Tuesday, October 10, 2006

The BBC catches up...


After the news had been heavily trailed on the internet yesterday, it was good to see the BBC finally catch up with the story that John Reid may well have thrown in the towel when it comes to challenging an apparently unbeatable Gordon Brown. Even Nick Assinder's conclusion (his story on BBC News is here) follows one of the Westminster blogs by suggesting it is now John Hutton's turn to raise the Blairite flag against Brown. In fact, it looks less and less likely that such a thing will happen. And especially once parliament resumes, and Brown starts to exert his undoubted dominance over a cowed parlaimentary party, it does look as if we may be headed for a coronation. There is little in policy terms to divide potential Blairite candidates from Brown, so it boils down to personality, and one of the givens about Brown's personality is that he (a) bears grudges and (b) is ferocious in hounding opponents. Want to stay in government, with a nice salary and ministerial car? Then don't challenge Gordon. And sadly, that's what many seem to be believing.

There is the interesting question of who, in fact, would have the political weight to challenge the Chancellor. Too often, the cabinets of powerful premiers contain ministers who are pygmies - aside from Alan Johnson (possibly over-rated), John Hutton (little known outside Westminster) and John Reid (given up already), who actually is there? An entertaining parlour game for political anoraks.

4 comments:

C H Daly said...

Firstly, I'd like to salute the use of the word: "parlour", What an antiquated, underused word. Aside from that, the first point is just human nature and I am thankful to see that GM hasn't tried to argue that the Tories would set a better example after their horrendous record on "looking out for their own positions".

On the topic of Brown's cabinet, there is still a couple of years for some current unlikely contenders to mature and earn their stripes.

MH-S said...

There will be a coronation, for sure, Brown has wormed...sorry worked hard for it. If there isn't, he'll most probably call up an opponent to show off the size of his...support.

And yes, Conor, an underused word, and for a good reason.

Lestaki said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Lestaki said...

Eh, on a fundamental level the complete lack of a credible altelnative standing against Brown is... boring, really. It smacks of a logical progression rather than innovation, and perhaps, so many elections won, logical progression is all they need. But it does little to encourage people that Labour's going places.

RE Brown's cabinet: The Conservatives still have two years to mature and develop policies, and they're still getting pleanty of stick for being "all style, no substence". We have to judge things by what we have right now.

-Mark Pester