Warning: This post was published more than 12 years ago.
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Well, it appears I’ve been misjudging this story. It would appear that a rivalry far more bitter than that which I had imagined does indeed exist between these two, and that they really are employing the most puerile tactics to attack each other, and helping to destroy the party in the process.
I thought they were more intelligent than that.
This certainly cannot be good for the country. United leadership is effective leaadership. Of course, how you define effective is open to opinion (I am certainly no fan of the New Labour agenda), but one reaches one’s goals most effectively when one’s team is united against a common enemy. The lack of a strong enemy is probably what has brought about the infighting in the first place: With no-one in particular to attack, Brown and Blair attack each other.
With the Conservative Party’s history, it is a little difficult for them to launch a sustained moral attack on a warring leadship, which leaves the door open for Charlie Kennedy. If he can make big enough gains in the forthcoming (we assume) election, then he could easily hold the balance of power. And that would be a lovely situation in which to find himself.
Of course, the other possibility in all of this (though I accept that the chances are practically zero) is that Mr Brown launches an all-out assault on the Prime Minister now, delaying a General Election until much later in the year, or even into next year, with him leading the party. Or, possibly, somebody else altogether leading them.
Whatever’s going on here, it’s damaging to Labour. And if Michael Howard doesn’t give a convincing and strong performance at this week’s PMQs, then he’s not worth his salt. Mr Blair should be looking pretty silly come Wednesday afternoon.
But there’s a silver lining here for Mr Brown: He has clearly shown himself to be in touch with the majority of the electorate… He doesn’t believe a word Mr Blair says.