Leadership Challenge to Gordon Brown

I get up, make scrambled eggs for Mrs Weasel, send her off in a defrosted car with a flask of hot coffee and some chicken rolls with cranberry sauce, and off she goes through the snow to the workhouse. Then I attend to other things and suddenly the interminable story of Gordon Brown and the will he/won't he go story goes into overdrive.

Guido has the letter. The MSM look stupid this morning, particularly Nick Robinson who insisted there was no leadership challenge, even after most MPs had the copy of the Hoon/Hewitt letter in their sweaty, sticky little fingers. The BBC should be singled out for particular criticism for the way they have handled the story so far - as usual, by not reporting it.

Even the Speccie had to hat tip Guido. This is certainly the year of the blog. (Not mine of course, but hey ho.)

So, what will happen next? By the time you read this it could all have changed, so there is not much point in speculating. However, the only way Brown would accede to a secret ballot, as demanded by the conspiritors, is if Mandelson tells him the game is up and the Prince of Darkness withdraws his support. This is Mandelson's call. If he choses, Gordon will go. It was Mandelson who pursuaded waverers to stick with Brown last time there was an attempted coup. So far, Peter Mandelson has been absent from the scene, which is ominous. Apparently, Mandy is booked for Newsnight tonight. If he is a no show, then it's curtains for Brown.

As we know, the plotters and would be plotters are cowards. None of them really have the cojones, hence the secret ballot. Somehow, I think Gordon will hang on. What does he have to lose personally? It is not as if he gives a shit about his party or his country.


I was struck by this video of Patricia Hewitt, one of the coup conspiritors. Apart from the laughable assertion that this was "not a call for Gordon to resign", Hewitt looked remarkably peaceful; unstressed, not at all shifty and almost relieved. I am not sure what this means, but I suspect that she, like many others feel this is a point of catharsis.


Fraser said...

Fraser Nelson's report was quite funny..

Losing the plot
Fraser Nelson 7:10pm

There are German operas that lasted longer than today's Hoon-Hewitt plot. Launched at 12.45pm, given legs by the fact that ministers hate Brown too much to interrupt their lunches for him. But dead by 6pm due to Mandelson texting Nick Robinson. (Again, you can't fault Mandy for drama).

You feel the Tories should take Labour mps on a Regicide for Beginners away-day and teach them the basics. You need five or six people to declare hour-by-hour. You need basic co-ordination. You need timing (i.e. not a week when cameron is scoring so many own goals and the Tory lead is narrowing). Basic stuff.

This is, in what is a fairly hotly-contested category, the most inept Labour plot yet attempted. And I'm glad. Finishing Brown is a joy that should be left to the British electorate in May. This one's ours.

banned said...

I'm so pleased that Brown suevived, more pain for him in the future.
Love the bit where Pat declares "Geoff and I decided...".

Because of the weather I was listening to boring old BBC local radio yesterday, as the story 'hit' the hourly news the reader was clearly in a 'here we go again' frame of mind.