I have had one of my inspired moments (like tipping Cameron for the leadership as far back as July), so I am posting it on my blog so that if I am proved right I can point to it proudly, and if I am not, I can bury it in my Archive!
Much is being said about the speed of Blair's demise. Some Labour people want Blair to go now before any more damage is done. Some say that Brown wants him to hang on a bit longer so that he can stick as much crap to him as possible before he takes over all nice and clean and ready to order the withdrawal from Iraq as his first act.
Some Tories want him gone now so that Brown has longer to show his true colours before the next election. Some want him to carry on longer so that the stench of sleaze and incompetence grows stronger. They hope that Brown won't have time to recover it before the next election.
Therein lies the problem. We are all assuming the date of the next election.
Brown is no slouch and has the downfall of the Tories embedded in his soul. He will know that much comparison will be made with Major. He will know the risk of taking over midway and then limping through an election only to see it all collapse around him.
How does he avoid it. Well if I were him I would take the leadership from Blair as soon as possible (May / June), purge the Blairites and go straight to the polls to secure a fresh mandate in his own name and based on the withdrawal from Iraq, no matter how soon after the last general election.
You see if I'm wrong. General election in October this year or May 2007 at the latest. That's how to wrong foot a resurgent Tory Party.