23 September 2009

AJ4PM: Brown enters the ring

Paul Waugh has an interesting take on Brown’s interview with the New Statesman that is out tomorrow:

Question: Prime Minister, if you do believe that another candidate was better suited to lead the party... would you stand aside?

GB: That’s not the issue at the moment.  The issue at the moment is that the Labour Party has to take this country through a very difficult time.

Does that leave wriggle room for a resignation once we are through 'this moment' of economic recession? I'm told there was something very strange in the way Brown answered this question, something his body language, his laughter, just something not quite right.

But the PM then gathered himself again and came up with a declaration of intent that would be very, very difficult to renege on.

Question: There have been one or two rebellions that have failed.  The Cabinet seems to have rallied behind you; going into conferences isn’t it right you give a message you are going on until the election?

GB: But I’ve given that message

Agreed.  It will be difficult to renege on that.  So, there will no voluntary departure or health issue that Brown will hang his hat on.

We are back to where we were yesterday.  Brown will have to be forced out by the Cabinet.

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  1. Well, technically, this denial does not mean he will not/is not intending to use the 'health issue' excuse later. Health issues are never planned, rarely foreseen. So, even if he is planning to resign on health grounds later, we ought to expect him to deny it beforehand. It will not be difficult at all for Brown to renege on the commitment to continue until the election if, between now and then, a 'health issue' arises.

  2. PS, I ought to add, I don't think he has any intention of doing this, FFIW. The point is a purely semantic one. As I've said myself over on SP, the left, inside and outside the Labour Party, ought to be raising hell until the cabinet listens, and he is gone.

  3. Agree with your 2nd comment. Your post was spot on. Let us see what happens over the next week weeks.