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View Full Version : Is it time Britain had an election?


Astor
07-26-2008, 07:54 AM
So, it seems that everyday the government finds new and innovative ways of embarrassing itself.

Nearly every day there's some new problem that is blamed on something else other than the government, or it's so-called 'revolutionary policies'. This, coupled with support for two wars that don't seem to be progessing very far, isn't helping them either.

And everytime there's a by-election or local election, the Labour party gets a complete beating. They came in third behind the BNP in Crewe, and have been beaten in every by-election since.

Is it time that, if Gordon 'Happiest man alive' gave us the opportunity, Britain as an electorate should give them the boot?

P.S. You don't have to be British to comment, i'd like to hear 'outside' perceptions of the situation as well.

jonathan7
07-26-2008, 08:14 AM
So, it seems that everyday the government finds new and innovative ways of embarrassing itself.

Nearly every day there's some new problem that is blamed on something else other than the government, or it's so-called 'revolutionary policies'. This, coupled with support for two wars that don't seem to be progessing very far, isn't helping them either.

And everytime there's a by-election or local election, the Labour party gets a complete beating. They came in third behind the BNP in Crewe, and have been beaten in every by-election since.

Is it time that, if Gordon 'Happiest man alive' gave us the opportunity, Britain as an electorate should give them the boot?

P.S. You don't have to be British to comment, i'd like to hear 'outside' perceptions of the situation as well.

Quick answer: Yup.

But it would make no real difference, unless there was a second coming of Guy Fawkes. The conservatives would get in, but I don't they would make any difference; democracies produce the governments most of their people deserve - We have fat, selfish, vein and greedy politicians... what does that say about Britian?

Pavlos
07-26-2008, 09:16 AM
It wouldn't happen, regardless of what you and I want (and I'd certainly like to see the back of Nu Lab), I'm afraid. :(

The Labour party could call for a vote of no confidence in their leader but they won't because the move would be political suicide. The Commons could call for a vote of no confidence in the PM but Labour holds a (massive) majority and they won't vote against him because it would be... political suicide. The people could rise up in a rebellion against the establishment, storming the Palace of Westminster and instating David Cameron as Lord High Protector of all the Universe before parading Mr. Brown's corpse around both the City and the Village of Westminster, lopping off his head and hanging it from Putney Bridge but they won't because the majority of people are politically apathetic.

I'm somewhat saddened that Gordon Brown will be remembered as the terrible Prime Minister rather than the brilliant economist. I know a few people who work in the City for investment banks and so forth -- all of whom will be voting Tory in the next election simply because they're, unsurprisingly, more competent -- and they say that when Darling comes out and says something about the economy, nothing happens; if Brown stands up and verifies it then the markets move.

Brown should have stayed at Number 11.

Astor
07-26-2008, 12:14 PM
The conservatives would get in, but I don't they would make any difference

Probably not, but surely they can't do any worse than cash-for-honours, Northern Rock and a myriad of other fiascos that have occured in the last 11 years.

We have fat, selfish, vein and greedy politicians... what does that say about Britian?

Very true, sadly. I watched question time after the local elections a few months ago, and Hazel Blears had the nerve to say that the voters were wrong, and didn't understand the situation - underestimating and insulting your voters on live television surely isn't a good way to win votes when you're losing them faster than rats on a sinking ship.

The Labour party could call for a vote of no confidence in their leader but they won't because the move would be political suicide.

Indeed. I saw that in the works yesterday - they were interviewing Hazel Blars about it - she said "it's not the time for an election" - which, I think roughly translated was "we won't, cause we'll lose it, and I want to hang on to power a bit longer"

I'm somewhat saddened that Gordon Brown will be remembered as the terrible Prime Minister rather than the brilliant economist. I know a few people who work in the City for investment banks and so forth -- all of whom will be voting Tory in the next election simply because they're, unsurprisingly, more competent -- and they say that when Darling comes out and says something about the economy, nothing happens; if Brown stands up and verifies it then the markets move.

I think that's because Brown's ego came into play here - he wanted a chancellor who wouldn't outshine him, and do as he says. In fact, all of his cabinet are 'yes men', most of whom would still be in political obscurity if he hadn't given them their jobs.

He wants to play at chancellor and Prime Minister at the same time.

Brown should have stayed at Number 11.

He should have, but he'd been planning this for ten years. Yet, in those ten years, I don't think he actually thought about what he'd do when be became Prime Minister.

mur'phon
07-27-2008, 06:42 PM
Warning: outside perception allert!!!

Yes, it should be an election, but I agree with J7, the only diference betwen B and C is a faster tounge and funnier jokes. What really buggers me though is that you didn't get an election when Bush lost his poodle.

Probably not, but surely they can't do any worse than cash-for-honours, Northern Rock and a myriad of other fiascos that have occured in the last 11 years.

Cash for honors, I agree with. Northern Rock was rotten apple that someone had to eat, no easy way out though they shouldn't have dragged their feet for so long. Anyway, when a party stays in power for 11 years, there will be scandals, that they are still in power sugests they cope with them well enough. Then again, this implies that "well enough" is quite bad indeed.
To be honest, I think labour is just suffering from having been in power for so long.

As for Browns skills as a chancellor, in normal circumsances he would be remembered as an exelent one. Being lucky enough to supervise nice growth, and canny enough to boost it through measures that wouldn't bite for a long time. Unfourtantely for him, theese are not normal circumsances, and "a long time" is right now, and it bites.

Darth InSidious
07-28-2008, 12:09 PM
I'm somewhat saddened that Gordon Brown will be remembered as the terrible Prime Minister rather than the brilliant economist. I know a few people who work in the City for investment banks and so forth -- all of whom will be voting Tory in the next election simply because they're, unsurprisingly, more competent -- and they say that when Darling comes out and says something about the economy, nothing happens; if Brown stands up and verifies it then the markets move.
I'm sorry, but he inherited a healthy economy and has been making ridiculous moves since which have pushed us towards this current situation. He's no more a brilliant economist than he is a brilliant Prime Minister.

Burnseyy
07-28-2008, 12:33 PM
Was it the last election where only (aprox.) 30% of Britain voted? Or am I thinking of something else?
Because if the non-voters are complaining now, then it's their own problem.

Personally, I don't care who's in power. Britain will always have its problems when it comes to politics and everyone always blames the person in power, even if they haven't caused the problem/added to it.

Though I do agree that Brown is probably the most depressing person on TV to watch -.-;

Marius Fett
07-28-2008, 12:42 PM
Though I do agree that Brown is probably the most depressing person on TV to watch -.-;

No, that would be the Queen giving her speech on Christmas day.. BORING

I'm sorry, but he inherited a healthy economy and has been making ridiculous moves since which have pushed us towards this current situation. He's no more a brilliant economist than he is a brilliant Prime Minister.

QFT.

The sooner Brown is replace by someone who actually knows what they're doing, the better.

Astor
07-28-2008, 12:58 PM
Personally, I don't care who's in power. Britain will always have its problems when it comes to politics and everyone always blames the person in power, even if they haven't caused the problem/added to it.

That reminds me of that advert with the cartoon who 'doesn't do politics'. Trust me, one day you will care who's in power - because they'll be trampling over your civil rights or whatever else.

That's exactly the kind of apathy that's gotten us into this mess. If the conservatives had gotten their act together in 2005, things might be marginally better now. (take note of the might, guys, before ya all jump on me).

Quanon
07-28-2008, 01:30 PM
And thats why its a good law to make go to the VOTE.

In Belgium you have to go and "report", else you risk a nice healthy fine or even prison without giving up a good reson not to vote.

Might seem oppressive, but you can still vote blank or color in the whole paper to make it "false".

I think its a good system as you at least stop and think before you vote blank.
IMO its also great to stop to get these politic FANATICS ( right or left wing) to give to much power to their party.

Though its still not a succes, as you might know its quite mess now in Belgium; but hey, what do they want we got about 3 or 4 (lost count) goverments to rule this silly little spot on the map. :lol:

Burnseyy
07-28-2008, 01:30 PM
No, that would be the Queen giving her speech on Christmas day.. BORING


at least she's learned how to smile.

:lol:

Astor
07-28-2008, 01:52 PM
And thats why its a good law to make go to the VOTE.

It is a good idea, but with all of our prisons already full to bursting, coupled with the no-doubt indignant pleas from the public, it would be difficult to implement - and the current government wouldn't approve of it anyway, as they'd lose immediately.

That's why I think Brown is going to choose the last available date for the next election - the 3rd of June, 2010. Poor Gordo's waited sooo long for his chance to swim in the big-boys' pool, and he'll ignore the lifeguard calling him in for as long as possible.

But I can see that Gordon's going to choose a lamb to slaughter at the first available chance - to blame a lot of stuff on, in a pointless attempt to shift the trouble from his door.

SW01
08-06-2008, 04:55 PM
Yes, Brown is finished - lets face it, he's getting the end of Labour's streak, why else would Blair have 'stepped down'? Brown was always going to be the leader who lost Labour's government stranglehold.

However, I don't think there would be any point to an election! Everyone is beginning to see that the Tories will win (and perhaps with quite a large majority), but Cameron's Tories are simply New Labour revitalised!

As a Tory supporter, I was disgusted to see some of Cameron's antics, especially the fiasco over Grammar schools. At least in NI I won't have to worry too much about areas such as education, but I feel sorry for anyone in England having to figure out who is going to be the next PM.

I would say, vote for Cameron. He won't be so likely to make policy u-turns once in government - he doesn't have any policies yet.

Astor
09-22-2008, 06:03 PM
Okay, I think it's worth resurrecting this thread rather than make a new one, given the new interest and talk of a possible leadership challenge.

Should 'Gutless' Gordon leave?

I think he should, but could we really trust Labour to call an election, as they should have this time last year? But who in the party could replace one of the worst Prime Ministers in recent history?

Surely it couldn't be David Miliband - A relative non-entity, who no-one had heard of until he became Foreign Minister last year. It might just be me, but does the man have a purpose?

I haven't seen him do any actual Foreign Ministering, other than simply standing in Whitehall and saying 'This is an outrage' and smiling a lot. And apparently he's the best person to replace the PM should the knife finally penetrate that thick skull of his.

If he's the best, I dread to think what the rest are like. Oh no, we already know that - they're all yes-men, who won't rock the boat because they'd still be underminister for household plants or god-knows-what if it wasn't for their being picked out of obscurity by a Prime Minister so desperate to disassociate himself and spite his former cabinet colleagues.

Gordon was only supposed blow the bloody doors off, not obliterate the government!

An election won't happen because it'll be a disaster. For them. After all, a Cabinet minister's first duty is to himself, and country second, right? I despise the Labour party, but i'd much rather have Blairites than Brown-nosers.

Also, what do people think of JK Rowling's 'donation' of 1 million to the Labour Party over the weekend? Will we be seeing Baroness Rowling of Hogwarts soon?

Web Rider
09-23-2008, 12:39 AM
That reminds me of that advert with the cartoon who 'doesn't do politics'. Trust me, one day you will care who's in power - because they'll be trampling over your civil rights or whatever else.

you mean like right now?

And thats why its a good law to make go to the VOTE.

In Belgium you have to go and "report", else you risk a nice healthy fine or even prison without giving up a good reson not to vote.

Might seem oppressive, but you can still vote blank or color in the whole paper to make it "false".


Not in Aussieland you can't. You have to actually VOTE for something, someone, write-ins are OK I think, but you can't mess up your ballot on purpose, besides, when electronic voting gets bigger, you won't be able to do that anyway.

Oh yeah, and because everyone is required to vote, the "Sex Drugs and Rock&Roll party" just got elected 'cause everyone under 25 was feeling like having a good laugh on voting day.

[quote]I think its a good system as you at least stop and think before you vote blank.

hah, no, the law says you have to vote, not think.



I guess that's one thing I really love about the States, elections are every 4 years regardless. And then there's the midterms but I'll ignore that for now. Canada must have elections every 5 years at least. I dunno if Britain has a similar law, but perhaps now's a good time to do so. Even if it's every 6 years or something, if you like who's in power, just vote them to stay in, but at least it gives you a fixed date at which you KNOW you can remove them instead of waiting for government to decide it needs to unelect itsself.

Pavlos
09-23-2008, 07:35 AM
Not in Aussieland you can't. You have to actually VOTE for something, someone, write-ins are OK I think, but you can't mess up your ballot on purpose, besides, when electronic voting gets bigger, you won't be able to do that anyway.
I think that under UK electoral laws and whatnot a spoiled ballot is a legal vote and has to be counted. So I would imagine there'd be an option in an electronic vote (as weird as clicking "Vote: Spoil Ballot" would be...).

If there are enough ballots struck through to gain a majority then its a pretty resounding vote of dissatisfaction with the system. People who say they won't vote because it won't make a difference should spoil their ballots and make sure their dissatisfaction is registered.

I guess that's one thing I really love about the States, elections are every 4 years regardless. And then there's the midterms but I'll ignore that for now. Canada must have elections every 5 years at least. I dunno if Britain has a similar law, but perhaps now's a good time to do so. Even if it's every 6 years or something, if you like who's in power, just vote them to stay in, but at least it gives you a fixed date at which you KNOW you can remove them instead of waiting for government to decide it needs to unelect itsself.
The term is five years in length but the Prime Minister (and the Commons if they successfully cast a vote of no confidence) has the power to call a general election earlier than that. Generally, we get an election every four years; it's rare for a government to use up the full five years but I imagine Mr. Brown will want to cling on to Number 10 for as long as possible.

SW01
09-23-2008, 08:02 AM
Yes, I believe Brown should go. For all his years as a successful (for which read 'lucky') Chancellor, he is now leading us into an abyss. The man doesn't seem to have a real stance on anything, much less the will - or personality to enforce it. Any policies he has are just leftovers from the Blair leadership.

We have seen a successful vote of no confidence before. If Brown keeps going as he is, he is likely to end up with back-bench revolution. Though, the likelihood of the government party supporting such a vote without a strong alternative leadership candidate is slim. Have no doubt that the rest of the Commans could be coerced into following the no confidence vote, but without backbench government dissent, it is doomed to failure.

That, however, does not ensure any security for Brown. A candidate could be drawn from Labour's ranks, possibly one of the other Blair ministers that didn't get a chance to run. Though not as eminently recognisable, perhaps, as Brown or Blair, they may consider the Lord Chancellor and former Minister for Foreign Affairs, Jack Straw, who seemed to manage to avoid irritating the public too much.

It would still require a great deal of work for the party to increase the public profile and popularity of a candidate. I'm not sure that any new potential leader would have a chance of catching up to Cameron.

I think it must be concluded that if any election were to take place now, whether by Brown's decision or no confidence, the Tories would win quite decisively. Labour will know that better than I do. Thus, until what I said above happens, expect Brown's bumbling to continue.

In my opinion, he should have called that snap election when he was briefly ahead in the polls. Not that I have any love for the Labour party.

But, of course, he could be removed and replaced by his party without an election, as in the case of the Iron Lady, Baroness Thatcher. Though what does that say for democracy? It was bad enough when Blair left and 'nominated' Brown to lead. That was his masterstroke, I think. He is the ex-PM who led Labour for a decade, then stepped down. Brown is the leader who will end the party's majority. Nicely done, Tony.

On Rowling, if Brown wants to get arrested or removed from the Commons, well it just makes the job easier! If he even recommends her to enter the Lords now, he will have committed an act of political hara-kiri. Do you think a politician like Cameron is going to let that go unnoticed?

Astor
09-23-2008, 09:14 AM
Yes, I believe Brown should go. For all his years as a successful (for which read 'lucky') Chancellor, he is now leading us into an abyss. The man doesn't seem to have a real stance on anything, much less the will - or personality to enforce it. Any policies he has are just leftovers from the Blair leadership.

Or stolen from the Conservatives. Inheritance Tax, anyone?

That, however, does not ensure any security for Brown. A candidate could be drawn from Labour's ranks, possibly one of the other Blair ministers that didn't get a chance to run. Though not as eminently recognisable, perhaps, as Brown or Blair, they may consider the Lord Chancellor and former Minister for Foreign Affairs, Jack Straw, who seemed to manage to avoid irritating the public too much.

Jack Straw is certainly a more promising prospect than the media's current darling.

It would still require a great deal of work for the party to increase the public profile and popularity of a candidate. I'm not sure that any new potential leader would have a chance of catching up to Cameron.

I think that if Brown is removed, the only way the party could go is up. If they called an immediate election, that is. No one wants two unlected Prime Ministers in a single term.

I think it must be concluded that if any election were to take place now, whether by Brown's decision or no confidence, the Tories would win quite decisively.

What about the Lib Dems? :xp: [/sarcasm]

But, of course, he could be removed and replaced by his party without an election, as in the case of the Iron Lady, Baroness Thatcher. Though was does that say for democracy? It was bad enough when Blair left and 'nominated' Brown to lead. That was his masterstroke, I think.

Oh definately. He was pretty unpopular up until then.So he found someone who made him look a Saint by comparison. Although I don't think he forsaw it destroying his party.

SW01
09-24-2008, 12:05 PM
And now Ruth Kelly has stepped down! Cause for celebration, certainly!

She apparently stepped down for 'family reasons', but few really believe it. The BBC brought up the rumour that she was dissatisfied with Brown's leadership, but she claims that it is untrue, that Brown is a 'towering figure of the government, the Labour Party, and the world stage'.:lol:

Your thoughts?

Astor
09-24-2008, 12:11 PM
And now Ruth Kelly has stepped down! Cause for celebration, certainly!

Too late for my education, unfortunately. :(

She apparently stepped down for 'family reasons', but few really believe it. The BBC brought up the rumour that she was dissatisfied with Brown's leadership, but she claims that it is untrue, that Brown is a 'towering figure of the government, the Labour Party, and the world stage'.:lol:

Don't forget the 'clunking fist'. :lol:

Your thoughts?

Rats, and sinking ships come to mind.

Balls. I'd like him to be next.

SW01
09-24-2008, 01:53 PM
Balls. I'd like him to be next.

This reshuffle slated for next week ought to be interesting, they always are, but I'm expecting a lot of 'personalities' to disappear, to be replaced with unknown Brown-ites. There was talk of Kelly's resignation being in some way linked to a cabinet revolt against Brown. If that was the case, I expect him to pack the cabinet with 'yes-men'.

I don't think Brown has much time left. He should leave before he is pushed, in my opinion. His tenure so far has just been a mire of controversy. Thinking of Northern Rock, the Treaty of Lisbon (no referendum for us. Thankfully the Irish killed it.), the current economic crisis, being slow to move British troops out of Iraq (as he indicated he would do at one stage early in his premiership). Not to mention his utter lack of democratic credentials!

Labour has endured in government for eleven years. It is an impressive feat. But, now they are finished. The next election will be a bad defeat for them. Remeber what happened in 1997 to John Major's Tories? Same sort of circumstances. A party that has governed for more than a decade, suffered a change of leader, and tried to carry on, but took a thumping at the election. Major was a far superior PM than Brown, though, in my opinion.

Astor
09-24-2008, 02:01 PM
This reshuffle slated for next week ought to be interesting, they always are, but I'm expecting a lot of 'personalities' to disappear, to be replaced with unknown Brown-ites. There was talk of Kelly's resignation being in some way linked to a cabinet revolt against Brown. If that was the case, I expect him to pack the cabinet with 'yes-men'.

I thought he'd done that when he formed the cabinet last year. Obviously, they aren't saying yes enough.

Miliband's a dead cert to go, I think, especially with all the talk of his viability as a replacement. I'd like the defence minister to go, or at least have one that isn't in charge of two departments at once.

Labour has endured in government for eleven years. It is an impressive feat. But, now they are finished. The next election will be a bad defeat for them. Remeber what happened in 1997 to John Major's Tories? Same sort of circumstances. A party that has governed for more than a decade, suffered a change of leader, and tried to carry on, but took a thumping at the election.

He knows his days are numbered, and is unfortunately clever enough to realise that if an election occurs he'll lose.

Major was a far superior PM than Brown, though, in my opinion.

Agreed. Although, i'd much rather have either Thatcher or Churchill.

Pavlos
09-26-2008, 09:36 PM
Labour has endured in government for eleven years. It is an impressive feat. But, now they are finished. The next election will be a bad defeat for them. Remeber what happened in 1997 to John Major's Tories? Same sort of circumstances. A party that has governed for more than a decade, suffered a change of leader, and tried to carry on, but took a thumping at the election. Major was a far superior PM than Brown, though, in my opinion.
I wouldn't forget that Mr. Major managed to win an impressive victory for the Conservatives in the face of rapidly growing support for new Labour.

Miliband's a dead cert to go, I think, especially with all the talk of his viability as a replacement. I'd like the defence minister to go, or at least have one that isn't in charge of two departments at once.
David or Ed Miliband? Axing David Miliband is a suicide move in terms of keeping peace within the party. Despite being significantly to the left of Blair (I agreed with his incisive speech on green being the new red), he is the Blairite darling. If he is removed from cabinet it will ignite a row between the two factions which will make the current leadership debate look like peanuts; the uber-Blairites will view it as a move by the Prime Minister to erase (with all the style and elegance of a new Soviet leader airbrushing his predecessor out) Mr. Blair's mark from both government and the party. As for his brother... Ed's a nice guy... people like him and thanks to Blair and Campbell, that's what politics is all about.

Agreed. Although, i'd much rather have either Thatcher or Churchill.
Mrs. T? She and her government are responsible for a wonderfully dynamic economy (so dynamic, in fact, that its decided it wants to collapse in on itself: what architects she and her blue Labour followers would make) but they're also the root reason of why I have to pay around £100 for a ticket to go from Liverpool Lime Street to London Euston last minute. The Thatcher government is the reason why now, in these times of economic troubles, workers are left without a viable voice and can do little more than moan a bit. She is mother to Blair. Her government is responsible for the de facto nationalisation of universities making them the play-things of politicians and businesses rather than places of study and research. The utter neglect of the NHS until new Labour (often with the naïvety of a small, wide-eyed child with a large lollipop) began to throw money at it.

Don't be so quick to idolise someone simply because they were influential. Harold Wilson's government was behind the welcome liberal reforms of the 1960s and the foundation and funding of universities like Warwick, York, and Bath. They also drove the economy -- already built on debt thanks to the war -- into the ground.

The Brown-Blair agenda has made a lot of mistakes, all of which are well-publicised (from university fees to Iraq) but look at some of the (much-needed) reforms they brought in. Civil partnerships, actual spending on public services, the minimum wage, an elected London mayor, the freedom of information act.

/Polly Toynbee mode off

SW01
09-26-2008, 10:05 PM
I wouldn't forget that Mr. Major managed to win an impressive victory for the Conservatives in the face of rapidly growing support for new Labour.

That is one of the reasons I have for viewing him as superior to Brown. Despite the irony of the scandals following his 'back to basics' stance on morals...

The Brown-Blair agenda has made a lot of mistakes, all of which are well-publicised (from university fees to Iraq) but look at some of the (much-needed) reforms they brought in. Civil partnerships, actual spending on public services, the minimum wage, an elected London mayor, the freedom of information act.

The actual quality of many of the reforms does not stand scrutiny.

Civil partnerships. A House of Lords case in 2004 cemented many of the rights of a civil partnership without the ceremony. The government was essentially pushed to do this.

Spending on public services. All well and good throwing money at a thing, but it has to be properly spent. NHS spending increased greatly, but little visible improvement has been made except for waiting lists. The targets just called for corners to be cut to reach them in some cases.

The minimum wage, well they had to get something right.

Elected Mayor of London. They got Boris! :lol: (I like him, but he is a twit.)

The Freedom of Information Act is a nice idea, but it has a 30 A4 page list of exceptions, and a restriction on access when such access is 'not in the public interest' or not permitted on the grounds of national security.

What about the final emasculation of the House of Lords? ID cards? Education?

Pavlos
09-27-2008, 08:02 AM
Yes, I said that Labour had made mistakes and I am in no way a supporter of their agenda. I just dislike this black and white view of politics that people seem to take on.

SW01
09-27-2008, 09:13 AM
Yes, I said that Labour had made mistakes and I am in no way a supporter of their agenda. I just dislike this black and white view of politics that people seem to take on.

Well, that's true. Too many people make their vote based on routine, rather than what the party actually does. I seem to remember hearing someone say on TV, after Labour shafted them out of something, 'I'll probably still vote Labour, but not as enthusiastically.' :lol:

And, people automatically assume that the Tories will be the opposite of Labour - unfortunately not as true as it once was. If Cameron gets in, we still bid farewell to Grammar Schools, and we'll still see many of Labour's current policies go forward. (As Astor said, many were nicked from the Tories in the first place.)

In my opinion, Blair killed off the real opposition, in the Lords, by getting rid of hereditaries, most of whom were cross-benchers (independents), and now Labour is trying to get the Upper House to be wholly elected, Cameron's support of which was another betrayal.

Astor
10-03-2008, 07:35 AM
Well, Brown's reshuffling his cabinet as we speak...

And the shock news of the day has got to be Peter Mandelson returning to the Cabinet.

More here (http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/uk_politics/7648551.stm)

Will this strengthen his chances come the next election, or is he prolonging the inevitable?