Going when ready
In which I make a (wrong) prediction about Tony Blair
I’ve been getting behind on reading the papers. I’m still reading Sunday’s at the moment.
My eye was caught by an article on the Prime Minister’s resignation. I know he hasn’t, yet, but he is supposed to be, some time in the next few years. Apparently, lots of MPs are predicting he will leave in spring 2008. The general secretary of the Transport & General Workers’ Union, on the other hand, thinks he should go as soon as possible.
Now, this isn’t going to happen. He’s not going to resign next year, or the year after, unless he absolutely has to. At the earliest, he’s going to resign in the first quarter of 2009, giving his successor just over a year before the latest possible election date.
There isn’t a good rational reason for doing this, not at all. There’s a very good irrational one, though. Tony Blair has spent his Premiership haunted by the ghost of one rather undead woman: Mrs T. She held office for eleven years and seven months, near enough, and TB will do everything he can to try to beat that record. It’s not a sensible, rational reason for staying in office, but people often do things for stupid, irrational, hubristic reasons. He’s already equalled her election-winning record, and the closer he gets to beating her period in office, the more desperate he will be to hang on until he passes her. Every day closer to December 2008, staying in office will be more and more important in his mind; and to hell with how that leaves his successor. In three years’ time, I’m predicting, beating Mrs T will be the only thing he thinks about.