Wednesday, 27 June 2007

The Coup

So without a vote of any kind the leader of Her Majesty's government has changed. In some places this is a coup d'etat but not here. Blair visits the Queen and formally hands in his notice. She then invites the leader of the party with the majority of MP's (Brown) to form a government. It can get more complicated as the leader of a political party does not have to be an MP or if no one party holds a majority (neither has happened in my lifetime so I am not sure what happens in this situation.)

I think I will like Brown as he played rugby at a decent level until he got a detached retina from a boot in the face. Incidentally, this means he currently only has 30% vision in one of his eyes and no vision in the other.

He disagrees with the fast tracking of students. He was moved two years ahead so he went to university at 16 and saw the damage the extra pressure can do. In an unpublished 1967 essay, he describes himself the "victim of a totally unsighted and ludicrous experiment in education, the result of which was to harm materially and mentally the guinea-pigs". This might mean he will leave education to settle in all the new changes before making any more.

As the editor of The Student magazine he grabbed national headlines by exposing the university's investments in pro-apartheid South Africa.

After graduating he launched a campaign to be the university's Rector. This was traditionally an honorific post, normally going to a show business personality but it came with a rarely exercised legal right to chair the university's governing body. He swept to power with a campaign boosted by three mini-skirted fans. A man who campaigns for a religious post using mini-skirts has a certain flair! When his three-year term ended, Brown even tried to get the authorities to declare the day a special academic holiday, with no lectures or classes. More holidays for students.
He granted control of interest rates to the Bank of England so it was not a political football but a decision taken by the experts.

It will be interesting to see him at PMQ's to see how well he can deal with David Cameron.

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