Thursday, June 29, 2006

Clarke fizzles out

Charles Clarke's media offencive seems to have been a bit of a damp squib. It was certainly not a "Howe moment". Dead sheep he may have been but Howe fatally wounded; Clarke has fallen far short of that. Howe resigned; Clarke was sacked. There were political differences at stake in Howe's case (over Europe); I can't see any in the case of Clarke (it is, apparently - God help us - all about his "honour"). Only a few months ago he was an uber-Blairite, who wanted Blair to stay as long as possible, and was spoken of as a possible Blairite candidate for the leadership; now he is plainly trying to work his way back into Cabinet. Nevertheless it is all part of the steady stream of bad news stories and cock-ups which keep chippinbg away at Blair's authority. The latest news (in yesterday's Guardian) is that Blair wants to avoid a bust-up at the autumn conference and is seeking a deal with Brown for a departure next year. The only trouble is that there is no reason why Brown should "believe a word he says". The good news for Blair is that the summer is upon us and Parliament will soon be in recess. In September, however, after a summer of quiet scheming, the game will be on again. I still think the fatal blow will have to be struck from within the tent: but does anyone have the balls?


Post a Comment

<< Home