How big a threat would he be to Brown if things don’t improve?
Within Labour Charles Clarke is the one big beast who is still active and who still has the power to wound, if not kill. There’s not a single member of Brown’s cabinet who comes anywhere near to Clarke when it comes to the ability to communicate and put forward a compelling case. He’s lucid, has good diction and has the ability to think on his feet. When he says things he commands attention.
In the unlikely event of him every becoming leader Clarke would tower over Cameron and is probably the party figure best suited to taking the wind out of the Tory leader’s sails.
He was one of the few Labour MPs not to nominate Gordon and is the only “big beast” to go on the record with criticism of the party leader. If there was ever to be a coup attempt then Clarke would surely be part.
During the week the former home secretary launched a series of broadsides against the leadership and he pulled no punches. His most biting points were on Brown’s failure to support his key people and the PM’s use of the illegal BJ4BW term. (British Jobs for British Workers).
A big concern of Clarke’s is the morale of the party the signs of a breakdown in the relationship between Number 10 and key Cabinet ministers.
So what does 2008 hold for him? If Labour continues to poll badly could he be become the main focus of discontent or is it possible that he could come to an arrangement with Brown whereby he had a major role?
It’s hard to see Clarke accepting a job where he could be micro-managed by Brown. He will be interesting to watch.
Amazingly he is not on the list of runners in Betfair’s “next PM” betting market