James Forsyth

The worst of all possible worlds for Labour

The worst of all possible worlds for Labour
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Brown didn’t have the cojones to makes balls Chancellor and so one potential trigger for multiple Cabinet resignations has been avoided. But the country now has a Chancellor who everyone—including the markets—knows is not the Prime Minister’s first choice for the job. What authority will Darling now have when he pronounces on economic matters?

Brown by backing away from this confrontation has confirmed that he knows how weak he is. He has proved that he is a lame duck Prime Minister. Tony Blair's 'weak, weak, weak' jibe springs to mind.

Alan Johnson by taking the Home Office has bound himself in more closely to Brown. The rebels will now have to force a vacancy or a contest before Johnson can get into the game.

One of the key questions now is whether Labour backbenchers can see how disastrous it will be for the government to stumble on for the next year with a Prime Minister and Chancellor so lacking in authority.

Written byJames Forsyth

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

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