votes on recovery centric legislation and fiscal austerity that the U.K. needs? Is there a risk of Labour’s recent reputation of do-nothingism and ineffectual governance being transferred to the Tories by entering into this untraditional coalition? Will voters be sympathetic and forgiving of the obvious hurdles or hold their new government to exacting standards?  Would it have been strategically sound for the Tories to eschew a coalition, and let Labour and the Lib-Dems govern ineffectually for a few months? There is a clear and definite risk to the latter and it is always dangerous to pass up opportunities in politics. However, I am trying to assess to best strategic move from an amateur political analyst perspective.I am well aware of the multitude of additional considerations.

If the werewolf were a Briton - in more than fan-filled honorary spirit - he would likely align himself with the Tories. The werewolf was imbued with a profound admiration and fondness from PM Thatcher from a young-age and holds her and her stewardship of the UK in the highest regard.  He is interested to see how Cameron will measure up given the profound circumstances surrounding his ascension, although he does welcome the fresh face at 10 Downing. Still, as noted, Cameron seems more like a creature of opportunity, and less like man of conviction.  I am ready to be proved wrong.

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