And he’s OUT!!!

By DeusExMacintosh

Labour’s Gordon Brown has resigned as UK prime minister after three years.
Mr Brown has officially tendered his resignation to the Queen at Buckingham Palace, and recommended Conservative leader David Cameron succeed him.

Speaking alongside his wife Sarah outside No 10 Downing Street, he said the job had been “a privilege” and wished his successor well.

He has stepped down as Labour leader and will be replaced by deputy Harriet Harman until a successor is elected. His decision comes as the Tories and Liberal Democrats are poised to agree a deal to form a government.

Mr Brown said he had taken the decision to resign after concluding he would not be able to form a government after days of talks between the parties. In an emotional farewell speech outside No 10, Mr Brown said he had “loved the job” and it had been “a privilege to serve”…

After leaving the Palace, Mr Brown returned to Labour headquarters to thank party staff. He told them that the election defeat was “his fault and his fault alone”.

BBC News

So we’re all in agreement then.

22 Comments

  1. Posted May 12, 2010 at 5:11 am | Permalink

    Thank Christ that’s over. It was becoming embarrassing.

  2. Posted May 12, 2010 at 5:18 am | Permalink

    Until 7.15 this evening, that funnie was going to be Gordon Brown shouting through the mail-slot of number 10 “You’ll never take me alive!”

  3. Peter Patton
    Posted May 12, 2010 at 5:20 am | Permalink

    Amen to that. Through all this, I’ve realized just how foreign Britain and Australia have become to each other. Maybe it was selective reading and listening, but it struck me that the overwhelming concern of anti-Tories was Tory government “cuts.” As if governments exist purely to tax, borrow, churn, and pork-barrel.

  4. Peter Patton
    Posted May 12, 2010 at 5:28 am | Permalink

    How secure/stable do you think this coalition will/can be? Or do you expect y’all be trotting back to the polling booth before the Season is well and truly and over!?

  5. Posted May 12, 2010 at 5:31 am | Permalink

    Not sure, Peter. We’ll need to see the cabinet composition, and what the agreements are. Apparently that news will be out in the next hour or so.

  6. Posted May 12, 2010 at 5:34 am | Permalink

    Labour did their best to fly the “when we do it, it’s investment, when they do it, they’re cuts” but got called on that rubbish quite early in the campaign and even Gordon then started to admit that ANY flavour of government was going to face some pretty stiff spending cuts in order to balance the books.

  7. Posted May 12, 2010 at 6:20 am | Permalink

    Nick Clegg is deputy PM.

  8. Patrick
    Posted May 12, 2010 at 6:46 am | Permalink

    wow

  9. Posted May 12, 2010 at 7:12 am | Permalink

    Don’t think so, LE, as it wasn’t like Florida in 2000, where the outcome hinged on a tiny number of votes. There are serious questions being asked about the way British elections are run and a lot of Australian Tories (like me) have made very sure people in the Conservatives understand the very simple things that can be done to stop that happening again: by making sure polling day is always on a Saturday, for example, and by introducing a voting system (AV or to an Australian, preferential voting) that requires the presence of pollworkers at larger booths (to hand out how to votes and scrutineer).

    Our next gig will be to convince the BBC to hire Antony Green for the next General Election. That way, British schoolchildren will also get to experience that distinctive voice saying, ‘and let’s look at the chamber graphic again!’

  10. Posted May 12, 2010 at 9:23 am | Permalink

    No, you can’t have Antony Green!

  11. Posted May 12, 2010 at 9:36 am | Permalink

    You know, when the post title popped up on my blogroll, I thought it would be about something else entirely 😉

    So, a LibDem-Tory full coalition. If they can make it work, it could be a good thing given it will spread responsibility for fixing the fiscal horrors further across the spectrum of mainstream UK politics.

  12. Posted May 12, 2010 at 10:11 am | Permalink

    Lib-Dem Tory coalition? Well you know what they say. Keep your friends close…

  13. Posted May 12, 2010 at 10:24 am | Permalink

    SL, I’m interested in that US comparison as you might have seen in my comments on Catallaxy the other day. Right-wing parties seem to be fighting nail-bitingly close elections all over the world – certainly all over the English-speaking world. We’ve seen it twice in as many years here in Australia, with the WA Coalition and the Tasmanian Coalition in their respective state elections. I wonder if it’s attributable to the relative stability of New Labour/new-left coalitions, and the fracturing of right-wing coalitions in recent years (into conservative and libertarian and neoconservative, etc, parties)? Or just the long-term loss of the supporters that elected Reagan and Thatcher into power?

    I’d like to see this Cameron result as a breakaway from this trend, as a point at which right-wing coalition has begun to pull itself together and win back voters. But who knows? Things could just keep getting worse for the right.

  14. TerjeP (say Taya)
    Posted May 12, 2010 at 11:48 am | Permalink

    Skeptic – you calling yourself a Tory reminds me of a time in Sydney when you talked of your lefty youth. Something of a Saul to Paul conversion. Or perhaps it’s Paul to Saul depending on ones view of things. It just goes to prove how dangereous ideas are. 😉

  15. TerjeP (say Taya)
    Posted May 12, 2010 at 11:50 am | Permalink

    p.s. I still chuckle when I think about Bird trying to pour a beer on Humphreys. That was very amusing.

  16. Peter Patton
    Posted May 12, 2010 at 12:20 pm | Permalink

    Tim

    It is because liberalism basically won the battle against socialism, and Anglophone ‘left’ parties are basically centre-right nowadays.

  17. Posted May 12, 2010 at 1:36 pm | Permalink

    And now time for the MillebrandBot. He’s professional. He’s groovy. He’s got a lot in common with Kevvie.

    Gulp.

  18. Posted May 12, 2010 at 1:50 pm | Permalink

    I think that may have been the political consensus five/ten years ago Peter.

    Nowadays the consensus seems to be more of the social-democrat sort – a growing capitalist economy is maintained in order to fund a growing number of social welfare projects. Remember Howard’s technique for keeping voters happy was to splash out at targeted groups every election with big cash grants. Evidence surely that, just as Labour/Labor has moved right, so too have the Conservatives/Liberals moved to the left. (There was, by the way, a remarkable figure in the latest Spectator – if I remember correctly, it said that over 50 per cent of the UK’s expenditure was public expenditure, not private – that it came from the government, in other words, not private citizens/businesses.)

    This is one reason I like David Cameron – he reacts to this political consensus with some refreshing initiatives. His call for more a national volunteer force to help state welfare efforts, or whatever they call it, seems encouraging for instance; it actually seems to foster and attempt to build a sense of personal initiative. Better policy, I think, than a decade worth of government cash grants and taxpayer-funded initiatives.

  19. Posted May 12, 2010 at 3:02 pm | Permalink

    Tim: Many of the LibDem tax policies are to the right of the Tories, and they are the ones that have been adopted by the Tories (like raising the tax free threshold massively). Lots of people don’t realise that it was libertarians like Milton Friedman who first suggested that poor people shouldn’t pay any income tax.

    Vince Cable (LibDem treasury spokesman) has also been the only polly of any stripe who has been completely honest about the size of the deficit, and who has pointed out that the government making up 50% of the British economy is unsustainable and simply has to be reigned in; he is the chap the Spectator is quoting (even if not acknowledged) when it talks about that issue.

  20. Peter Patton
    Posted May 12, 2010 at 3:03 pm | Permalink

    Tim T

    ‘Social democracy’ is a furphy in the Anglo-Australian tradition, cooked up by socialists in denial.

  21. Posted May 12, 2010 at 8:06 pm | Permalink

    Hmm. Cabinet posts are quite interesting. My first impression is that George Osborne at Treasury is a mistake. We really, really need Vince Cable as Chancellor because he has the serious background in macroeconomics Osborne simply doesn’t have, but I would imagine the price of Nick Clegg as deputy was a Tory Chancellor. Which is a pity because deputy PM isn’t a very significant post when you have an effective leader – all John Prescott did was fart around playing croquet and polishing his jags, it was a sop to his ego more than anything else. Perhaps in a coalition government the position will become something different. I think Vince has been done though.

    It looks like the liberals have sacrificed the senior staff in favour of getting the policies through, which is very liberal of them. Theresa May as home secretary was a surprise to me though probably shouldn’t have been as she is quite senior and was party leader (good Australian lass originally, she might be tough enough but with the hiving off of the Justice Ministry from the Home Office it’s half the job it used to be), Hague has always impressed me in the commons so he is likely to do a fine job as Foreign Secretary but the commentators are saying his appointment is a sop to the Tory right wing to make the coalition palatable.

    I think the fact that Cameron came out quickly and definitively in favour of a fully functional coalition government bodes well for stability. If he had seemed tentative in any way I would have expected that we’d be doing an electoral re-run in another six to twelve months but short of a catastrophic falling out it looks like we’ll have a full term coalition government for the next four or five years (and the Libs have negotiated fixed term parliaments so you don’t get the desperate hanging on ’til the polls pick up that Brown attempted).

    We WILL have the £10,000 tax free threshold though this will be “phased in” – full details aren’t available yet. Personally, I don’t give a damn about electoral reform but having spent billions bailing out the banks it’s now time to bail out the rest of us. As a measure it’ll be a damn site more effective in getting people of benefits than any of their bitching about “welfare reform“.

    The rather witty Independent headline today was “Brokered Britain”.

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