"in power too long"

“I cannot think of a better symbol of an out of touch, authoritarian, failing government that has been in power for too long,” Green said

Damian Green in The Guardian today

The Tory leader said Labour had “been in power too long” and Gordon Brown had to end “this sort of nonsense”.

David Cameron seeking reform of No. 10 on BBC News on Tuesday

Doesn’t it occur to you to say, perhaps, maybe after fourteen years we have been in power for too long and that’s why there is this deep cynicism.

John Humphrys interviewing Education Secretary David Hunt in 1994

21/08/2008 It seems to be the Conservative sound bite of choice right now, but it seems an odd one if you ask me. What are they actually proposing? Are they asking for a two term limit of parties or leaders being in government? No. Are they proposing reforms of the electoral system? No. We might get some boundary changes, albeit on a larger scale than usual as we dispense of 60 or so MPs, and every time those happen after a change of hue, there’s always a strange bias towards the new rulers. Something that generally speaking ensures governments stay “in power too long”.

What has propelled this rallying cry? A man working in 10 Downing Street making up lies, then not using them but communicating about them with an idiot affiliated to the Labour Party (Derek Draper). Call me a bit cynical but I find the rage of the Conservatives more than a little artificial. I don’t think a competition on who can be the least tainted MP is what Westminster needs right now, what it needs is debate and reform. And we poor voters look likely to get neither and then end up with the Tories “in power too long” again. Little wonder the country lost appetite for a snap election last year, I suspect we remembered how little difference it would make.

In my more optimistic moments I hope that this seemingly inevitable Tory government does at least correct some of the excesses of legislation from the past few years then implodes after two years and thus forces us finally on the road to full reform when we finally fail to have enough people to agree and form a ruling party. My more pessimistic dreams end with us all bowing down to our new ruler King William.

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