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This all looks rather good for us and yesterdays TV interviews strongly reminded me of the huge divisions in our party during the Major years.However we write Blair off at our peril,he is an immensely wily politician and his party have to date been generally very supine.

Quick quiz:
Q1. What's the connection between: Herbert Morrison; Rab Butler; Roy Jenkins; Willie Whitelaw; Denis Healey; Michael Portillo; and (arguably) Michael Heseltine?

A1. They're all people who had the chance to supplant a leader in trouble, ducked it and decided to wait for later, and who will go down in history as people who never became Prime Minister (I'm thinking of Heseltine in 1995 as well as Portillo). The other connection is that after passing on their chance, their parties went on to lose power. (Although of course we'll never know if a change of leader would have made any difference.)

Q2. What's the connection between: Harold Macmillan; Margaret Thatcher; and (allegedly) Ted Heath and John Major?

A2. Say what you like about them once they had power (and CH contributors will) but they are all people who put the knife into a leader in trouble and then went on to pull off an impressive election win: Macmillan in '59; Thatcher in '79, '83 and '87. (Heath and Major are perhaps stretching the point - it's never been entirely clear what role Heath had in the Alec Must Go campaign, and his 1970 win was a little late in coming. Neither is it proven whether Major had any involvement in the collective funk in Thatcher's last days - but you get my drift. Ruthlessness by someone pays off.)

We're at one of those points now. If Brown doesn't knife Blair in the next few weeks then it looks like he'll never make it. He jilted Prudence, I can't see the Labour Party waiting at the altar for him forever.

Even better: if he does end up as leader, this dithering suggests he could well make a bad front man for an election campaign.

I dislike scenarios, certainly when the future is so clouded. However, I cannot believe that TB will be able to emerge from the next labour party conference, without naming the 'date'.

That date will probably be May next year. This will give GB enough time, to sort out his stall for the next GE.

Will that ensure a GE victory, who knows! It's virtually impossible to say. Those people who are constructing, wierd and wonderful scenarios in which their own political party always ends up on top, will probably look very foolish.

I would say this, we are coming to the end of a long period of political and economic stability. And its a fact, that when things are difficult the electorate, 'Clings to nurse for fear of worse",

I agree with William's analysis that time is running out for Gordon Brown.

After the demise of David Blunkett, I had reached the conclusion that there weren't really any viable alternatives to Gordon Brown as Labour leader, but it would seem the impressive Alan Johnson is coming up on the rails.

John Reid can be ruled out (too unpleasant and thuggish), and I can't see the Labour Party plumping for David Milibland having just ditched Tony Blair.

Where will Blair go? Not the H O L as that is now highly insecure territory - partly of Blair's own making.

What else can Brown offer Blair as a departure package? Not much.

Brussels could come to the rescue and offer Blair a Kinnock-style tenure, but Blair has enfuriated the Brussels crowd by not getting the Euro as he promised he would - and for calling the referendum on the Constitution which forced the French into embarrassment.

If Blair is a cornered rat, he will put up a fight to make General Custer look like an also-ran.

Brussels will help Brown's access into number 10, (by offering Blair a position) only if Brown makes concessions and meets their shopping list.

Will Brown secretly agree to push the Euro, or to make the BNP illegal, to get the cooperation of Brussels in Blair's exit from Number 10?

Who else can resolve the situation?

Just finished watching as much of David Cameron on news 24 as they let us, thought he did an excellent job. Calm, reasoned, this could be a nice trade mark. Contrasted with Blairs semaphore sweating style. Wish we could have heard his response to the rest of the questions. Will they be on line anywhere?

Clings to nurse for fear of worse

Not necessarily (e.g 1979). It's our job to show that a miserable incompetent Scottish nurse is no match for a new Notting Hill one

In 1979 the then Labour Government did not have a majority! the present Government does.

Also the Thatcher programme, was a response to the breakdown of the post war consensus. What does DC actually promise, more of the same, only better.

There was discussion that GB might want to get in the door ASAP and call a general election to catch DC off guard with no policies or candidates.

Sounds like an interesting political idea.

As this drags on now the whole Labour party gets dragged down into the gutter if infighting, playing into the hands of the Tories.

William Norton: Quite frankly, I've never been able to understand Gordon Brown. Brown is, although I disagree with him profoundly, undoubtedly a brilliant man, with deep intellectual interests--whereas Blair, despite his presentational genius, strikes me as rather shallow intellectually. Blair is also, by looks and sociological coding, a Tory whilst Brown is a true-believer Labour boy from Scotland. In 2005, Blair could only win by embracing Brown, and together they beat Howard. It's also pretty clear that Brown had "older rights" in 1994 and that there was a deal that Blair went back on. Why Brown hasn't confronted Blair and openly seek the crown is beyond me. He must not have much self-confidence.

Blair is the only person who can single handedly destroy Labour as an election-winning machine. He is digging his heels in, and it's starting to look tasty. Condition one for a change of government, we've achieved - that is, electability (don't frighten the horses, get a leader who looks like a PM and appeal to centre and not the freakish right. Now we've got condition two, the incumbents are incompetent, appear to be ncompetent, and are openly divided is being fulfilled.

Up to now, I haven't thought it possible we could win the next election outright, now I think we can. I also think talk of the death of the two-party system is premature. It won't change without a LibDem ransom demand for a coalition. Proportional represenation will be the death of any chance for a radical centre-right goverment.

When Blair does go, and enough light is shone on Brown for enough time, people will see Brown for the dishevelled cockroach he is. There'll be no Treasury rock to crawl under, and we'll have a fighting chance of outright victory.

I expect that eventually it will be dragged out of him, or he may even decide to announce it at the next Labour Party Conference - I think he'll stand down as Leader of the Labour Party during the Summer 2008 recess and stand down as Prime Minister in the 2008/09 christmas recess, obviously though by transition he is saying that it isn't going to be all at once but that some preparations will be made that are not going to be revealed.

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