Thursday, September 04, 2008

Clarke Tightens Blairite Grip On Brown

Clarke's anti-Brown outburst in the New Statesman wasn't new. He's said it all before. But this time, Clarke and the gang can smell blood. 

Either him, or one of the Blairites, like Milburn, Byers, Blunkett et al, often carefully placed in the Blair-loving Murdoch's Sunday Times

What is revealing is the Blairite hold on the Party and the timing - anyone would think the conference season is about to get underway!

With Brown weak and at an all time low and a public spat between his supporters Darling and Balls, the Brownites are rapidly diminishing.

The BBC's Nick Robinson puts it into context with a clever little sketch in today's political blog.

But even that just scratches the surface. 

The Clarke outburst isn't so much about a leadership challenge or using Clarke as the stalking horse. It is all about influence and manipulation.

The suggestion of a true Labour coup, reported here in July, fronted by the likes of McDonnell, doesn't seem to have materialised. 

But that is what is on the minds of rank and file Labour Party members, as the conferences get underway. And that is what New Labour fears most.

With any change of PM, regardless of constitutional issues, there would have to be a general election sooner rather than later and New Labour would be annihilated. 

So the strategy, for Clarke and the Blairites, is to try to keep Brown going - but to make sure the Blairite policies remain at the forefront of the government. 

If you can't beat Brown, Blair him.


John M Ward said...

I agree with all of this, and would add that Labour simply can't afford to run a General Election campaign.

They are just staving off bankruptcy now, thanks to their Trade Union friends, have still to fight the Glenrothes by-election, and are in no shape to mount a multi-million pound GE campaign.

Yup, in reality they're stuck with Brown, unless they have the temerity (and desperation!) to change leader without calling that election. I wouldn't put it past them, actually...

the orange party said...

Thank you John.
I missed out the COST factor in my analysis and you are right to point it out.