Tuesday, April 10, 2007

Early signs?

Among the varied geeky pleasures of watching the re-run of the 1992 General Election coverage on BBC Parliament yesterday (I was tidying up at the same time OK?): seeing Oliver Letwin as the unsuccessful candidate against Glenda Jackson; realising that Francis Maude has looked and sounded identical for the last 15 years; seeing George Galloway breaking party ranks to criticise a Labour leader for being insufficiently left-wing. Something was missing though. We saw John Prescott wheeled out to try and explain the Labour failure (not left-wing enough), we saw Robin Cook asked if he would stand against Kinnock, we saw Donald Dewar asked the reason for the Tories increase of their vote in Scotland, we saw Margaret Beckett, we saw John Smith, we saw Roy Hattersley, we even saw a jejune Tony Blair, sounding unaccountably plummier than he does these days.
Galloway identified the two likely candidate to replace Kinnock as being John Smith, the shadow Chancellor, and Gordon Brown, with Galloway predicting that Kinnock would prefer Brown, since Brown was a man in his image. As shadow at the DTI, Brown had played a prominent role in the campaign, he was tipped to be Kinnock's replacement and he had been partly responsible for the economic side of the Labour Party manifesto - the area that sunk them. But where was he on election night? The programme felt like a roll-call of the major players in British politics in the 90s, but Gordon, when the night turned sour, was nowhere to be seen. I doubt this has any real relevance but, in light of his Macavity reputation, it did seem rather striking.
Hope you all had a Happy Easter by the way.

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