What’s the political impact of power seeping away from Labour
One of the greatest weapons in the armoury of any government is that it has power. It can use it to influence the media agenda and, of course, to further its political position. But is that starting to change with the growing realisation that is is not as strong as it was?
In a Times comment this morning Sam Coates makes this acute observation: “The Mayor of Londonâ€™s decision to force out Sir Ian Blair is the most significant display of political power by a Conservative executive since John Major sacked Norman Lamont in 1993.”
The sheer chutzpah of Boris Johnson’s statement that no permanent successor will be needed until the Conservatives take over in Downing Street underlines that the political landscape is changing and magnifies further the vulnerability of the government. Labour and Brown just look weaker.
This is being tested both north of the border with Alex Salmond and what is called “the Scottish Government” and now with Boris John in London. It won’t help that both figures owe their positions to constutional changes brought in by NuLab.
As John Major found a decade or so ago the more a government looks weak then the weaker it gets.
For Brown and his team the problem with the Blair case is that Met Police chief has always looked like a NuLab man and his actions and words following the dreadful events of July 2005 did not inspire confidence. It’s going to be hard for the PM and the Home Secretary to go into bat for Sir Ian.
The sacking , incidentally, also boots the world financial crisis off the front pages. Unless something dramatic happens in that area the news agenda appears to be moving on to less Brown-friendly territory.
One thing that we are all waiting for is the first post-Tory conference opinion poll. Labour was helped last week by an instant YouGov survey that started almost as soon as he sat down in Manchester when his speech was dominating the bulletins and the headlines. I thought that a similar YouGov poll might have been carried out but if it did then there is no sign of it. Maybe we’ll see something tomorrow.
Today on PB: I’m tied up all day on non-site matters and will not be monitoring the threads. A new article is scheduled to be published at 2pm – if it has become outdated then, like they used to say on Blue Peter, this is one “I prepared earlier”. The spam box might take longer than normal to clear.