Tuesday, January 11, 2005

The Next Prime Minister

As events unfold in Great Britain leading to the next general election - expected to be May 5 - the power struggle within the Labour Party is grabbing headlines. Labour MP's have told Blair and Chacellor Gordon Brown to, basically, stop acting like children. Brown has come into particular criticism for saying to Tony Blair that "There is nothing that you could ever say to me now that I could ever believe."

Oh those crazy Brits. They make Bush and Powell look like bosom buddies.

In all seriousness, this latest lovefest reveals the intense internal battle within Labour ranks over who will lead them in the next term. It seems that Mr. Brown is intent on playing the role of John McCain, only at least McCain had the common decency to wait until 2008 to make his play for the lead role.

The real question as far as Britain is concerned is not whether Blair or Michael Howard will be Prime Minister after the next election, but will it be Blair or Brown? There is of course a chance that the Tories could win this next round of elections, but there's also a "chance" that the Democrats could win back control of the House and Senate in 2006. No, Labour is set to win a third term, but who will they pick to lead them?

Many American Conservatives like Tony Blair because he supported the US in its war in Iraq. All well and good, but that's a bit like supporting Stalin for his help in World War II. Appreciated, but maybe somone else with a less intrusive governing philosophy should be at the helm.

Okay, it's a bit unfair to compare Blair to Stalin - for the most part - but we conservatives should not be so quick to praise a man who puts Bill Clinton in a good light. Sadly for us we must also face the reality that our own President is not so very different from the Prime Minister, though the methods through which Bush hopes to achieve his policy objectives are slightly different. However, if the choice is between Tony Blair and Gordon Brown, then conservatives have no choice but to root for the guy who has our back. That said, when May 5 rolls around, I will still be cheering for the unlikely victory of the Conservatives at the polls. Unfortunately there might be a better chance for the Lib-Dems to achieve election day success, and I can't even begin to think about that would portend for Great Britain and for the War on Terror.

I will keep my eye on the election campaign over there. Things will only get nastier as the days unfold. Luckily for the Brits they only have a few months of campaigning to endure. Bush's second term has not even yet begun and we already are hearing speculations about 2008. Makes you wish sometimes that you lived accross the pond, but then again you'd have to live with European football, and that's enough to keep you in the US.


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