Another tough week for Tony...
MONDAY and TUESDAY
Gordon getting all the positive publicity on Monday with extra spending on front-line services
Butler report published - how critical will it be?
By-elections in Birmingham Hodge Hill and Leicester - two safe Labour seats in any normal year. The word is that we'll hold Hodge Hill with a reduced majority and probably lose Leicester to the LibDems.
So, should he go or stick around?
If he goes over the summer, he can go with his head held high and the Party will eulogise him as a great leader who chose his time to leave and laud the genuinely great achievements of the past seven years of Labour government. As Tony so identified himself with the Iraq war, much of the negative feeling will leave with him and those voters turned off by Blair will return to the fold - key to reviving a drooping party structure.
If he sticks around? Sure, we'll win the next general election with a reduced majority, but the mud from Iraq will continue to stick to the whole party. In any case, the gossip about the succession won't subside - just get worse until the whole structure of political government is consumed by it. The real issues will be completely obscured by gossip.