James Forsyth

Johnson’s dividing lines

Johnson's dividing lines
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Very interesting write-up in the Mirror today of a speech Alan Johnson is delivering in London today. The enthusiasm of the report suggests that the Mirror is very much open to Johnson replacing Brown.

The line of attack, though, is still very Brown. The Mirror reports that Johnson will say:

"It is telling that the Conservatives paid lip service to the importance of investing in public services during the good times. But now the recession has seen them revert to their default position of cutting public services at the expense of the most vulnerable in our society."

The minister will warn that the country needed to wake up to the "hideous reality of austerity Conservatism" in which Mr Cameron's party planned to hack billions of pounds from vital public services.

If Johnson can get Brown’s message over better than Brown himself, the message to Labour is obvious. It does, though, seem that Johnson is repeating Miliband’s mistake of last summer. He is making it clear he’s available if the party gets rid of Gordon first but nowhere near enough thought has gone in to how get Gordon.

Matt writes of the plotters’ plans this week but thinks they won’t be enough to topple Brown. What they need is a Cabinet Minister with standing to resign and tell the truths about Brown and his prospects that the majority of Labour MPs know deep down. Brown is weak enough now, that this might be enough to bring him down.

Written byJames Forsyth

James Forsyth is Political Editor of the Spectator. He is also a columnist in The Sun.

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