Wednesday, September 06, 2006

Is this the beginning of Blair's Charles Kennedy moment?

There have been seven resignations from the government over Tony Blair's refusal to set a date for when he is going. This follows the round robin letter of "normally loyal" MPs calling for him to end the uncertainty. Finally someone in the Labour Party has found the will to admit what everyone has known for ages.

At the start of the year Charles Kennedy faced umpteen internal demands for an end to the drift and his failure to deal the problem resulted in the escalation that eventually led to his public brutal overthrowal. Kennedy tried dismissing his critics as disloyal and pretending the problem was small - and his critics proved him wrong by getting louder and more and more public. Now Tony Blair seems to be going down a very similar route. How long will it be before the next resignation?

7 comments:

Mustafa Arif said...

One ever-so-junior minister and 6 PPSs! Who cares? They're just numpties positioning themselves to move up the greasy pole after Blair's departure.

Tim Roll-Pickering said...

Maybe they are, but from memory the first Liberal Democrats to make public resignations in January were equally lowly ranked, even by Lib Dem standards. (By the way it's now 7 PPSes - Ian Wright has joined the ranks.) But what's more damaging for Blair is the way the media are seizing on this. It will be impossible for him to escape setting out a timetable at the very least.

Louise said...

Actually - I think it's the beginning of his Margaret Thatcher moment. It has the same feeling to it as the Lady's downfall.

Anonymous said...

Iain Wright.
Get the spelling right Sassenach!

Richard said...

Louise, I was just about to say the same - I think this is his Margaret Thatcher moment. I have seen many similar political failures from Labour in recent which correspond to feelings from Thatcher's time, and a similarly potentially bleak future.

Contemplative Activist said...

...and you're enjoying every single minute of it, right ;)

Tim Roll-Pickering said...

Ruth Anne - One wouldn't be human to not enjoy some of this. Having been a member of the Conservatives through years and years of speculation, infighting and backstabbing, there is a real sense of joy to see it happening to another party.

I can't remember whether or not the battle to depose/succeed Thatcher was fought in public before the formal contest began. The downfall of Iain Duncan Smith was not particularly notable for heavyweight figures descending on television studios to row with one another in quite the way the likes of Charles Clarke are doing so. (By contrast when Kennedy fell it seemed there was hardly a Lib Dem MP who didn't appear on television to state their opinion publicly and argue with one another.)

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