Peter Hoskin

Staring defeat in the face<br />

This snippet from today’s Guardian tells you everything you need to know about Labour morale at the moment:

“Gordon Brown is facing an escalating crisis of confidence inside the parliamentary Labour party as record numbers of his MPs apply to sit in the House of Lords after the next general election. In the clearest indication to date that increasing numbers of Labour figures believe the party is heading for a heavy defeat at the hands of David Cameron, the Guardian has learned that at least 52 MPs have formally approached Downing Street to be given places in the upper house.

The MPs include current chairs of select committees as well as past and serving middle and junior ranking ministers, according to Labour sources. They account for a seventh of those elected at the last election.” The clear threat for Brown is that this fin de siècle mood forces him out before the next election, on the basis that “anything is better than this”.  After all, Brown now has nothing to offer his colleagues.  You can only bounce so many times, and you feel that the Dear Leader exhausted all his elasticity last autumn and – to a lesser degree – after the G20 summit.  The prospects are much better for, say, a “Johnson bounce” – and, from the perspective of Labour MPs, that could could be enough to save a few seats.

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