James Forsyth

There are more twists left in this plot

There are more twists left in this plot
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As Fraser said earlier, the rebellion has not been defeated: Brown has not had some moment that restores his authority. Instead, he has made the same pledges that he has made before—to set out his vision, to be more inclusive and to call off his bully boys—and they look like they will be enough to buy him a few more weeks.

But these pledges won’t be met because Brown can’t change. (Hands up if anyone thinks we’ll make it through the summer without a minister being briefed against by Downing Street). So, soon enough there will be another trigger for a rebellion—defeat in Norwich North or a string of polls with Labour in the teens, say—and the whole show will start all over again. 

The longer that this goes on, the more damage will be inflicted on the Labour party. Brown can’t restore his authority, so logically Labour should get rid of him. But even many of those in the PLP who grasp this point are incapable of acting on it. There are few who are prepared to fight and fight again to save the party they love. Instead, they’d rather someone else did the fighting and then they can move to pick up the spoils from the battle field.

PS There’s a rumour that a poll that is due out tomorrow will show Labour doing significantly better with people other than Brown in charge. More as we get it.

Written byJames Forsyth

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

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