>Dan’s response to the article below


<!– @page { size: 21cm 29.7cm; margin: 2cm } P { margin-bottom: 0.21cm } —So rebellion is in the air. The dour Scot scream the tabloids, a weak yet paranoid and controlling PM say the commentators or ‘never a leader’ loudly grumble half the Labour party into an ear that will listen. And unfortunatey for Brown, there are an increasingly large number of willing listeners. Everyone loves a gossip. But now someone has put their head above the parapet, carrying what looks like a dagger for Gordon Brown’s Premiership. We have a Brutus, in the form of David Miliband, the sprightly, intelligent and awfully young Foreign Secretary. Did you know that Miliband is the Foreign Secretary? He has been for a over a year I just heard. And now he wants the top job in the name of saving the government and the party.

So what does Miliband actually mean? A young intellectual, bred in the best schools who has never had a job in his life would lead the party, government and nation (jesus!). At least Brown has some background, some history and grounding, a wikipedia page with a ‘before politics’ section. I mean what has David Miliband ever actually done which makes people say ‘oh really. That’s interesting.’ It all sounds very privileged, very planned and focussed. Dave’s (if I can call him that. Would maybe make him feel uncomfortable), David’s MBA from MIT sounds impressive to some but do we need smart? Don’t we already have that? What else is there besides sensible hair?

That’s not to say that Gordon is the man for the nation. He clearly isn’t. His timing has been unlucky with the Iraq debacle rumbling on and recession kicking in (and I am sure he will hate Tony Blair for the rest of his days) but aren’t these the situations the Iron Chancellor, the tough talking Scot was built to deal with. It seems no. He has looked out of his depth, surrounded by yes- men he doesn’t trust and undermined by his divided cabinet (reflective of his mind and his party) and his own dithering. The media has never been onside while the nation remains uninspired in his leadership. They liked him tucked away in the Treasury, pushing departments around behind the scenes, getting what needed to be done done. The bungled proposed election in October last year made him look naive and brought cries of derisions from all sectors

There is Alan Johnson, a lively Gordon but with more old school touch. He worked for the post office. People you know have worked there David. But Johnson is a Blairite. And that’s the bottom line. After spending years building power camps within the Labour Party, maintaining a whispering campaign, briefing journalists against each other’s leaders, the shadow of the Blair- Brown pact of 1994 still haunts this party and government. The tensions between the camps will continue long after the men themselves have exited the stage and the theatre. It was a vague agreement between two powerful men, never friends but tactical allies who shook hands and smiled with one hand behind their back. They built New Labour together and like two admirals in the South Atlantic fighting to the death, they will both go down over this.

Miliband or Johnson will be the next leader but barring a miracle, they will soon be in opposition trying to mend and renew a party that came to symbolise renewal and dynamic change. Meanwhile, as night falls, sat glumly in a flooding lifeboat will be two greying, tired men, both frustrated and bitter, busy blaming each other and throwing the incoming dark ocean over each rather than out the boat.


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