Anorak News | Civil War

Civil War

by | 7th, September 2006

DID he fall or was he putsched?

Plans to defenestrate Tony Blair appear to be far advanced and things are getting messy.

As the front page of the Times says: “Labour paralysed as the poison spreads.” The paper talks of “civil war” in the Labour party.

It’s Tony Blair versus Gordon Brown. And looking at the Times’s front-page picture of a beaming Gordon, this is a war only one side can win.

Unless, of course, Brown is a peculiarly gallant loser, a loser’s loser, a man who’s happy to lose so long as the better man wins?

Stranger thinks happen. Like the Guardian hearing leftwing Labour MP John McDonnell describe the in fighting as being like an episode from The Sopranos, albeit with Scots accents, bad food and no sex.

These are strange times. As the leader asks: “Who could honestly have predicted, back in 1994 or even as late as 2005, that the years of New Labour ascendancy would end in this way, with an irreconcilable eyeball-to-eyeball confrontation between the two men whose raw talent and unprecedented closeness built the most electorally successful government in the history of the British left?”

A fight? The papers gather round to take look. On the day one minister and six junior members of the Government resigned (the Independent sees one minister and seven parliamentary aides go), the Telegraph reports on Tony and Gordon’s meeting at number 10.

The tone is "hostile" and "appalling". A source close to Tony tells the paper: “The Prime Minister’s view is that he is not the aggressor in this. It is therefore not up to him to clear it up.”

Not everyone agrees. Tom Watson, an ally of Gordon’s, left his post at the Ministry of Defence and in a resignation letter calls upon Tony to quit.

Writes Watson: "I share the view of the overwhelming majority of the party that the only way the party and Government can renew itself in office is urgently to renew its leadership.”

Tony calls Watson “disloyal, discourteous and wrong".

It seems like Tony is not keen on going when someone else says so. Politicians do not rise to the top without being vain. And having been told how right you are for years, it must be hard to hear that you are now wrong.

But Tony will go. The only question is when. While Tory MP Boris Johnson sounds like an old duffer sat on some massive wingback chair as he writes “Whom the gods wish to destroy, they first make mad”, the guessing game begins.

And someone opens a window at number 10, to let the clearing air in and Tony out…

Posted: 7th, September 2006 | In: Uncategorized Comment | TrackBack | Permalink