With a great swathe of the press and all of the Tory blogs now on Governmental Deathwatch, Tessa Blackstone has just used the Evening Standard to make most of the points that need making about the purported necessity of a General Election in the event of Captain Brown getting himself hoyed off the deck of the Titanic. To wit:
1. 'British general elections are not presidential.' (In other words, the Prime Minister is only the leader of the largest party in parliament.)
2. 'The power to call an election lies with the prime minister alone. A new leader could exert this power but would be wiser to bring in a Bill for fixed-term parliaments, with the election fixed for May 2010. It would remove uncertainty, speculation and the party of government having an advantage.'
There's a lot to be said for the proposed Bill. The feverish, gleeful insincerity of so many who claim to want their change of government right now and for the good of our poor ailing Nation would be seen for so much over-excited babble if only these same boosters were asked to say whether the Nation really, badly needed to go to the polls after the Falklands War, say, or in the middle of Nigel Lawson's boom (rather than, say, in the midst of its bust six months later - the first time I got to personally witness the spectacle of employees of the City of London staring down into pints of beer as though someone had urinated therein)?