In Westminster, the speculation over Gordon Brown’s leadership continues to mount and polls continue to plunge (according to YouGov, only 18 percent think he is an asset and only 15 percent think he is up to the job), the first round of the challenge draws ever closer, and Miliband is waiting in the wings. Since the humiliating by-elections defeats, with a 17.6 percent vote turn around in Crewe and Nantwich, and a swing of 22.5 percent in Glasgow East, the cracks within the Labour Party have begun to emerge and a showdown now seems inevitable. Some such as John McDonnell are already demanding to test Brown, and his most likely adversary Miliband refuses to deny a Leadership challenge, has made subtle attacks, cancelled a foreign trip and held what many are calling a ‘farewell’ party.
This is all very suspicious behaviour from the man who says he ‘always supported Gordon’s leadership, and from a party that loves to use covertness to bring about change (e.g. Gordon’s Stealth Taxes). It is always possible that Miliband’s actions are a poorly timed coincidence, but as some of his colleagues have begun to label him as a self-serving egotistical backstabber who is damaging the party, one can only conclude that Brown’s leadership is deeply under threat. Only time will tell how Brown’s premiership ends, however one doesn’t have to be a fortune teller to guess that Brown will be down and out before a second term; either through regicide or in 2010.
Even if Miliband took the helm of Labour, would he be able to steer the party away from catastrophe at the next election? Or, is the death of Labour upon us?
To be continued…