Is there a Blair/brown political pact?
DID Bontate Pakalitha Mosisili and Monyane Moleleki ever reach a Blair/brown gentleman’s political pact? I have been wondering, particularly in light of the sustained bloodletting within the Democratic Congress (DC).
To the multitudes of the politically uninitiated among us, the Blair/brown pact involves a political agreement between two prominent leaders of the Labour Party in Britain; Tony Blair, successor to the Conservative political flop John Major as Prime Minister of Britain in 1997, before Blair was himself effectively toppled by Brown, in 2007.
It is common cause that after almost 17 years of rule by the Tories in the 1980s up to the late 1990s, the Labour Party was hungry to regain power. But back then Labour had struggled with poor uncharismatic leadership. In fact under Neil Kinnock, Labour was almost as dead as it is today under Jeremy Corbin. It even became worse under Kinnock’s successor, the portly John Smith.
Then all manna suddenly dropped from heaven for Labour. Smith died of a heart attack in May 1994. This marked one of those rare circumstances when death is celebrated. Just imagine the fireworks that would explode in Harare if the archaic fossil, Robert Mugabe drops dead.
Smith’s death provided the Labour Party with an ample opportunity to renew itself. Under Kinnock and Smith, reforming the Labour Party from an archaic left wing outfit had been painful and slow. The party then looked to the two young turks, the immensely handsome Blair and Brown to rejuvenate Labour.
Blair and Brown immediately rebranded the party New Labour and moved it to the right of centre. They were evenly matched in terms of the race to assume the Labour leadership from John Smith. To avoid an acrimonious succession race, it is said that Blair and Brown sat over their favourite intoxicating drinks. After one or two, they then concluded what is now dubbed in world politics as the Blair/brown Political Pact.
The pact entailed that Brown stands aside for Blair and allow Blair to be elected Labour leader and then Prime Minister in the ensuing 1997 elections. Britons were weary of the Tories particularly after Major’s uneventful years. They wanted a fresh face.
There was nothing stopping the charismatic and likeable Blair. Indeed Blair led New Labour to a crushing victory over the Tories in 1997. Under his pact with Brown, Blair would serve at least one term and then hand over the baton to Brown, whom had been allocated the plum job of Chancellor of the Exchequer (Finance Minister).
But power being power. And in particular, because of power’s ravenous intoxicating abilities, Blair is said to have reneged on the deal. He saw through his first term. Then went on for a second after another electoral landslide. Not only that, Blair went on for a third. By this time, Brown was completely gatvol.
His squabbles with Blair were now spilling into the open, just as we are witnessing the ruckus between Bontate Mosisisli and Moleleki. Brown is said to have repeatedly told Blair: “You are not a man of your word. I will never trust you ……”.
In public, the two always denied that they ever entered such a political pact. However its truthfulness became part of the British political lexicon.
Why the British people were so fixated with Blair to give him three electoral wins, the most of any British Prime Minister in recent history, is a subject for historians. But as far Scrutator knows, it was not because of any policy proficiency on Blair’s part though he did well as PM. It was all for good one reason: good looks. You see, Western countries are highly developed. Their citizens enjoy the good life. Can you imagine that inflation in Britain has never scaled beyond two percent? Compare that with Zimbabwe where the inflation rate once scaled a Gazillion percent, before it became completely incalculable. In other words, statisticians could no longer add enough zeros to keep pace with the ever skyrocketing inflation rate.
Because of their privileged status, Western voters tend to vote on issues we would consider peripheral, if not mundane, here. Their main focal point is a leader’s good looks. So it was certain that Blair would cling on because of his looks. But then he committed that grave error of joining warlord Bush in invading Iraq. By then Blair had also lost his original looks, probably because of the stresses of office.
In Europe, they select leaders on the basis of how handsome or pretty they are. If countries could exchange leaders and Ntate Thabane moved to the USA, he will almost be certain to succeed Barack Obama on account of good looks alone. Not even Hillary, not even Trump would become Obama’s successor.
The tragedy that became Iraq enabled Brown to mobilise the Labour party and ensure Blair’s toppling as Labour leader. Brown then became premier in 2007 after Blair’s forced resignation from the leadership of the Labour Party. Unfortunately, by that time and because of the pressures of being Chancellor of the Exchequer, Brown had also lost all his facial appeals.
His face appeared swollen. His cheeks like they were about to drop from his face. His entire face was wobbly. The British voters were not impressed. Some even felt embarrassed.
The British voters seized their next moment at the 2010 elections and toppled Brown. In came the freshman and immensely handsome face of David Cameroon.
As I have witnessed the bloodletting in the DC and the new recently unthinkable rivalry between Bontate Mosisili and Moleleki, I have been asking myself. Did these two gentleman ever enter a Blair/brown Pact? The answer is I truly don’t know. But one well-placed source tells me that the gentlemen indeed have such a pact. However, theirs is difficult to decipher because it was made in sign language.
So could it be that Ntate Moleleki is now impatient, just like Brown was. Me thinks so. The next question becomes: Is Ntate Moleleki right in becoming impatient. The answer is, of course he is right. Unless you are ambitious, you have no business being in politics. In fact you have no business being a human being. Ambition defines every human being. Every soldier must want to become an army commander. Every policeman must want to become police commissioner. Every civil servant must want to become principal secretary. Every minister must harbours ambitions to become Prime Minister (as long as this is not unguarded ambition). Every sheep and goat herder must have the ambition to one day own his own flock and kraal. Every politician who claims to not want to become Prime Minister or President is an uncouth liar. They have no business being in politics.
Even if one assumes that BONtate Moleleki and Mosisili never reached a Blair/brown pact, Ntate Moleleki’s ambitions remain perfectly understandable. It could be that as the years have waned, Ntate Moleleki had a legitimate expectation that he would one day receive a call from Ntate Mosisili for a cordial conversation over some soothing tots of Glen Fiddich 21 (definitely not 12).
After two or three double tots, Ntate Mosisili would then break the news: “Ntate, we have had a good working relationship over the years since our days in the BCP. We have been together as we have split from the BCP into the LCD, then into the DC. Now I know how it feels to be a perennial deputy. Not even deputy prime minister in your case. But deputy leader in the party.
“I Pakalitha Bethuel Mosisili have had my time. I want to pass the baton to you now. I will quit my leadership of the party and country and pave way for you to become Prime Minister. But to preserve my legacy you must rename Kingsway Road into Berthuel Mosisili Highway. Fifteen years is a long time in power. Allow me to go into sunset…… In a nutshell, it’s now your turn Ntate.” Imagine how such a frank discussion would do to the DC. I can assure you that there will be no butterflies ( Lirurubele) and girlfriends ( Lithope) in the DC.
Ntate Mosisili has already done it once before when he passed the baton to Ntate Thabane. So it should really not be difficult for him. But Africa being Africa. Lesotho being Lesotho and power being power, it would really need a miracle for this to happen.
Just consider the case of Robert Mugabe again. The old fossil is 93 years old in three months’ time. He has been in power for 37 years. He was lucky enough to snatch a woman, nearly 50 years his junior, from another man. So he believes he should continue. At 93, Mugabe has already been endorsed as his party’s candidate for the 2018 presidential elections. A new constitution written for Zimbabwe allows only a maximum of two five year terms.
If he rigs the elections in 2018 (as he has done again and again and as he is almost certain to repeat in 2018) Mugabe will be 99 years old when his second and final term ends in 2023. But his ever loyal lieutenants have already signalled that they will agitate for the changing of the constitution for Mugabe to run again in 2023. What if Mugabe is dead by then? His young rapacious and alcoholic wife, Grace, has publicly declared that Mugabe will then rule from the grave. Scrutator is not sure whether Mrs Mugabe, who herself bears presidential ambitions, would then order the convening of cabinet meetings at the National Heroes Acre.
With that example in mind, a question can be asked: Is it bad for Ntate Mosisili to want to rule until, like Mugabe, he also becomes a living museum? Is there anything wrong with Ntate Mosisili clinging on and frustrating Ntate Moleleki’s ambitions regardless of whether or not they have a Blair/brown pact? There is absolutely nothing wrong with Ntate Mosisili clinging on.
I have no problem with a leader staying on in power for as long as they want: As long as they are elected in free, fair, competent elections. Ntate Mosisili has been in power via free and fair elections. So I have no problems with his longevity. But I disapprove Mugabe’s power longevity which has been achieved by all manner of skullduggery.
In bowing out or rather after being forced out, Tony Blair left politicians the world over a seminal lesson: “The best way to resist the lure of power is to set it down.”
Even though I have no problems with the longevity of any politician who stays in power through the legitimate mandates of their electorates, it’s also a truism that politicians – in the words of Mark Twain – are like diapers and should be changed as often as possible.
Indeed history shows that countries led by the same person for prolonged periods tend to stagnate and retard over time. Just again look at Zimbabwe. Countries which allow frequent changes of leadership tend to progress faster because they allow fresh ideas and new approaches frequently. If one set of ideas does not work, you are assured that new ones will soon be tried and tested when a new leader takes over.
This must not be interpreted as Scrutator taking sides in favour of the butterflies of the DC against the girlfriends. Far from it. I am just imagining that if indeed there was ever a Brown/blair pact between Bontate Mosisili and Moleleki, then there is a way to resolve it without the girlfriends devouring the butterflies or vice versa. In every such situation, the solution rests with the one who was given the first go at leadership. In this case Ntate Mosisili. The solution is thus to honour the agreement.
But again, Scrutator does not know whether there was ever a Brown/blair pact between Bontate Mosisili and Moleleki. If it indeed exists, it must have been made in sign language.
So Ntate Moleleki may be forgiven for assuming that each time he sees Ntate Mosisili standing up in parliament to take to the podium, it would be for announcing that he is stepping aside to pave way for his long time deputy to take over reins.
But on realizing that his leader is merely standing up to answer questions from parliamentarians, Ntate Moleleki then has every reason to get angry.
Scrutator’s simple advice to Bontate. If ever you reached a Blair/brown pact (even if it was done in sign language). Please honour it and save the DC from itself. Ache!!!
The pact entailed that Brown stands aside for Blair and allow Blair to be elected Labour leader and then Prime Minister in the ensuing 1997 elections. Britons were weary of the Tories particularly after Major’s uneventful years. They wanted a fresh face
Former British Prime ministers Tony Blair and Gordon Brown.