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Nick Robinson doesnt think it will stem labour unrest. Id tend to agree with the Ex-Young Conservative chairman. Blair is in retreat, he's been wounded and the Brown camp can smell blood!

He'll placate Labour MPs by telling The Sun his plans?

Are we so sure this is a leak from Downing Street? Will be interesting to see the reactions tommorrow.

He's a lame duck as soon as he names a date. Adios!

Sounds like a leak from the Brown camp,


Hmmm... Just watched Kirsty Wark interrogating Hilary Benn. I may have been wrong... 'How do we know the 31st May date is a real one?', she kept asking. Labour MPs may demand to hear the date from Tony Blair's own mouth before they calm down...

I still think he'll want to beat Thatcher just to be spiteful. Whether he's allowed to or not is another matter.

I'm not too sure it will staunch the flow. The Scots & Welsh MPs surely would be under pressure from their country parties to change leader well before next years elections in hope the new leader's bounce would keep Labour in power in Edinburgh & Cardiff?

If May 31st why not January? If January why not now - so a new Leader in place for State Opening of Parliament, Queens Speech a re-launch/renewal?

Blair seems to be hoping for one last full session, tearful goodbye just before Parliament Sumer recesss.

Downing Street has released this date to The Sun in order to avoid a complete frenzy at the forthcoming Party Conference.
The Sun's speculating in the hope of manipulating Tony Blair into coming out and naming the date, I still think he will stand down as leader after the May 2008 Local Elections and as Prime Minister at the very end of 2008 or turn of 2009 when parliament is closed, it would actually be in his interests to say when he is standing down as Labour leader (something which could be done any time whereas the Prime Minister inevitably has to have some flexibility and it's a bad idea to name an exact day when it can't be known exactly what may happen around that time) and within a month or 2 when he is going as PM say if he said recess 2008/09, trying to announce it through the Sun though would cause more trouble than simply not saying, and in the end it's going to be scrutiny of legislation and actual political debate that will be neglected, Tony Blair is going anyway so everyone is speculating about who will succeed him, if he doesn't give a coherent indication of when he is going then there will just be this debate about when he's going up until he does which will bore the heck out of people who are interested in future policy.

Blair is now 4-5 go to between april and June 2007, which is strange as it would be July before they have a result to a leadership election. Perhaps he'll announce the date so the new leader is elected on the 10th anniversary.

All exciting stuff anyway.

Just caught end of Newsnight (which had included Blairs Farewell Tour take off) - priceless.

Kirsty - "someday soon we might even have an interview with the man himself", credits roll to the Blue Peter theme.

If the Beeb feels secure enough to turn to comedy about the man it must be the end. Wondered though if there was a Scots interest she might have been aware of (First Minister or the Chancellor or both?)

First of all, I don't think May 31 will be the date. In fact, I'm certain it won't be. As someone has alluded to, the Scottish and Welsh elections are in May, as well as the local elections, and if he is still there than I believe that the Labour Party's performance will be a disaster. Seriously, look for the SNP to be in charge in Holyrood if that is the case.

I think Blair's remaining time as PM can be measured in weeks, rather than months. The Parliamentary Labour Party surely cannot allow this situation to continue. If a date is named, their leader becomes a dead duck (as opposed to a lame one). Their party will be rudderless and drifting. Indeed, it will intensify the speculation over his future. When he said he wouldn't stand for a fourth term, that intensified the speculation, rather than having the desired effect of reducing it and giving a date only makes it worse. In addition, say that he comes out and says, 'I'm going on May 31'. What would be his function over the remaining 9 months? What would be his purpose? He would be in no position to advance any policy agenda, given that a) it could well be ditched by the new guy, and b) could be blocked until he has to go anyway. He surely can't make any serious decisions in foreign policy because surely he can't burden the next guy with anymore of his decisions. Announcing a date will produce not only a Dead Duck PM, but a Lame Duck Government that will be locked in stalement.

Labour need to ditch him now. Carrying on until May 31 would be pointless and only make things worse. What is staggering to me is that his opponents in the Labour party have so unbelievably spineless. They've had so many opportunities to ditch someone who they despise, and haven't done it. Now his position is critical. If a senior cabinet member stated publicly that his position was untenable, then I don't see how Blair could recover from that.

The comparisons with Thatcher's downfall (usually made as a reason for Labour to NOT ditch Blair) don't work for me either. The problem for the Tories then wasn't the act of ditching Mrs T, it was the fact that the party was hopelessly and irrevocably divided anyway, a state of affairs that was there before she went, and after. Additionally, they elected a complete boob to be her successor. Let's not forget that they won the election after knifing Mrs T, against all the odds. If they'd have either ditched Major in 1995, or ran a remotely competent election campaign in 1997, or been able to deal with Blair in any sensible way, then I have no doubt that 1997 wouldn't have been the total catastrophe that it ended up being.

Blair wanting to stay is vanity, and nothing more. What good does it do to give Blair a year so he can sail off into the sunset? How will this help them win the next election? How can they govern with this man, in this position, at the helm? All it'll do is prolong the agony for them, and delay what will hopefully be a bitter and prolonged leadership battle. The sooner the PLP gets to grips with this idea, the better off they'll be.

They need to get a new man in, and then if they're smart they'll call a snap election. Give the new guy a mandate to govern. I think that right now Labour would win a snap election called for, say, October 2007, because I think the electorate may be persuaded to give a new Labour leader a chance, and I think it'd be an aggressive move that would put the Conservatives on the back foot. It'd be the right thing to do, certainly. But then when has that ever been a consideration for politicians.

Don't get me wrong, I'm not unhappy with the fact that Labour are making such a complete shambles of this. It only brings the prospect of a Tory Government closer. I'm just perplexed at their general stupidity. And I'd rather that the Government was governing, which is after all what the taxpayers pay them to do, rather than be locked in stalemate.

I think that right now Labour would win a snap election called for, say, October 2007
It's bound to be the same day as the Euro Elections that the elections is, a 2007 General Election would leave people to conclude that there was some attempt to bounce people to voting for Labour and Labour actually would lose, people don't like being bounced into elections when they don't see a need - in 1966 & October 1974 Harold Wilson could say he needed to get a majority, when Edward Heath tried going not all that early if anything the Conservatives ended up doing far worse than expected, no one expected them to lose in February 1974, anything before Spring 2009 is going to be seen as cutting and running.


Could they afford a general election though? Can they even afford a Leadership Election? They'll be hard pressed to fund the Scots, Welsh & English locals. They need cash because they've lost activists, will they return to Gordon?

Gordon might get Union Funding that Tony can't but only by turning his back on the domestic regime he led. Can he get union cash and hold down public sector pay rises?

If Inspector Yates finds skullduggery over peerages can Gordon wash his hands - he led the GE campaign but didn't ask where the money came from?

Blairism has brought the Labour Party into very troubled waters. Will Gordon be able to stop the ship taking on even more water and if there is a contested election and Gordon loses then where do the Brownites go.

"Events, dear boy events" seem to be turning up daily. The Labour Party might recover under a new leader but Tony has left a messy legacy.

Another Anon - It's an interesting question. I've been mulling on the 'cutting and running' accusation myself. Personally, as an ordinary voter and without considering political consequences, I would favour a snap election being called in this situation. I don't like the idea that a new leader could come in, and change the direction of a government without having consulted the electorate. Especially if by some miracle John McDonnell or a left-winger happened to win a leadership ballot and then set the government on a radical new course. Essentially, a new Prime Minister would be leading a different government, so surely we should have the right to vote on that.

That said, I understand that some voters don't like having lots of elections. I think this was one of the things that hurt the Liberal Party in Canada, for example. Additionally, I can also see that many people may think that Labour would lose a snap election so obviously they wouldn't call one.

I think this is a very underrated and undiscussed constitutional problem, actually. Ultimately, the electorate doesn't have a say on who the new Prime Minister is and I don't think that's right.

Ted- I have no idea whether they have the money to be honest. I guess I didn't consider that particular situation and it's very much a valid point to raise. Certainly a new leader will have a number of serious problems to address, and Tony Blair will have left that person with a real mess to sort out.

Personally if I was Blair I would name a definite date a long way in the future to avoid the dead duck effect. I would say I've won three general elections i have a majority and i've earned it. The date I would choose is one day longer than Lady Thatcher to allow the left the opportunity to rub her nose in it. If he announces a date like that it becomes much harder for Brown to dislodge him given that he has been shown several times to lack the killer instinct.

As I said earlier...shortly after the elections next year. The problem now is that the date is now essentially set, even if this is not when Blair wants to go. The Conference in a few weeks is going to be a bloodfest. Blair is going to find it extremely hard going and the Conference will become a fight for seniority in the party and the leaderhsip contenders.

Blairs grip on the Party is slipping. Is this to be Julius Caesar time where senior Labour members start manouvering for position and contention in the leadership contest properly and more forcefully? I doubt Brown will automatically get it now. If he wanted it, he should have moved quicker.

I guess a lot of what I'm saying is that I am sceptical as to whether a Brown-led government would win an election in 2009/10. Frankly, I don't think Middle England is going to warm to him, and to me the electoral maths doesn't add up. I look at Brown, and I see someone who disappears during every major crisis, someone who doesn't come across very well when speaking, someone who is a control freak and a tax-and-spender, and someone who hasn't had the guts to stand up to Blair or stand up for what he believes in. I just don't think he's leadership material. In America, they often say that the most popular player on a struggling American Football team is always the back-up Quarterback. But when the back-up finally gets the gig, suddenly they become the one who is the centre of attention and they've got to deliver. Brown has been popular, especially with the Labour party, because he's always been the guy likely to fill Blair's spot. However, what's he going to be like when he has to be accountable, when he has to campaign on his record, warts and all. How's he going to respond to that? Right now, nobody knows, but I am sceptical.

Looking at their other leadership candidates, Alan Johnson looks like their best bet to me, despite his spineless climbdown on public sector pensions while he was at Work and Pensions. I think he would be beatable, but the guy has a trade union background, comes across very well on TV, and has some of the characteristics that people liked about Blair. Milliband is seen by many as the young Blair but I think he is absolutely vile and totally unelectable. I don't rate John Reid, and they don't really have a credible left-wing challenger at present, and in any case, the Tories would easily beat a Left-wing Labour leader in my opinion.

If I was Blair I would never have said anything to begin with about this. He shot himself in the foot from the start saying he wouldnt contest a fourth general election. He shouldnt have answered it. Long ball mistake

James - It's ironic and it was entirely predictable that Blair announcing that he would not stand for a fourth term actually increased the speculation over the leadership. It was a staggering tactical blunder from someone usually so savvy in this regard. Indeed, I believe that setting an exact date will increase the speculation, the back-stabbing, the leaked memos and the general discontent even further. The best thing he can do for his party is to go now. He thinks one more year will allow him to cement his legacy, but it will actually undo much of the good work that he did for the Labour Party. He is putting himself before his party and it's amazing that his party is allowing him to do it.

His legacy is Iraq & extremely close ties with the most idiotic US President possibly ever, and there is nothing he can do about that. Probably mostly not his fault, he was lumbered with Bush and had to work with it, though I dont think he worked it to the best of his ability.

We are certainly in Blair’s' end days now; I hope he tries to cling on for as long as possible though. I’m enjoying watching New Labour descend into complete and utter chaos. Especially that the only end result in sight is a Gordon Brown premiership. Ha! Great stuff!

I agree Kristian. Blairs causing more harm than good with his antics recently in his desoperate search for a legacy which to be honest has already been set by the War in Iraq. His attempts to end on a good note are restricting what the next leader can do.

Im willing to put down money that even when hes left the leadership position, he'll still be trying determine poliocy from the sidelines, Thatcher style. You can see this already. His authority is waning and yet he still goes on like an elderly person who everyone in the room wants to ignore, but is still there...who will persuade that person to quietly leave the room so everyone can just get on with it?

One interesting point there coming from the post above is, if Brown becomes PM, will he trust anyone else with the Chancellorship? Hes done it since 97, could he relinquish control? Who could possibly take over that portfolio?

Well, obviously he'll have to appoint a Chancellor, but how much control over the Treasury that person would have is very much open to debate. Gordon is a control freak, I can't see him allowing anyone to build up the base of power that Blair allowed him to do as part of the Granita deal. He's a meddler. We can already see this by the way he's interfered in the policy-making of other departments through limiting their budgets and so on and so forth, and this will only get worse if he becomes Prime Minister. I would not want to be an even vaguely independently-minded Cabinet Member in a government led by him.

Good question James.
If Brown is this apparent control freak I dont think it will matter! Whom ever gets the portfolio will forever be answerable to the Big Scot. Could we see the return of Charles Clarke? Or more seriously it might be Millband as he'll give the ageing front bench a youthful look. No, surely not!

As for candidates for the Chancellorship, perhaps not immediately but I'd imagine Ed Balls or another trusted and slavishly loyal Brown lieutenant would get the gig.

Not forgetting though Kristian, Brown must keep Labour looking like New Labour. Or the press will have him for breakfast, every morning untill he's booted out by the non-socilaist British public.

"His legacy is Iraq & extremely close ties with the most idiotic US President possibly ever, and there is nothing he can do about that."

I regard that as an appalling and frankly ignorant comment from a supposed Conservative.

Whatever we may think about President Bush personally, his administration has defended democracy and Western interests at a time of peril unprecedented since the end of the Cold War.

Today, the Anglosphere leads the fight for Democracy against Terror. On most issues I have little time for Blair, but he was right to support the Americans in this matter. The UN and much of the EU simply cannot be trusted.

We also need to protect Israel which, as Iain Duncan Smith recently observed, is clearly one of the most "vulnerable" democracies in the world.

There is now a great divide in the world between democracy and tyranny. I'm sad to see that one or two of our colleagues appear to have chosen the wrong side.

Of course the worrying thing is that with all of this pressure on him to go, he might start getting public sympathy!!! Who knows that might be part of his plan!

McDonnell says he'll be a leadership candidate launching on Thursday.

This is the first time Ive seen a Government fall apart like this...this is fun!

What chance a eurosceptic Labour Prime Minister? That would turn the apple cart upside down, and outflank Cameron.

Blair will go on until Brown finally finds the cojones to force him out. Personally I think Blair is amazed that Gordon has allowed him to get away with it for as long as he has, and hes now almost teasing Gordon with the idea that he still won't go.
I think Kristians point about Gordon is crucial - the man is almost pathologically risk-averse. Despite being older and more senior than Blair he stepped aside in 94, on the basis of some half-baked agreement that he'd get his turn. Since then Blair has reneged on the initial Granita pledge along with who knows how many others, and all Brown does is sulk in the Treasury. All the spin from Brownites about him not wanting to inherit a divided party or be seen as a regicide can't hide the fact that hes basically spineless...he wants a 100% sure thing before he dares to move, which means in any kind of crisis hes crippled by doubt and goes into hiding. If he does make it to PM (a big if) hes going to be found out very quickly.
By contrast, Blair is a gambler whos been on a major winning streak and might even now beleive hes unbeatable. Blair is the exact opposite of Brown. Every time he faces a crisis his response is to gamble everything on a direct assualt. A very risky strategy but so far hes won every time. I wouldn't be surprised if in his last months Blair focusses on trying to make sure its a Blairite, and not Brown who inherits.
And finally, a quick response to Monday Clubber:
"There is now a great divide in the world between democracy and tyranny. I'm sad to see that one or two of our colleagues appear to have chosen the wrong side."
Saying there's a divide between democracy and tyranny is like saying there's a divide between hot and dark. The opposite of tyranny is freedom. Lest we forget, the communist party of USSR used to get elected with a much bigger mandate than any western leader ever had. And can anyone remember what DDR stood for?
Freedom is what set the west apart from communism,and fasicm before it, and it is freedom that sets us apart from the jihadi now. We are not fighting for democracy, we are fighting for freedom and you cannot win that fight by measures that remove freeom, whether at home or abroad.
Bush is a massivly incompetent President, and his handling of post 9/11 events has been a catalogue of failure. From the decision to accord the hijackers the status of warriors by declaring the War on Terror, instead of treating them like the common criminal scum they were, through to the abortive search for Osama (and can someone PLEASE explain to me why our government who care so much for our personal and national security no longer seem to care where this man is), to the failure to properly pacify Afghanistan followed by the strategic masterstroke of turning the one secular Arab state in the world into a seething hot bed of anti-western fundamentalism and the perfect trainging ground for jihadists...the list goes on and on.
And this is not a time of "unprecedented peril" for the west. A german invasion force massed on the northern french coastline is peril. A red army equipped with millions of men and thousands of nuclear weapons is peril. A few bearded nutters blowing things up are NOT a threat to western civilisation, no matter how tragic the results of their actions might be for individuals.
As Keith Miller said on the subject of the stress of modern life - "Pressure is a Messerschmit 109 up your arse". Lets keep things in perspective please.

"Saying there's a divide between democracy and tyranny is like saying there's a divide between hot and dark. The opposite of tyranny is freedom. Lest we forget, the communist party of USSR used to get elected with a much bigger mandate than any western leader ever had. And can anyone remember what DDR stood for?"

That is mere sophistry. We are fighting for democracy AND freedom and well you know it.

"A few bearded nutters blowing things up are NOT a threat to western civilisation"

You are pathetic. The husband of one of my colleagues was one of those "things" blown up in London.

When the EU and the UN are prepared to throw up their hands at every chalenge by militant Islam of course there is a direct threat to western civilisation.

Much of politics (sadly) voils down to the egos and vanities of politicians who serve themselves as much as they serve us.

A decade in office - so what - a mere historical footnote.

Sorry Tone, but you don't get to write your own page in the history book. Perhaps you should be more focused on whose going to write your next pay cheque?

Mike B: - By shortening what Tom wrote you seriously misrepresent him. After the phrase you quoted and IN THE SAME SENTENCE he said --- "no matter how tragic the results of their actions might be for individuals." And his general comments were correct.

Blair has a lot to answer for --- lying over WMD, sending our troops to fight and die with inadequate equipment because of his obsession with "harmonising" such equipment with the EU, his involvement with the death of a respected senior civil servant, corruption in government, the politicising of the civil service - - etc etc.

BUT I agree with Monday Clubber (0758) that he was right to join with the Americans in tackling a major threat to the West and our way of life. He took stick from France and other EU countries who had been profiting greatly from illegal sanction-busting trade with Saddam. Bush had to deal with the neglect by Clinton of the acknowledged terrorist training camps in Afghanistan from which we all suffer today. If people have to have an American hate figure they should pick on Clinton who betrayed the USA and the West.

Blair had to announce pre-election that he would go or Labour would have lost.I think at the time that Blair thought the European constitution would be ratified and that he'd be a shoe in for first President of Europe.Now that's gone.He's now coming to realize that people know he's a conman,media manipulator and a liar.He has no legacy apart from disappointment and anger.It's lovely.The other good thing is it shows the Labour party for the back stabbers they really are.'It's the Conservatives who mercilessly wield the axe' oh no it ain't.Compared to Bliar all the other Labour MPs are charisma challenged.Brown is a defrosted corpse.Things can only get better.

Alice Miles had it right in the Times today:

"Assassinating a leader is dangerous enough; doing so when he is saying his farewells would appear senseless. (And anyway having read that memo I think we want to see this farewell tour played out in all its full, mad glory, don’t we?)"

Oh yes.

BREAKING NEWS - according to Sky News, Tom Watson has now resigned as Junior Defence Minister.

This is the man who represents West Bromwich East, down the road from my home constituency of Wolverhampton S.W.

He was on the ground on election day in a mad panic, along with Adrian Bailey (West Bromwich West), in order to save the now three-way marginal of TIPTON GREEN* in Bailey's parliamentary seat. They had Sylvia Heal - so at least 3 MPs were working to save what used to be a safe Labour ward.

Tom Watson, of all people, knows that Blair is such an electoral liability that he [Watson] must resign in order to put pressure on the Prime Minister. It shows considerable courage for Watson to do so, and I believe that others (including more senior MPs) will do so.

* Results in Tipton Green ward: Ahmadul Haque (LAB) 1268, Steven Parkes (BNP) 1195, and Chaudhry Muhammad Shehzad(C) 1091.

Of course from the moment Tony Blair said he wouldn't be fighting the next election as leader the speculation about when began and there is nothing he can do to stop it until he names the date.

Mind you labour MP's are hiding behind words like "an orderly transition" or calling for a clear timetable, what they really mean is they want him to stand down now.

It is a little unclear what Blair is hanging on to office for, other than by refusing to go just yet it further frustrates Gordon Brown whose endless wait for the top job goes on and on.

Blairites might well point to the polls which suggest under Gordon brown there would be a nine point tory lead lead rather than a four point one as evidence that those who see a change of leadership as a guarantee of electoral success are deluded.

lol, Watson goes. This is the start of the snowball effect. In the words of Toby Zeigler from the West Wing, grab the popcorn!

"Beyond it's strict responsibilities, there is little that government can do as well or as efficiently as the private sector."

"The nine most terrifying words in the English language are, 'I'm from the government and I'm here to help."

Two rough quotes from the great Ronnie.

Blair should stay until the next election with Whitehall in suspended animation. This might be the only way that the country can see that most things can work, and work better, without Whitehall.

Think of the billions we will save in IT costs alone.


Could it possibly be that in Tom Watson we've come across that rare animal, a politician with principle? Maybe he can see that our men are being sent to die in useless unprotected vehicles and with inadequate helicopter support to save Blair's face.

Or maybe he's just playing politics like the rest of them.

Monday Clubber & Christina, I don’t think anybody doubts the danger we face from Islamic extremism. But there are solid arguments suggesting that Bush & Blair have made the situation much worse especially concerning Iraq, which was never a haven for Al-Qaeda terrorists under Saddam, and now is due to our actions.

In fact if we were going to fight a war on terror it’s becoming apparent that the target after Afghanistan should have been Iran. We are now unable to deal with Iran in the manner that they deserve to be dealt with. This is because of the Bush administration (i.e Cheney and Rumsfeld) taking us to war in the wrong places for reasons I don’t yet truly understand and probably never will. Not to mention Blair lied in Parliament, he should of stepped down 3 years ago. This is his legacy.

Cameron has made a speech in India calling Blair a lame-duck Prime Minister! I think Blair might have had it.
Sooner rather than later, this story doesn’t look like its going to let-up. We might be looking at days not weeks...

Glenda Jackson just been ranting to Simon Mayo about how she could bail the Labour Party out of debt if she had a pound for every time her constituents told her that they wouldn't vote Labour while Blair was leader...looks like her window of opportunity is closing : )

Former PLP chairman Lord Soley on Mayo's show now saying 50:50 that Blair will go "quite quickly".

I heard the World Tonight interview last night and something was floated but not picked up on: that Blair might resign as Labour Leader before the end of the year so that Labour don't get hammered in the locals in May and stay on longer as PM. There's obviously lots of precedents for this in other countries.

Christina, 12.38 - I agree entirely - Watson has shown guts in standing up to the bullying (but disintegrating) New Labour party machine.

Now I hear that ministerial aide Khalid Mahmood (highly respected Labour MP for B'ham Perry Barr, not far from Aston University where I work) has resigned. Mr Mahmood has been pretty loyal to New Labour but has clearly been pushed to far. All credit to him too!

Tony Blair is toast - Welsh Blairbit, in fact!

Graham D'Amiral points out that:
"Blairites might well point to the polls which suggest under Gordon brown there would be a nine point tory lead lead rather than a four point one as evidence that those who see a change of leadership as a guarantee of electoral success are deluded."

The delightful thing is that Labour MPs will just cry "but you wont be here for the next election!"

I starting to think he wont last to May 31st. People will start to say "why not before the Scottish/Welsh election?", then "why give the new leader time to bed in before the scottish/welsh election?" then "why delay at all?"

Christina, Mike B, Monday Clubber,

Blair may have been right to support the war on terror in principle but what has it actually achieved towards making the West safer? The invasion of Iraq has created millions more angry muslims and thus thousands more terrorists with nothing to show for it.

The main reason we have this speculation about when Blair will go is due to the failure of the Iraq war - if everything had gone as planned, (instead of having 400 Iraqis dying last week) he could probably win another term after this one.

LOL Margaret Beckett on Simon Mayo just said she wished e-mails were abolished : )

She sounded pretty hacked off.


Which is Blair's?


Third along, the one with an uphill struggle.

Blair got elected on a promise of serving a full term of office. That could just as well mean a full two-year term, meaning an election sometime in the second half of next year, but it has to be clear that we will get a General Election shortly after the new leader is elected.

Anything else and, as a voter, i'd be not a little bit peeved.

James Maskell's comment last night about whether Brown will allow anyone else to be Chancellor having done it for so long is interesting. I think the truth is that the next Chancellor (Darling?) will have his hands pretty much tied behind his back already. Before 31st May, Brown will have the Pre-Budget Report, the Comprehensive Spending Review and the Budget - enough to control Departments' policy and spending priorities for when he takes over at Number 10.

On another point, isn't it nice to know that the party conference this year obsessing about The Leadership isn't going to be the Conservative's!

Seven resignations now.

Another four PPS's have resigned, all of whom were amongst the people who signed letters calling on Blair to quit. I caught Wayne David (Caerphilly), David Wright, Mark Tami (Alyn and Deeside) and Ian Lucas (Wrexham) as the names.

In the meantime, arch-Brownite Doug Henderson has stated that May 31 is not early enough, because of the problems that they'd face in the elections of that month.

Is the sh!t hitting the fan?

Chris Mole, MP for Ipswich, is the latest to resign. He was PPS to Phil Woolas.

I truely believe that Blair has some sort of psychological defect.I remember thinking before 1997 that he was a wrong 'un.I've never had so bad a gut feeling about a politician before or since.The one thing that I think can make him go sooner than the year is if he feels he's becoming a laughing stock.I think these resignations bring us close to that point.However I do think that his colleagues should reassure him as to his 'legacy' and give him apparent respect.Like a crying drunk that's disgraced himself at a party.Lead him with reassuring platitudes and a firm but friendly hand on his shoulder to the door then shove him out and lock it quickly.

Clearly from the Labour Party's point of view, there's no purpose in Blair remaining a day longer. They need a new face badly.

Blair is simply hoping (1) that his ratings will improve so he can go out on a high and (2) that someone will emerge who has a real chance of dishing Brown.

A bad case of waiting for something to turn up. Sadly for him, his time's run out.

The country wins either way.When he goes,he becomes a historical figure.His non legacy will inevitably be heavily discussed/trawled over.If you think/know he lied about Iraq (and the myriad other,smaller,things) this will all be raked up again ad infinitum.That's why I'm so happy.A real blot on Britain's history is going.BUT those who share the blame with him will have the searchlight shone on them again.Of course the process can be helped with judiscious letter writing/emailing to newspapers/television programmes.Going or staying he's necrosis for Labour.

Bliar is dead meat now. He will not last the week. Nobody is going to take the slightest notice of him regardless of what he says unless it is "I resign". If he doesn't go of his own accord, he will be pushed a la Thatch and he and his horrible missus will have to go and live in Mortgage Towers until Murdoch rescues them. Good riddance. He lies like a stinking fish and I hope he gets his just deserts.

20 suggested iconic visits for Blair to make on his farewell tour:
1. The Dome
2. Guantanomo Bay
3. Some service widows
4. An Iraqi WMD site
5. The country path where Dr Kelly died
6. An unfinished Wembley stadium
7. The 2006 England football team (overhyped meets overhyped)
8. Immigration HQ, Croydon
9. A prison at 6am as the prisoners are being released
10. The European Central Bank
11. The Electoral Commission to look at the redundant Referendum rules
12. The House of Commons at some time other than PMQ
13. His Building Society to reassure it that the lecture tours will start soon
14. Westminster Cathedral to sign up as a Roman Catholic, which he feared to do whilst PM
15. The JCR of his old Oxford College to meet the first students paying top-up fees
16. A meeting of Scottish Labour MPs to thank them for voting through all the English measures that their own constituents haven't had to suffer.
17. An alcoholics' dry-out centre to see where three of his closest political allies might have once been (no names, no libel actions)
18. The Queen Mother's grave to eat humble pie about trying to hijack her lying in state
19. A keep fit spinning class in a well-equipped gym
20. A Bonfire Night party to burn the evidence (but is 5 November too long to wait?)

A Legacy Tour for Blair...


I couldnt resist a chuckle, though sadly its cost Britain so much in order for Blair to have this "legacy".

My view is that all of this kerfuffle is being driven by our Scottish lords and masters. If Blair stays then the SNP will win the Scottish election and there must be a chance, albeit an outside one (I have seen 1 in 8 quoted), that they will win a majority. If they win a majority they have promised to hold a referendum on independence. The brooding Brown can't be Prime Minister representing a constituency in an independent, sovereign Scotland. Maybe that's been Blair's plan all along and why Brown has now unleashed his lap dogs.


Posted on Guido a plea for a YouTube of Blair singing Gordon is a Moron - any geeks reading this please, please do it.

If Blair stays then the SNP will win the Scottish election and there must be a chance, albeit an outside one (I have seen 1 in 8 quoted), that they will win a majority.
Always the SNP have supposedly been on the verge of sweeping to victory in a majority of Scotland's seats, always they have slipped back, their best results so far remains those in the 2 1974 General Elections - they may well make sizeable gains but they won't be the largest party even even if they trump their 1974 performances which only saw them getting 11 parliamentary seats out of 72.

New Chancellor = David Blunkett

Comrade Milliband says Blair will be gone in a years time so thats pretty much an official announcement.

Blair is a lame duck and Gordons getting out the baking tray and knocking up some orange sauce.

Only Cameron can save Blairism , thats why when he narrowly wins the next election he should invite Labour modernizers into Government to shore up a government of modernity

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