Labour’s new strategy: cut and run; survive to fight another day.
A the end of a very bad day for the Labour party in the country , it is the news that Charles Clarke has publicly announced that he will not run for the Labour leadership and John Reid's news that he will resign from teh Cabinet when Brown takes over that really gives us the meaning of it all and describes just how bad things are.
Clarke, with his cohort, Milburn, has always had that glint in his eye that just told you he was going to go for it. But even one as slightly deranged as he has taken one look at today's political landscape and has pulled out.
Everyone now knows that the game is up and that Brown must face the music – alone. It will be immensely painful but thankfully it will be brief. And that is precisely why all the other potential candidates will sit on their hands. They prefer a survival strategy. The sooner Brown takes over, the sooner they lose and the sooner Brown can be dispatched and replaced. That is the time to rescue Labour, not now.
If you are around 50-ish, that is by far a better option than challenging now. After all, even if you win, what is the prize? The vile legacy of Blair and Iraq? The economic pensions black hole of Brown? A failing NHS? The torment of the Scottish Nationalists and the collapse of the Union? A revived and attractive Conservative challenge?
No thanks, Mr Brown. Its all yours, and you deserve it.
Brown has made his bed and he must now lie in it. He will fulfil the single ambition that has driven him for two decades and, in sweet revenge for his bitterness, cowardice, stubbornness and failure, it will be a (short) living nightmare.
If you have ever wondered what it is like to be governed by a very vicious, nasty man with a bunker, Millwall* supporter mentality, you are about to find out.
It pains me to realise that I am living the best years of my life under some of the most despicable political leadership I can imagine.
*Famously, Millwall supporters chant “Everyone hates us, we don’t care!”