Thursday, March 16, 2006
Blair's Position Unravels
And then what about renewing Trident? Philip Cowley's research suggests that the big step for a rebel is the first one. Now the rebels have lost a slightly different kind of virginity(OK, I know)- forcing Blair to survive with enemy votes, they might well find they enjoyed it and want to do it again. How many times will it take before a more explicit tacit alliance has been forged? It's a good job Blair is on the way out and not due to lead into another election and maybe, as Peter Riddell in The Times observes, he will, at least be pleased he's on track to 'secure most of the big changes to the school system he wants'.
Electing him out of office as leader is too long-winded, as I suggested in my last post- but pressure from within to move aside will grow now that Blair is in any case a lame duck premier. Labour's equivalent of the 'men in suits'(men in flat caps?), maybe a joint delegation from the NEC and the PLP might see it as their duty to deliver the pistol and the bottle of whisky to their embattled leader and ask him to do the decent thing. The Guardian editorial today comments that: 'Only a very naive observer would conclude that this[Labour] is currently a party with the focus and energy to win another election, whoever its leader might be.' Gordon Brown might already have been cheated of his believed birthright. Blair's highlighted problem today has focused more on the ignorance by the party Treasurer, (Brownite) Jack Dromey, of the advantageous loans fed into Number 10 via Lord Levy(possibly in exchange for honours), but the real problem he faces are concerned not just with the future of his government but with that of his party.