Saturday, August 02, 2008

The reshuffle talk begins

The talk this morning appears to be of reshuffle and an "autumn fightback" by Brown after a week from hell hat has seen his approval ratings collapse and parts of his Cabinet in open warfare. The problem though for Brown is that it won't help, whilst people have been saying that Miliband crossed the rubicon this week they seem to be forgetting that Brown went over first.

Brown's dilemma and position is that he is damned either way if he reshuffles. If he demotes or sacks Miliband for treachery then he may stamp his authority down but he frees the way for Miliband to take him on outside of Government. As I said the other day, he will create his own Geoffrey Howe type figure.

One alternative is to promote Miliband to the next office up the chain of Chancellor to keep him close and on a tight leash. The problem then is that he sends a signal to the rest of his Cabinet and the country that all you have to do is threaten him and he will be nice to you and give you a good job. Disloyalty gets rewards.

He could of course keep him in place at the Foreign Office, but if he does that then his authority at dealing with open criticism from his Cabinet will be further weakened. He'll most definitely at that point be in office but not in power - to use a political cliche.

Having said this though he may be gambling that Miliband lacks the support in the wider party to take him on, and whilst this may be true, it seems strange that few have considered that Miliband could just be a stalking horse to kick off a fight where more treachery may come down the line.

The bottom line to me seems to be this, Brown's days as leader of the Labour Party are numbered in the sense that he will continue to limp on to electoral defeat and then resignation. On the way there are going to be a few more challenges to his authority and I would be very surprised if we don't see one of his supposed 'close' allies turn on him too.


Grumpy Old Man said...

Why all this talk about treachery? If the CEO of a company is not up to the job, the Board will remove him/her before the shareholders remove the Board. This uncomfortable reality will be concentrating the minds of the PLP as the September Conference draws ever nearer and the Shareholders, an increasingly alienated electorate, get closer to the Quintennial General Meeting in 20 months' time.
The real treachery is the Enron-style financial practices of Labour ever since 1997. which have made so many people poorer.

Mitch said...

Pretty much sums it up ol snotty has painted himself into a corner, so much for the "big clunking fist" he is so clumsy everyone can see what he is up too. Blair was much smarter when he manoeuvred still a git though.
Millivolt has I think worked out that if he doesn't do it now he will be too old next time and may have to get a real job.

Silent Hunter said...

I would be amazed if anyone in Labour think that Miliband stands a better chance than Brown given the absolute drubbing his article received at the hands of the Guardian readership.

As a measure of just how rattled the Guardian are, having failed they're 'golden boy'; they are now 'pre moderating' all comments to Polly Toynbee's latest pro Miliband thread to make sure that something so embarrassing doesn't happen again.

Pity (for them) that it came a bit late to avoid the majority of posts ridiculing Polly for being 'delusional'.........presumably they intend to 'remove' the majority of these in favour of Pro Labour & Miliband posts.

So much for the Guardians vaunted.......'Comment is Free'

Perhaps they should rename it...

"Comment is Guarded"

Silent Hunter said...


Any chance of an article about political freedom on mainstream blogs?

I only ask as The Guardian are now blocking any posts from any one who has previously posted anything remotely seen as 'anti Labour' on the latest Polly Toynbee thread.

So much for Free Speech at the Guardian.

Silent Hunter said...

I spoke too soon!

They decided instead to close comments altogether.

Well I suppose that's one way to effectively stifle dissent.

BTW apologies for my earlier typo...'they're' should of course have been 'their' in; 'been their & made a complete cod of it'.....again! ;O) doh!

Trumpeter Lanfried said...

Brown will be giving very careful thought to his reshuffle over the next four weeks. Then, having thought it through, he will come back to Downing Street and screw up. It's what he does.