Peter Hoskin

Is the rebellion over for this week?

Is the rebellion over for this week?
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So where have the emails and signed letters calling for Brown to resign gone to?  They certainly didn't appear during the PLP meeting yesterday, which leads you to wonder why.  Didn't they get enough signatures?  Did the signatories decide to hold off, to give Brown time to reconstruct his premiership?  Or are they planning to drop a bombshell over the next few days?  

You feel that if the letters - and possible stalking horse challenges - were to appear, then they'd have done so last night.  After all, that was the moment for the Labour party to speak to the Dear Leader; to make their case en masse.  The Commons gets a similar chance tomorrow, during the debate over whether Parliament should be dissolved.  But if there aren't going to be more than six dissenting voices from the Labour benches, then that will turn out to be little more than another set of embarrassing headlines for Brown - and he's kinda used to those.  He is nothing if not resilient.

This isn't to say Brown has escaped lightly, if at all.  As I said yesterday, he is now in an impossibly weak position, and you can expect leadership speculation to trouble him for as long as he's in office.  The main worry for Brown is that the next flashpoint could arrive at any time, and over anything.  All if will take is for one minister to feel that they've been briefed against, or another damaging set of poll numbers, and things could go nuclear.  It could be next week; it could be the week after; or in a few months time.  What we have now is constant fear, loathing and unpredictability.  Have fun, Prime Minister.