Thursday, November 16, 2006

Does Brown want the Blair blessing or not?

Here's a thought. Does Gordon really want Tony to anoint him as the heir apparent?

From here, it looks as though the leadership will be a no-contest. I really don't see any alternative challenger from any wing of the party with sufficient weight to have a hope of stopping the man from No 11. I'm not even certain that anyone could muster enough MPs prepared to sign the death warrant for their own political careers to pose a serious challenge. Hence the unseemly rush to put a case for the deputy leadership, with almost the entire parliamentary party appearing to be assembling their individual campaigns. I'm undecided as to who will get the weight of the blog behind them - I know that they're all waiting to see.

But as for the top job, that will be Gordon's (barring any last minute disasters). He doesn't need Tony's support to win and he might benefit electorally from putting some clear blue (red?) water between him and the present administration. An endorsement might prove a long-lasting embarassment.

The only question is when Tony will go. I've been pondering this for a while and I suspect it could be a lot sooner than everyone thinks. Previously, I've commented that he would go when it suited and he would go when he wasn't under pressure. By the way, despite Guido's fervent masturbatory fantasies about seeing Blair in the dock over charges of selling honours, I'd be amazed if anyone ever faces charges on that. My prediction (the value of which may go down as well as up) is that Tony will announce his departure around the beginning of January 2007. Imagine my surprise when this forecast gained support from a little outburst on that centre of political debate, I'm A Nonentity, Get Me Out of Here from Lauren Booth.
'No - he's definitely not. In fact he will go in January. He made the decision so he is standing down in January.' Her words seemed to be a definite answer from a close family member to the question Gordon Brown has no doubt been asking himself for months. Then, almost sensing the shockwaves resonate around No 10, Lauren appeared to backpedal, adding: 'No, maybe March. What am I saying? Easter.'

If Tony is going to do the decent thing before the local elections and ensure that we have a leader in place, then he only has a short window in January to do the deed, otherwise the timescale for the elections wouldn't be manageable with an election campaign to follow.


Simon said...

I think the Deputy leadership will be a shoo-in for Hilary Benn, assuming he runs a minimally competent campaign. This is because he can garner the support of the left by sentimental association with his father, the Blairites by his having been impeccably Blairite, and everyone else through his highly impressive (and domestically uncontroversial) record as International Development Secretary. Alan Johnson will give him a run for his money, not least because of his similarly broad appeal, but I don't think he has quite the same momentum.

Praguetory said...

I hope that GB is firmly in post before the May elections. Even a repeat of last year's showing would be terrible for you guys and personally, I don't see that GB will make any positive difference to voter intentions. He'll just be a worse loser. Roll on the change.

Bob said...

It will be interesting to read Prague Tory's views when the Tories go belly up at the next General Election. We're getting used to this now... the initial groundswell as Wee willie Hague took his Shadow Cabinet off to Eastbourne to announce they were 'new'... Theresa May and IDS with their 'we're no longer the nasty party' guff... Michael Howard (and the boy Dave) reinventing themselves as new and nasty after the friendly approach failed... all of the in the knackers yard. The likes of Prague Tory have been flogging this "you're finished, we're ready for power again now" more often than Noddy Holder has wished everyone a Merry Christmas. Go back to your constituencies and prepare to fail... again!

Bob said...

By the way, comrade.. how did you manage to predict what Ms Booth was going to say... last Saturday!!!

PoliticalHack said...

Not all of us are given to being soothsayers, Bob. Some of us just get peculiar responses from Blogger. The date has now been corrected.

Actually, I don't believe that GB will be a loser. I suspect that the real losers out of the resurgence of the Tories and the departure of Blair will be the Liberal Democrats.

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