Have the secret briefers cried “Wolf” too often?

Have the secret briefers cried “Wolf” too often?


    Why should we believe them this time?

Yet again this morning’s papers feature “senior ministers” who don’t want to be identified warning of dire consequences for Gordon Brown if Labour fails an upcoming electoral test. Sounds familiar? Yes – we’ve heard it all before.

Just go back only a couple of months and the same was being said ahead of the local elections and the London Mayoral contest. Labour did badly and what happened? Brown stayed.

Then later in May we had the Crewe and Nantwich by election when we were told, again anonymously, that a bad result could finish off Brown. Well Labour had their first by election defeat at the hands of the Tories in more than three decades and what happened ? Brown stayed.

The safe Tory seat of Henley was going to be the next test. Would Labour hold its deposit? Well the party didn’t and suffered the ignominy of ending up with just 1,066 votes in fifth place behind the Greens and the BNP. Brown stayed.

So why should we believe what’s being said in the build up to the Glasgow East by election?

This morning we’ve got the same sort of story splashed on the Telegraph‘s front page while the Independent tells us: “A senior member of Gordon Brown’s government said there would be moves to replace him in September before Labour’s annual conference if Labour loses the Glasgow East by-election or the party remains in the opinion poll doldrums.”

Until someone is prepared to go on the record then I for one will treat these secret threats with a huge pinch of salt. From a betting perspective I am quids in if Gordon goes this year – but my 6/1 and 5/1 wagers will only look good when names are attached to the quotes.

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  • Mike Smithson

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