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Darling the next PM?

Gordon Brown wants Ed Balls as chancellor - Times Online
GORDON BROWN is ready to promote Ed Balls, his closest political ally, to chancellor this week in a high-stakes gamble to restore Labour’s political fortunes.
According to a top-level leak from Downing Street, the prime minister wants to make the appointment the centrepiece of a sweeping reshuffle on Friday, after the local and European polls.
With Balls, the schools secretary, one of the most divisive figures in government, the move would be a huge risk, which could trigger a ferocious backlash within the Labour party that could spiral into a leadership challenge.

Disastrous election results, followed by a bizarrely stupid choice of balls, the knives will be out. Of course Darling will be offered the Home Office as Jacqui is on the way out. But what if the Blairites have had enough, and Darling refuses. How about Darling being the replacement PM to guide the Labour Party to the next defeat and then the chosen son can take over unsullied by defeat? Worth a flutter?


Madness for sure, but intriguing. For professional gamblers, the best bet might have been on an accumulator taken out in 1997 of three successive Labour Scottish PMs. There's a bet...

Darling won't survive the election. His seat was marginal before the expenses scandals. Otherwise a very sensible idea.

Sacking a senior minister would normally be a sensible strategy, but it won't work for Gordon because he can't realistically blame Darling for anything. Brown was chancellor for ten out of the last twelve years, and nobody in the country thinks things only started to go wrong after Darling took over.

If the Tories have any nous they will use an election victory to eliminate Labour as a political entity. The first step is to crush the quangocracy, thus saving tens of billions for middle-class tax cuts and removing a big chunk of the Left's power base. Then reform party financing to make it illegal for unions to fund Labour (if corporate donations are also outlawed this is an acceptable quid pro quo). Ban any advertising of government or Civil Service jobs in the press (use Craigslist) and watch the Grauniad and Indescribablypisspoor implode. Demolish the LEAs and shutter the teacher training colleges. Kill off a half-dozen ministries, notably DCMS, Regions and International Development. Gerrymander constituencies to reverse the in-built advantage to Labour. Reduce the size of Parliament to 400 or so, and use the fact that the Celtic fringe have their own assemblies to cut the number of MPs they return to 75% of England pro rata. These are all politically doable, and they'd keep Labour out for forty years.

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