A newspaper column written by Boris Johnson when Gordon Brown became prime minister without winning a general election has resurfaced today.
In 2007, Brown ran unopposed to succeed Tony Blair as Labour leader, and PM, after his party won a majority in 2005.
Like Johnson today, Brown said he would not call an election as soon as he took office.
This is what Johnson had to say about that decision at the time:
It’s the arrogance. It’s the contempt. That’s what gets me. It’s Gordon Brown’s apparent belief that he can just trample on the democratic will of the British people.
It’s at moments like this that I think the political world has gone mad, and I am alone in detecting the gigantic fraud.
The Conservative MP went on to bemoan the “scandal” of Brown governing “without a mandate from the British people”.
The extraordinary thing is that it looks as though he will now be in 10 Downing Street for three years, and without a mandate from the British people. No one elected Gordon Brown as Prime Minister…
He even complained that the Labour leader wouldn’t give the public a referendum on the EU.
Gordon Brown could appease public indignation over that, and secure the democratic mandate he needs, by asking the public to vote at once on him, on the new EU treaty, and on the implications of the devolutionary settlement. Let’s have an election without delay.
It’s no surprise then that many of Johnson’s critics were calling for a general election straight after he was announced as the new Conservative leader.
Even if it all goes disastrously wrong, an election is needed so the public can see Rylan as an MP.