If you haven’t already, do read John Rentoul’s column in today’s Independent on Sunday. It is the first time that a major commentator sympathetic to New Labour has seriously suggested that Gordon Brown won’t make it to the next election.
Rentoul predicts that Brown will recover and then fizzle again. Here’s what happens next in his scenario:
The wisdom of the wise is that Miliband is not ready, or that he never will be ready. And it is true that, as Foreign Secretary, he has lost some of the fluency, urgency and thoughtfulness he showed at Environment. But he has the youth, the green credentials, the charm and the brain power to trump Cameron.
If the voters have already decided that Brown is not right for the job and that they want someone more like Blair, then Miliband is the only Labour rival to Cameron that could rise to that call.” I still think that the chances of Brown going before the next election are only about 6-1, but the mere fact that serious people like Rentoul are talking about it helps further drain Brown of his authority. The danger is that Team Brown exacerbates the situation by trying to knee-cap all the potential successors which would just harm the government even more.
In the meantime, Wendy Alexander’s position has become even more precarious with the latest revelations. Her departure would be another blow for Brown.