Fraser Nelson

A Laboured farce

A Laboured farce
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Disquiet on the Labour backbenches, calls for Brown to go, Harriet Harman calling for "unity" - ie, politician-speak for "I'm game": will Labour stage a mutiny this summer, as they failed to do last summer? Absolutely not. Tories do mutiny, and do it properly. It's House of Cards-style brutality: serious people doing serious violence to each other.

With the Tories, it's a lethal drama. In my News of the World column I say what we're likely to get from Labour is a summer pantomime. A tragicomic performance with mad hatter Brown, John PrescottĀ  returning to the stage, chasing girls and raising laughs and David Miliband whipping out another banana. And none of them taking out Brown.

We saw last summer that Labour is psychologically incapable of removing a leader. It offends their collectivist instincts. There are many good men (and women) in Labour, but too few to pull off a coup. Sure, there's no McBride to smear them. But who can wound Brown fatally? He seems to live out that old Churchill saying: in war, you can die only once. In politics, many times. And Brown has 'died' more times that Captain Scarlet.

Say what you like about Brown (and I do) but he's perhaps the most resilient MP in Westminster. I can't see anyone in Labour with the determination or muscle to depose him. So all Labour can do is make clear to the world that they have no confidence in their leader, but lack the guts to depose him. It won't be a summer of assassination, but a comedy of errors. Fear, loathing, angst and indecision. Or, as the graphic artists at the News of the World called it, Malice in Blunderland. And here, for your amusement, is the brilliant illustration they drew up to accompany my column.

Written byFraser Nelson

Fraser Nelson is the editor of The Spectator. He is also a columnist with The Daily Telegraph, a member of the advisory board of the Centre for Social Justice and the Centre for Policy Studies.

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