Prime Minister Gordon Brown is in heavy weather in a period when there are local elections and elections for the European parliament are coming up in June. It is feared that Labour will come out of these elections behind the Tories and the Liberal Democrats and thus will lose its leading position. Such a defeat could well mean that Brown’s career as PM is nearing its end.
The cause for this gloomy prediction is the revelation about taxpayer-funded expenses by Labour ministers and backbenchers. They allegedly made profits on their homes without paying taxes. High-ranked members of the Labour party have described Brown’s political tactics as “a disaster”. Brown is expected to axe a number of ministers in an attempt to repair the damage.
I think Gordon Brown never was a popular as his predecessor, Tony Blair. This is not the first blunder he made as PM, so to me it does not come as a surprise, and even without this scandal about taxpayer-funded expenses I do not think he will win the next general elections. Great Britain has changed since Tony Blair left No 10; the economy is failing, the sky is no longer the limit. Therefore, people are longing for new political and economic ideas.
Where the expenses scandal is concerned, I was actually quite relieved to read this. Apparently it is not just Dutch politicians who do not know morally right from wrong. Like the Labours ministers in this case, politicians are eager to claim that they acted according to the rules. However, they neglect to ask themselves if they acted according to moral standards.