Monday, August 03, 2009

How Gordon Brown has ensured Alan Johnson will be no threat to him

You are a prime minister under pressure. What do you do? Give your most attractive rival a job which ensure that everyone will soon hate him.

Since becoming home secretary, Alan Johnson has become the most prominent public defender of identity cards and of the extradition of Gary McKinnon. You may say that in both cases Johnson could have fought to be allowed to take a different line if he wanted to, but it does underline what a thankless job being home secretary is.

By appointing Johnson to the post, Gordon Brown has ensured that the more libertarian elements amongst Labour voters and (just as important to the prime minister) amongst Labour MPs are rapidly going off him. Johnson now looks far less like the man to recapture this important constituency for Labour at the next election.

You may think that this is just a Liberal Democrat complaining. Surely, I hear you asking, Labour should worry more about its core voters staying at home or voting Tory or UKIP?

Ah, I reply knowingly, just wait until the next scandal about paedophiles or escaped prisoners or asylum seekers. See how popular Alan Johnson is with them after that.

John Reid like to think himself as tough as they come, but his career did not survive 12 months as home secretary.

Very cunning, that Gordon Brown

1 comment:

dreamingspire said...

Very, very cunning. Mandy for PM in the autumn? Broon Chancellor again?