30 April 2009

Do Labour MPs have courage?

Following John Rentoul’s article on Sunday, which I offered comment on, he has a further piece in Indy this morning, which is deadly for Brown:

The Prime Minister has lost his way. He has lost his place in the script. You know it is over when Nick Clegg cuts it as a figure of moral authority, and Brown is reduced to making up numbers such as £1.4bn as the cost of allowing all 36,000 Gurkhas the right to live here. Even if it did come to £1.4bn, which is doubtful, why should we draw the line there, after £175bn of fiscal stimulus, on the one immigration issue on which even Empire loyalists are on the liberal side of the argument?

Brown has lost the argument about the Gurkhas so comprehensively that David Cameron did not even need to rehearse his Mr Angry act. He did Mr Bipartisan instead, congratulating Clegg for setting the pace on the issue. It was a smart bit of tactical cross-party generosity that diminished Brown further.

No, you know it is over when BBC journalists start interviewing each other about how much the Prime Minister's "authority" has been reduced.

I have argued on this blog that Alan Johnson is Labour's best hope.  John again suggests this, saying he probably will not avert a Labour defeat.  Agreed.

Where I do take issue is that Labour under Johnson can stagger on until 2010.  This is just not plausible.  Alan Johnson will have to call an election in October.  The electorate will not stomach two un-elected prime ministers in the same full term parliament.  Johnson’s hope is to get a sufficient bounce in the polls that mitigates against a Labour meltdown.

Brown has failed as prime minister and is ridiculed repeatedly.  Yesterdays incident in Commons was just another in a long line of pubic embarrassments.

The only issue that remains is whether Labour MPs have the courage to do what is necessary.  The truth is they have no alternative.

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