Wednesday, June 03, 2009

Infamy, They've All Got It In For Me

Knives are being sharpened for beleaguered Brown with Blairite Blears the latest to quit the crony cabinet ahead of a belated reshuffle of the Titanic deck chairs. Rats are jumping from the sinking ship before they are pushed leaving chaos in Brown's Big Brother House. But it's Carry On Regardless as the bunkered ex-Supreme Leader heads for the bear pit of the commons. 

As battered Brown faces meltdown, expect a two-pronged savage attack from Cameron and Clegg repeating calls for a general election now. But has anyone the guts to wield the knife? No-one has a clue, especially the struggling ex-saviour of the world.

The fate of bunkered Brown was sealed, on Monday as a muttered vote of no confidence and leadership challenge from backbench New Labour MPs turned into a roar. The die was cast. Alea iacta est.

Iffy Smiffy's leaked move yesterday to quit the cabinet was no coincidence. There's some serious plotting going on behind the scenes.

As the Orange Party pointed out here on Monday - some ministers and MPs have finally realised they've nothing to lose, so why wait for the double humiliation of defeat at the hands of the English shires and Euro elections and a cabinet reshuffle.

Strike now with the confidence of 'no confidence'  and there is still a chance for the beaming Blairite working-class hero Johnson to step into Brown's shoes and salvage something from the chaos.

A week is a long time in politics but this may be the beginning of the end for bruised and battered Brown. One more cabinet quitter and Brown is toast.

Mortally wounded, he's left crying 'infamy infamy they've all got it in for me' as cabinet ministers tainted by the MPs' expenses scandal take the only option left open to them and quit with some dignity and a bag full of expenses while they think they're ahead.

Bleating Blears had been set up as a sacrificial lamb but pulled a fast one today on the eve of local elections. She's the tip of an iceberg. There may yet be more waiting in the wings coming hard on the heels of disposable two homes secretary Smith with two other frontbenchers who also quit. Euro minister Caroline Flint is tipped as hot favourite.

Significantly both Blears and Smith are not standing down at the general election. They plan to come back fighting, taking the fight to Brown and His Master's Voice Balls as Downing Street's disreputable band of brothers now fights a rearguard action.  

One of the nails on the coffin has been hammered in by the Guardian calling time on Brown and calling for him to be "cut loose". The liberal-leaning Guardianistas have had enough and it's William Morris curtains for Brown. And that leaves only the sad old Mirror beating the drum for Brown and his Downing Street cronies.

In a neat pre-emptive strike the quitters have got in quick before their own sackings and at a stroke undermined any authority left in the prime minister, wrong footing him at every twist and turn.

So who will wield the knife? Will there be a Geoffrey Howe moment signing Brown's political death warrant in the commons?

Tomorrow's crucial English local and Euro elections, now play second fiddle to the drama played out at Westminster plunged into the depths of despair. Any hope Downing Street had of spinning the reshuffle as time for born-again-Brown has been blown out of the water.

Knowing she was toast, Blears fired the starting gun for a leadership contest but Brown is a plotter not a quitter and he'll try to cling on until the very bitter end.  

But waiting in the wings are the next big knockout blows, the backbench revolt doing the rounds and an alliance of Plaid Cymru and SNP putting forward a motion of no confidence in the government.

If the two are joined by the Tories, LibDems and backbench Labour MPs that could be deadly. If Brown isn't a dead duck by the weekend he could well be next week.

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