24 September 2009

AJ4PM: Coming up for air

The bucket load of speculation yesterday on whether Brown will or will not lead the Labour party at the next election was neatly completed by Newsnight leading with Charles Clarke after his speech (plus this bit) to Progress.  This was followed by a discussion where Kevin Maguire did his best on behalf of Our Dear Leader, but then let slip that Labour is "stuck with Gordon Brown”.

Overnight, comes shovels more of the stuff.  The New Statesman has numerous articles plus the full interview with Brown, which is summarised on their blog.  The Spectator also joins in and has an interview with Alistair Darling, who clearly is getting rather frustrated with all the speculation.

Then we move on to Mandy’s interview with the Daily Mail were he informs us that he would like Brown to lighten up:

But in a choice between somebody who's serious and somebody who's shallow but looks good on TV, I think the British public will go for the former.

Mandy is going to be rather disappointed if he would care to read Anthony Wells:

On what were once Gordon Brown’s strengths he trails David Cameron badly. Cameron was seen as stronger, as more decisive and as more substantial. Far more people saw him as up to the job of PM where he got a net score of +25 compared to Brown’s minus 38. Cameron’s only negative score was that people thought he was more likely to say what people wanted to hear, rather than what he really believed. His highest ratings were on being likeable (+49), charismatic (+48), decisive (+42) and strong (+44).

Yet, after this information overload, have we made any progress?  Brown may address his leadership next week, but it will do nothing to stop the speculation.  This will go on until Labour addresses this fundamental issue or time physically runs out for him to be replaced before the election.

So, once again we come back to the central question.  Will the Cabinet rebel?  Darling’s outburst does nothing to answer that.  What else could be say?

Fascinated as we AJ4PM campaigners are, and knowing what has to be done, will the lorry loads of views and analysis yet to come on the leadership just drive the process to a level of numbness that will ensure the change never happens?

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