What is it about Labour’s women and Gordon?
A striking feature of the mini-rebellion that started only a week ago last Friday was the preponderance of woman who came out in support of the move by Siobhain McDonagh – the government whip whose resignation got the ball rolling.
That’s been continued with the replies today of a survey in the Independent’s of all members of the Cabinet. Apart from John Hutton, a long-standing Brown-doubter, Hazel Blears, Jacqui Smith and Ruth Kelly were the only ones not prepared to answer the question “Is Gordon Brown the right person to lead Labour into the next General Election?”
You’ve got to be pretty tough and resolute in the current climate not to answer yes to a question like that. Could they be up to something?
Blears, of course, is the one who is closest to Tony Blair and she’s continued her reputation for being forthright. And as Jean Merrick on the Indy blog notes a number of the early rebels had links to Blears.
She is now suggesting that what the government (I assume she means Brown) lacks is “emotional intelligence” – which to my mind hits the nail on the head.
A coordinated resignation by Blears, Smith and Kelly could have much more potency than similar action by a group of male cabinet members none on whom, apart from Hutton, have shown any inclination to stick their necks out
I think that Brown would try to stay but the fact it was all female would focus attention on his failings in a way that could develop into a dangerous media narrative. It would also, possibly, be harder for the standard Brown-team defence technique of vicious briefings.