Sunday 7 June 2009

The new coup strategy

The "botched, half-cocked" coup has failed, so only one man can save it now.

Brown appears safe - and that's why Gordon Brown should go, argues Jackie Ashley in her mildly counterintuitive column in tomorrow's Guardian.

Brown knows that almost all the possible alternatives to him have damaged themselves in the past few days. Senior Labour people are bewildered and very critical of Alan Johnson's apparent decision to lead potential supporters up the hill only to march them down again, just before the polls closed last Thursday. They are more critical still of David Miliband for staying inside the tent. Yet by leaping, only to find no one following him, James Purnell has seemed isolated.

The only person who can save the situation is Brown himself. Couldn't friends talk him into it? I can confirm they are discussing that, calling him up without public fuss, keeping well away from media interviews. Most of these friends, however, complain that he just refuses to listen to anyone now except Mandelson.

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