24 November 2009

The Labour leadership. One last chance

All the excited talk about a hung parliament can stop unless Labour replace Brown.  Coffee House has evidence of a yet to be published poll that shows a 14% Tory lead over Labour.

Next up, we have Ben Brogan saying that the Tories are “worried and perplexed….why David Cameron somehow just can’t click with the electorate”.  Well , if he hasn't sealed the deal five months from the election he never will.  The doubts remain, not about Cameron himself, but about the party he leads.  They are deeply split over Europe and the never ending difficulties with their grassroots, ably highlighted by ConservativeHome, do little to help the cause.  Moreover, the continuing policy shifts on the economy hardly inspire confidence.

Now we come to the Labour party and the utter failure to deal with the leadership.  Jon Craig at Boulton & Co has been chatting to an unnamed Labour MP, who confidently tells him that Plan A (challenging Brown at the PLP) has been abandoned (thanks, we know that) but there is a Plan B or C:

Plan B, a Labour MP who regards Brown as a hopeless loser tells me, is a "round robin letter" calling for the PM to step down.

Plan C, my malcontent informant tells me, is a "stalking horse" challenger for the party leadership.

He concludes:

It strikes me that if Plan A couldn't even get off the ground, what hope is there for Plan B or Plan C?

Indeed.  If there was any likelihood of either B or C working they wouldn't be out there for all to see.

David Miliband hasn't turned down a job in Europe to lead a rump of Labour MPs after the election.  Neither has he stayed to spend more time with his family.  According to Martin Ivens, Brown is fully aware about Miliband’s intentions:

Twice Brown pushed the high rep job Miliband’s way, but the young rival “showed steel”, putting his party above a cushy career abroad. In the words of a key ally: “David is back to being the leading candidate.”

What has to happen is a coordinated Cabinet rebellion in January that will force Brown out and replace him with either Alan Johnson or Miliband.  Otherwise Labour will just drift to certain defeat.

If Brown remains in post you can write the script now for when David Dimbleby turns to Nick Robinson at the end of the marathon election coverage:

DD: Nick, so why did Labour lose?

NR: What is clear is that the voters have no love for the Tories but didn't want four more years of Gordon Brown.  Former Labour MPs and the Cabinet must be kicking themselves that they didn't do anything about the leadership when the opportunity presented itself.

DD: It could have happened?

NR: Oh yes.  No doubt about it.  The unanswered question is why it didn't.

DD: Good afternoon.

Digg This

1 comment:

  1. Well let me answer that question David; because the Labour party had all the guts sucked out of it over the last 10 years. Every dissenting view was banished to the back benches and more and more talentless bench warmers were brought to the front rank.
    Of course no-one spoke out, they knew what would happen when they did.