Friday, June 10, 2011
Brown's Team to Eject Blair Led by Balls Say Telegraph leaked Documents
It seems that Balls was the organiser of a team of six, including Ed Miliband, Douglas Alexander, Spencer Livermore, Ian Austin and the ever faithful Sue (now Baroness)Nye.Each was given an areas of responsibility in effecting the transition of Blair to Brown as soon as it could be managed. The September 'coup' has been chronicled by Mandelson in his Third Man; Blair in The Journey; Seldon in Blair Unbound; and Rawnsley in The End of the Party.
All except Mandelson have been on the airwaves to confirm that the leaked papers merely confirm all the details already gleaned from interviews with the more objective participants. Balls sounds disingenuous in his denials: they were merely working to facilitate the transition; everything he did was open and above board. Rather like the Conservative Party under early Cameron he is working hard to detoxify his brand as a 'Machiavellian' plotter and schemer. While he may do so to a degree acceptable to his party, I doubt he'll change the view of future historians.
Does it matter? is it merely exhumed recent history? Yes and No. Labour still suffers from a very poor image in the wake of its 13 years in power. Osborne has succeeded in hanging the deficit around Labour's neck and we may be sure that as well as Balls, Ed Miliband's complicity in turfing out Blair will surface in the 2015 election. The Tories will congratulate themselves on this knowledge and availability of the Opposition's dirty washing. But the election is four years away and much can be forgotten by then as well as the likely surfacing of likely differences within the Coalition. But today has not been a good day for Labour.