So… we have a new Prime Minister… David Cameron, the leader of the Conservatives has moved into number 10. Former Prime Minister Gordon Brown announced his resignation last night as the leader of the Labour Party with immediate effect. Just before 8:30pm on Tuesday night, Cameron accepted an invitation from the Queen to form a government and become the next Prime Minister. He then made his way to Downing Street to give his acceptance speech with his wife Samantha Cameron by his side. He began by praising Gordon Brown for his ‘long record of dedicated service’ and announced he and Nick Clegg have agreed to form a coalition government with the Conservatives and the Liberal Democrats.
The one person who already seems to have been put on the shelf is Gordon Brown. His announcement stating he was stepping down as Prime Minister on Monday afternoon was followed by an immediate flurry of talks about who was to replace him and how long until he was kicked out of number 10. After months of campaigning for the 2010 General Election Brown appeared crushed, deflated and defeated as he gave his resignation speech last night. With his wife Sarah Brown by his side, Brown said he ‘will always be Labour’ and praised the troops in Afghanistan for representing their country and for their hard work. After watching this speech of what I perceived to be a broken man giving up, I thought to myself – who on earth would want to be Prime Minister in today’s day and age?
So that’s it, Labour has now been defeated and Brown’s resignation reaffirmed that this week. However I for one cannot help but look at the new Prime Minister and the coalition government with cynicism and unease. Yes I may be personally suspicious and untrusting of a Conservative leader being back in number 10, but I have to admit I am curious to just how this government is going to work. Will Clegg’s decision to close a deal with the Conservatives alienate his long time Liberal Democrat supporters and will the old fashioned right wing tory voters reject Cameron’s decision to open an discussion on policies like electoral reform? I just hope the outcome of this hung parliament will not result in squabbling between the parties and very little getting done!
In Brown’s speech he said: ‘As I leave the second most important job I could ever hold, I cherish the first even more: as a husband and a father.’ This is ultimately Brown’s way of stating he has had enough and why shouldn’t he? In the three years he has been Prime Minister he has been scrutinized by the media, has had to deal with a failing economy from a global recession and has had a major political expenses scandal to sort out all under the constant glare of ‘having never been elected by the people’ – no wonder the guys tired! No matter what you think Brown did wrong or right, he’s only human and it seems he has fallen victim to a Labour last ditched attempt at reaching an agreement with the Liberal Democrat’s. Whatever the reason for his resignation, one thing’s for sure the guy could really do with a holiday!
But what about who will be running the country now…the meeting of the Queen, the ‘kissing of the hands’ and the cheers as Cameron and his wife entered number 10 held the traditions of a new government forming but felt staged and not entirely believable considering not one party won the majority needed to run our country. Perhaps my cynicism is stemmed by fear of the unknown? A hung parliament is an unknown concept for most of the young electorate and I guess all we can do now is sit and wait….one thing’s for sure one man will be putting his children to sleep tonight with a heavy heart and for once in his life an empty datebook and a new sense of reality is the former Prime Minister. Goodbye Mr Brown.