What if Brown becomes “The Chancellor of the World”
An idea has been buzzing round my head all night and the more I think about it the more it sounds like a plausible theory that could totally overturn current thinking about the general election.
It might be recalled that in February Jackie Ashley in the Guardian floated an idea of Brown becoming a “a new global financial supremo” linked possibly to the IMF – a rumour that she said then was going the rounds.
What if there is indeed something in Ashley’s suggestion then last week’s events in London would have played a big part in making the case for Brown to get the job? In fact it is hard to think of anybody else better placed.
What if Barack Obama, seeing the useful role that Brown could fulfil in focussing the world on the crisis and at the same time helping him with his domestic US challenges, canvasses opinions from the G20 attendees and wins international support for the appointment?
What if Brown, seeing the opinion polls moving in his direction, feels that his honour is satisfied and that he can step down with his pride intact after a Labour leadership election has taken place?
What if the news agenda is totally dominated for weeks, as it would be, as the whole Labour movement focuses on electing someone who would be the next Prime Minister. In this scenario David Cameron and the Tories would be totally over-shadowed and would find it hard getting a look in.
What if the new leader gets his/her own honeymoon just as Brown did in the June – October period in 2007 with the Tories and Cameron continuing to be blanked out of the news?
What if the new person announces a very early general election – perhaps for September?
This would be a very difficult election for the Tories to fight. The very clear public mood for change that we’ve seen in the polls could be focussed on the new person and you could see a Labour overall majority.
Is all this going to happen? I’ve no idea but I was very struck by Brown’s responses yesterday to questioning about MPs’ and ministers’ expenses. There were other much bigger things to talk about, he seemed to be saying, so why bother me with trivia?