Friday, August 11, 2006

Reid Milks It

Jesus, he's certainly going to milk it for what its worth. Reid is on Radio 5 as I write this, conducting another press conference (I suspect there will be more, God help us all). Interestingly, Douglas Alexander is muscling-in on the act. Apropos the speculation about the role of Prescott, Reid says "it is the normal and conventional practice" for COBRA meetings to be chaired by the Secretary of State of the "lead department". Number 10 is saying that Reid would have chaired COBRA even if Blair was in the country. I don't think so. It is true that, at the Cabinet Office web-site, the Home Secretary is identified as the Chair of the Committee. But, as I understand it, after 7/7 it was Blair who chaired COBRA after he returned from Gleneagles (Charles Clarke chaired the meetings before Blair returned). And it is surprising that Prescott did not even attend the first two COBRA meetings on Wednesday night/Thursday morning. Prescott has, Reid says, been kept "fully informed" and will attend future COBRA meetings; but it is impossible to disguise the obvious fact that he has been cut out of the loop because of his diminished standing and the widespread view that he lacks competence. It must be humiliating for him; and why he doesn't resign is beyond me.


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