Will cabinet members heed the Times and depose Brown?
There’s a remarkable main leader in the Times this morning the likes of which I cannot recall ever seeing before. For the paper is calling on cabinet ministers, in the wake of next Thursday’s expected mauling in the Euro and local elections, to rise up and get rid of the man who became their leader less than two years ago.
The Times declares:
"..The vital choice lies with his Cabinet colleagues. This, if they choose to seize it, is their moment... The fact is that Cabinet members have the power and, within a few days, the opportunity to change Labour's course and they now has to decide..They could choose action. This would involve a Cabinet minister (or ministers) resigning, voicing in public the frustration with Mr Brown's leadership that is common currency among them. Senior resignations would trigger a leadership contest that, with the slightly mysterious emergence of Alan Johnson as the likely winner, would lead in short order to a general election...."
The editorial concludes:-
"..The question is now whether any of them is prepared to act. For a long while they have steadfastly maintained, at least in public, that the cost of removing the Prime Minister from office was greater than the benefit. Perhaps the verdict of the electorate will steel one or more of them to speak the truth about power. But doing nothing is itself a choice. Either way, Labour's future is not just Mr Brown's but the Cabinet's collective responsibility."
We have, of course, been here before and the form-book suggests that they will opt for safety and do nothing.
But I sense that something might be going on and everything will be focussed on the hours and days after the local elections and then the Euro results become known. The numbers for the latter should come out in the early evening on Sunday June 7th.
It will be then that things could be most dangerous for Brown. Although he is hugely resilient and cunning his position is much weaker than he was last July when David Miliband made his abortive moves. For a start he doesn’t have the resourceful Damien McBride at his side and those at the top within the party know that this could be their last opportunity.
I’ve got nice bets on Alan Johnson at 10/1 and Brown being the first of the leaders to step down.
This could be like those incredible few days in November 1990 when the Tories finally knifed Maggie.