07 May 2009

A plot exposed

So a plot is on.  First we have Matthew D’Ancona’s Coffee House post, then Alan Milburn’s piece in the Indy advising against the "policies of state intervention" and Dizzy exposing that "The 2020 Vision" website maybe about to be reborn.  All this neatly leads to D’Ancona’s article in the Spectator, which initially details what may happen in June:

Here is the plan: if the local and European elections on 4 June are terrible for Labour, a former Cabinet minister — probably Charles Clarke — will put himself forward as a candidate for the party leadership. Alan Milburn, Stephen Byers and others will urge their parliamentary colleagues to face realities; mayhem, naturally, will ensue.

Off course, Clarke has denied all this, as he would, even if D’Ancona doesn't believe him.  In truth, I doubt that it matters, the exposure of the plan means that it won’t fly.  More importantly, is Clarke the right candidate to put up as a stalking house.  I doubt it.

D’Ancona then moves on, and correctly points out that the only way to remove Brown will be by the Cabinet rebelling, but then has doubts that this will succeed.

And then:

His rise to the leadership by acclamation and his survival in the top job have excused the party the philosophical inquest it knows it must sooner or later conduct but which it would much rather postpone. A horrible fork in the road lies ahead. Labour knows it must decide eventually. But — for now — the slab-like obstacle of the Prime Minister stands between the party and the moment of decision.

For Brown keeps the really searching questions about Labour’s future identity at bay. And they are indeed huge and forbidding questions. Which is why, for all the sound and fury we can expect over the summer, the PM will still survive and fight the general election; and why, if Gordon did not exist, his party would have to invent him.

The philosophical debate can wait.  That is not going to happen until after the election no matter who is the leader.

D’Ancona’s piece is a persuasive analysis and he maybe correct in what he is saying.  However, by accepting his argument Labour keeps a discredited prime minster who has lost his authority and is ridiculed by the media and the public in office for another year.  At the end of that year, barring any unknown unknowns, Labour faces electoral disaster.

The plot will not happen, but a Cabinet revolt should.  The Labour party can swallow D’Ancona’s article if it wants, but by doing so it hands the election to Cameron on a plate.  Perhaps that is the whole point of the article?

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1 comment:

  1. Gordon is invincible, even if he is bonkersI didn't think there would be a putsch either.
    This piece only reinforces that opinion.