Watching Newsnight last night, and reading the papers and the blogs, received wisdom is that a.Brown wont go, and b.if he did go, there is no obvious replacement. The is a "c", a rather nasty and cynical "c", which is that Labour will lose anyway so why not bugger it up completely for the Tories and pursue a scorched earth policy. Of "c", I can believe this. I believe there are influential elelments in the Labour Party who would rather destroy this country than see it recover under the Conservatives. (Never mind whether the Conservatives are capable of effecting a recovery)
There are compelling reasons for this. There is the poisoned chalice scenario, in which a new incumbent would almost certainly have to call an early General Election which he or she would then most certainly lose. There is the no suitable candidate scenario, and linked to this the myth that Labor does not stab it leaders in the back. Then there are the polls which suggest that a change of leader would not increase their electoral chances.
Nobody seems to be talking about the long game. By which, I mean that the next General Election is lost for Labour. They face years in the wilderness, so why not start to recover now? Why not begin the process of re-building the Party under a leader who could perhaps be the John the Baptist, the John Smith of the Labour party who begins the process, but perhaps will then hand the mantle of leader to he or she who is yet to come.
Labour needs catharsis, a painful purging and reconstruction; a re-examination of core values and new people, unencumbered by sleaze and brazen amorality and ambition. Brown is a disaster, a grinning fool who has no vision but a tawdry grasping for power. He is on a collision course with the consequences of his moral and intellectual vacuity. Sensible people in the Labour Party know this. Of course they know this - they have been saying this and voting accordingly. And the sooner they face facts, the sooner they will be able to begin again.
Everybody is saying Gordon will not go before May 2010, but the plain fact is that this week, it is the only story in town.