Warning: This post was published more than 10 years ago.
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Previously, on sjhoward.co.uk:
Mr Blair’s statement has put a sticking plaster over his gaping wounds, the question is merely how long it will last. It won’t last seven or eight months. It only needs one comment from one MP, one letter, or one more resignations to painfully tear the sticking plaster away, and it’s just too tempting.
What I didn’t even begin to predict was that it would be Charles Clarke of all people who broke the co-ordinated silence, seemingly in an attempt to register that he hates the world now he’s been sacked. And now Labour’s got itself into an unrecoverable mess. Labour is entertaining complete self-destruction. And boy, is it entertaining.
Labour is divided, and by fielding a realistic Blarite candidate against Brown, as now seems likely, Blair will actually have managed to pull apart the whole party. The longer he remains in office, the greater the sniping, and the greater the division. Fielding a controversial candidate deepens the division still further, and even if a mid-way ‘third’ candidate was found and won the leadership, there’s no way the party would have chance to unite behind such a leader in just two years.
Right now, I can’t see how the next election can be lost by the Conservatives – it would take them to do something pretty damn stupid.
But, y’know, it’s quite fun to watch. Quote of the day comes from The Observer, reporting Tony Blair’s alleged comments about Gordon Brown:
I have never known how mendacious he [Gordon] was, how full of mendacity.
Of course, someone of Blair’s stature would never just say ‘fucking liar’. Not in a million years. Ahem.
And it’s fun watching them trying to pick credible alternatives, too. Let’s look at the options:
- Alan Milburn: Mr “I’d do anything to win“, he’s had form for some time, and probably doesn’t warrant revisiting. Ewww.
- Charles Clarke: You are kidding, right? Who’d be in his cabinet? He hates the world.
- John Reid: Mr “Attack Dog“, also a proficient liar. It would be quite entertaining to see him try to be nice to voters, rather than aggressive. Certainly a favourite from the entertainment perspective.
- Alan Johnson: The least offensive, but with the charisma of an earthworm. Labour’s approximate equivalent of IDS. Or IBS.
Actually, my favourite Blairite for the job would be Hazel Blears, and no-one seems to be considering her. Think of the fun of seeing if her ridiculous perma-smile and grating chirpiness could survive a humiliating electoral defeat. Is that cruel? Probably.