Is this the best team for Labour in opposition?

Is this the best team for Labour in opposition?

Has a PM Dave most to fear from the Gord-Ed duo?

For me the big news of the week was the report that Brown would not step aside from the leadership even if, as expected, Labour loses the election.

For everything we know about Brown is that he loves power and he is not going to give up easily the job he strove after for so long – even though, after May, the chances of him remaining at Number 10 are limited. Whether he’ll stick to the reported plan to stay on several years I don’t know but he’ll want to play a key part in deciding his successor.

Also I’m not convinced that an election defeat will do much to weaken Brown Central’s stranglehold on the party. You can hear them making the argument that it’s best to digest the defeat and wait before embarking on a contest that could expose the fault lines within the movement.

So I was very taken by the following from Simon Carr in today’s Independent:

“…… let’s cast forward to a Tory majority of 30 seats with Cameron leading the Tories. Who will best stand up at Labour’s despatch box to oppose him? ..The fact is that no one has the weight, the intensity, the loathing, the insane certainty, the fat-tank, bomb-proof forward momentum that Gordon Brown has. Released from the cares of high office, Brown and Balls together are the Opposition combination Tories would be wise to fear..”

He’s right. Brown’s best period in politics was in the ’92-’97 period when he inflicted blow after blow on the weakened Major government and he’ll be a tough cookie for Cameron & co to deal with.

So I’ve been taking the limited betting opportunities there are on Brown still being there on January 1 2011. I think that this is a great bet.

Mike Smithson

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