A storm in a tea cup?
Posted by Matt Walker on January 11, 2010
Last week, Gordon Brown faced another abortive attempt to unseat him as Labour leader and prime minister. This time it was former cabinet ministers Geoff Hoon and Patricia Hewitt who wielded the knife behind Brown’s back.
The attempted coup failed but it was interesting to see how long it took cabinet ministers to rally round Brown. Why the attempt to topple Brown failed is nicely described by the BBC’s Nick Robinson, and also how it took Foreign Secretary David Miliband 7 hours after the plot was revealed to line up behind the prime minister.
It is clear that several cabinet ministers do not want Brown because they believe he will lose the next election. Some have also muttered surreptitiously to journalists that the government is run by Brown, Ed Balls and Peter Mandelson, with little room for anyone else.
On policy matters, there seems to be a fear that Labour will pursue a core vote strategy at the next election, whilst Alastair Darling has been unhappy for some time with the government’s reluctance to come clean over public spending cuts. Whatever the truth, this is bad for Labour. Divided parties don’t win elections, and Labour are perceived by the electorate to be the most divided of the 3 major parties.
Should Labour ditch Brown now, or simply wait until they are defeated before they get a new person in? Or do you think Labour can win with Brown in charge?