David Blackburn

Will he stay or will he go now?

Will he stay or will he go now?
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Over at his WSJ blog, Iain Martin reckons that Baroness Vadera’s resignation might be an indication that Gordon Brown is considering standing down. Martin writes:  

‘Throughout his troubled premiership I have been of the view that Gordon Brown will fight the looming general election. If he ducks out then history will surely judge him accordingly as a PM who was feart to face the voters, having called off the election in 2007 after turning his move to Number 10 into a coronation with no other candidates.

But the resignation of Baroness Vadera makes me wonder if that view holds. Perhaps he really is considering standing down.

Of course, there are several possible scenarios behind her departure:

1) She simply felt she had done her bit and heard the call of the private sector. Wanting something to do while she waited for the civil service imposed purdah she must endure before taking a job outside government, she somehow wangled a non-paid post with the G20. That way she also gave her friend and boss a little cover to explain her resignation.

2) Her move was actually the PM’s idea, as Number 10 is reportedly spinning. Perhaps he’s going soft and just wanted her to be happy… but I doubt it.

3) He wants this because she will work flat-out on his G20 legacy - strengthening global co-operation on financial regulation. It shows he’s thinking about life after a likely general election defeat.

4) Or it was set up by Brown as a precursor to him standing down and moving this autumn to become some kind of global economic stability czar (specialist subject, national debt).

Let’s see.’

The third point’s intriguing – whilst Blair desires to be the President of Europe, Brown seems to fancy himself as the G20’s future Generalissimo. But does sending Vadera ahead to play the John the Baptist role mean that Brown is reconciled to standing down before the election? The nation might be crying: “In the name of God go”, but I suspect Brown was candid when he said he’d fight on.