Monday, September 11, 2006

 

The Rottweiler who hasn't barked


One of the curious aspects of the recent unseemly attempted 'coup' has been the absence of possibly the most combative politician in the Labour Party: John Reid, the Home Secretary. I have long argued he has ambitions for the top job; as we saw during the August air terror scare, he loves being in charge. I wasn't the only one to suggest he'd also love to poke Gordon- an old foe from the days when Scottish Labour politics resembled a suburb of Baghdad- in the eye as painfully as possible.

However, he has been wholly absent from the recent fracas, leaving all the heavy lifting in the fight to Charles Clarke [incidentally, I read in one of the Sundays that the former Home Secretary's outburst against Brown might have been preceded by a 'good lunch'- such is the big man's reputation].

Of course he's been on holiday but for someone as ambitious as Reid, it's odd he failed to cut short his summer sojourn and race home for his knuckle dusters. Maybe he calculated he had more to gain by standing aside and above the fray; but this would lead, as it has, to his name being sidelined as a candidate. Alan Johnson is currently the only real candidate in town. Maybe he thinks he can descend from above the scene of bloody destruction and appear as the much needed voice of reasoned calm who will lead Labour back into winning ways. Whatever the reason, this is the longest silence from him that I can ever recall since he entered the top flight of politics.

Comments:
He is one of the suspects vis-a-vis the great mystery of who told Nick Robinson that Brown would make a "fucking dreadful" PM. There are other suspects of course, but if it was Reid it certainly be true to character.
 
I thought that was John Hutton
 
If I recall it was Paul Linford who suggested Hutton.
 
John Hutton seems far too nice a guy.

If the source asked to be named, it seems pretty silly on the part of Robinson not to reveal the secret.
 
Paul suggests Hutton can be tetchy and could have picked up some of the foul language of Alan Milburn while sharing a flat with him. I agree he seems so nice he's almost not got a 'personality' the very concept of which implies some good and some bad it seems to me. In the end it's not that important of course.
 
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