Plots? Or Just Westminster Talk?

There's been a slightly misleading headline on the BBC News page's sidebar, that runs "Blair denies he is to be ousted". Every time I see it I keep thinking I've missed a year or so, and we're back in the good old days when Tony Blair was prime minister, busily having to deny that his chancellor was trying to oust him. Well, of course, after a ten year conspiracy, his chancellor did indeed succeed in taking over, and I bet Blair couldn't be happier about the way things are going for him now.

It may not be a surprise that former Home Secretary and famous Brown hater Charles Clarke is sounding the ring of doom for the current prime minister, but it can't be of great comfort to Brown that only Ed Balls, his swivel eyed loyalist and likely next Chancellor, and Deputy Leader Harriet Harman are the only cabinet ministers to offer full throated support. It was also fantastic to hear Brown say, in his speech to the CBI, that his economic recovery plan would not be about "short term gimmicks or giveaways" - the very principle that has been his hallmark.

The news is awash with variant stories on the 'Brown's government is imploding' theme, but two of the more substantial pieces are the FT's Sue Cameron, and the Evening Standard's Joe Murphy, both of whom focus on the mess that is Brown's backroom team.


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