Have we now reached the end-game for Mr. Brown?
In a long and powerfully argued main leader for the paper tomorrow the Guardian makes a strong call for Mr. Brown to go. In fact it is much more forceful than that – the message is that if Mr. Brown does not agree to step down then he should be, “cut loose”. There’s no need to spell out what that means.
The leader concludes: “..Of course many people, who see the better angels in Mr Brown’s nature, do not want his dreams to end like this. His premiership would be one of the briefest in history. He would never have fought an election. But fate can be unjust.
All must agree that the die is cast and a hard judgment made. Otherwise progressive politics will be dragged down at a general election in May 2010 that could lead to a much bigger defeat than Labour suffered in 1979. That might bring a chance for other parties to take it forward, as the Liberal Democrats are trying to do in this election. But they are not placed to enter government. Labour has a year left before an election; its current leader would waste it. It is time to cut him loose.”
Of all the national papers the Guardian is the most influential within the movement and there’s little doubt that when it publishes a main editorial in these terms then it is going to be taken seriously.
Whenever this has been raised at previous points in Mr. Brown’s short tenure at the Number 10 the standard reaction has been to say that the rules would make such a move very difficult. What is fascinating is that that argument is simply not being made at the moment.
There seems to be a growing clamour from all parts of the movement for change to take place and to take place quickly. How this will manifest itself in reality is hard to predict – but one thing I’m more sure of after a day of momentous events is that there will be a serious attempt to push him aside.
Will he fight or see that the movement that he cares so deeply about is more important than his own position? I don’t know – the next days and weeks could be very bloody.