Deep down, most bullies are secretly cowards, trying to dominate others as a way for overcoming their own insecurities. They invariably seek their goals by the easiest route and always despise fair play and genuine competition.
And in many ways this sums up Gordon Brown's approach to the Labour Leadership "Contest", big clunking fists and all.
Today comes the worrying news that John McDonnell may not be successfully nominated after all. (BBC News: Brown rival needs more supporters) Now some of this can be attributed to bitterness by Michael Meacher fans (or Labour MPs who, like me, just wanted to see the laugh of Meacher going forward) but Brown has refused to encourage Labour MPs to help ensure there is a contest, unlike Nicolas Sarkozy who urged France's Mayors to help give the public as wide a choice as possible. And it can be no coincidence that so many others who have been talked of over the years have declined to put themselves forward.
Why is Brown so scared of a contest? The favourite invariably wins a Labour leadership election, but it is far, far better to win over some opposition.
Four years ago many Labour friends of mine were proclaiming how Michael Howard had been "selected" "undemocratically" as Conservative leader after being the only candidate in the 2003 election. Where are they now?