'I'm Not Running' - The Big New Story
We seem to be so desperate for serious competiton for democratic leadership, that when high profile individuals declare they are NOT running, it becomes a major news story! David Milliband must have denied interest in running for the Labour leadership against Gordon Brown on dozens of occasions, but such denials have failed to quash the desire of some Labourites and all of the media for him to offer himself for such a contest. Now, however, he has absolutely, definitely announced he has no interest in running, and has taken the serious step of telling this to Nick Robinson. So it must be true! Labour is on an inevitable course towards the coronation of Gordon Brown as leader and prime minister, and they (and we) had better jolly well live with it!
The Tories, meanwhile, are themselves getting ever more concerned about their inability to produce a decent candidate to challenge Ken Livingstone for the mayoralty of London. Livingstone is increasingly damaged goods, and it speaks volumes about the state of the Tory Party, even in its renaissance form under Cameron, that it cannot produce a single credible, high profile candidate against the man. Their appalling dilemma reared its head in a story that started and finished today, about Greg Dyke being mooted as a possible joint Conservative/Lib Dem candidate. I'm not sure which is dafter - the idea that the man behind Roland Rat could be a credible candidate for mayor, or the thought that the Tories and Liberals might unite behind a single candidate! It's a funny old world, as Mrs. Thatcher remarked upon being kicked out of No. 10 and before she started harping on about treachery!