There’s quite a lot ado about parliamentary expenses at the moment, a little bit locally, but to paraphrase the Prime Minister, there’s a whole shitstorm going on in the United Kingdom right now. Even as Kevin Rudd clings gingerly to repeat-offender Joel Fitzgibbon like one does with a somewhat disliked cousin, it is beginning to look as though the ever-escalating UK expenses scandal might be the straw that finally breaks the back of the Brown Labour Government.
Home Secretary Jacqui Smith is reportedly set to resign from Cabinet, and Communities Secretary Hazel Blears resigned in a shock announcement today. Now backbenchers are threatening to push a petition letter throughout the partyroom calling for Gordon Brown to abdicate, and the Guardian has taken the extraordinary step of calling for the Prime Minister’s resignation in an editorial:
All must agree that the die is cast and a hard judgment made. Otherwise progressive politics will be dragged down at a general election in May 2010 that could lead to a much bigger defeat than Labour suffered in 1979. That might bring a chance for other parties to take it forward, as the Liberal Democrats are trying to do in this election. But they are not placed to enter government. Labour has a year left before an election; its current leader would waste it. It is time to cut him loose.
It’s a little unfair that Gordon Brown should be made to pay a price for the current expenses drama, a drama in which every sitting member of parliament has a stake. The Guardian editorial is nevertheless spot on. Gordon Brown has been given a good run, but he and his government remain on an express train to electoral irrelevance at the polls next year unless something drastically, and changes very soon indeed.
Roll on David Miliband as a fresh alternative to Gordon Brown, and a man of more substance than David Cameron.