Political Promise

In the Brown stuff…again

In Charlie Edwards on January 7, 2010 at 12:07 pm

Gordon Brown has survived. Again. Yesterday was his third leadership crisis in his two-and-a-bit years as Prime Minister. An hour before a sombre PMQs a couple of former Labour Cabinet ministers, Geoff Hoon (top Blairite) and Patricia Hewitt (one of the original Blair’s babes) sent a letter to every Labour MP calling for a secret ballot on the leadership of the party. The bulk of the message is:

We don’t like Gordon Brown. We hope that you don’t either. We won’t win an election with him in charge. Let’s see if anyone can do any better.

And who stepped up to the plate? Alan Johnson, the media’s touted future leader, kept ‘schtum’. As did the most powerful man in the country: Peter Mandelson, until half of Brown’s cabinet came wimpering to the press. Not a single potential candidate to run against Brown made their voices heard yesterday. Is this reticence a vote of confidence to the current leader, or an unwillingness to get a reputation as a backstabber before an impending leadership election if Labour lose the forthcoming general election. Lessons can be learned from Michael Heseltine, who would have led the Conservatives into the 1990s had his eagerness to move into number Ten earlier not shrouded his political judgement (and lost him a lot of friends). Steve Richards, in today’s Independent sums the whole fiasco up by saying the only result from this plot is that it is a damage to the Labour party.

Yesterday proved that there are disillusions in the Labour Party: if his colleagues can’t trust him to run a country, then who can trust Gordon Brown?

Charlie Edwards

  1. Disappointingly biased. You forget that if this “ballot” did go ahead and was in Gordon Brown’s favour, it would merely strengthen his position as Labour party leader.

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