17 October 2009

The non-starter and likely runners

Harriet Harman is getting rather tiresome.  Every few weeks she takes great delight in telling us all that she will not be running for the leadership of the Labour party.

Interviewed by Andrew Neil on Straight Talk, she had this to say:

AN:  So, if a vacancy should arise for the leadership of your party you will not stand?

HH:  No, not.

AN:  Under any circumstances?

HH:  I’ve said so, absolutely not.

AN:  If asked, will refuse; if nominated, will decline?

HH:  Absolutely.

The exchange is preceded (it starts here) by an embarrassing little chat on her decision to ask activists to rank her and Brown from one to five.

Martin Bright, possibly forgetting that she has already said it, thinks her latest announcement is significant:

With Harriet gone, the way is now clear for a genuine challenge.

But then:

The likelihood is that this won't happen. Although almost anyone would improve Labour's chances, the party is just exhausted (and this applies especially to the parliamentary party).

Translation:  The party is not prepared to fight.

Having dispensed with an already declared non-starter, we move to the other outside bet.

Miliband the elder is having a rough time.  The judges are causing him no end of trouble.  Then we get the farcical goings on in Geneva.  After all this, a sensible person would head off for a quiet weekend.  But no, Miliband pops up on Newsnight to tell us all how right he is.

Meanwhile, AJ goes about his work in an unassuming way by clearing up another of Brown’s ill thought out cunning plans.

Matthew Parris, who can’t bare the thought of another six months of Brown, urges a Cabinet minister to mount a challenge:

Yes, I could pull the plug. But would the water leave the bath.

There may well not be a challenge in the way Parris suggests, but if there were it would depend on the identity of this yet-to-be-named Cabinet member.

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