Happy New Fear [sic] kids, courtesy of Patricia Hewitt and Geoff Hoon. Can't we sell off ex-Labour cabinet ministers as scrap metal or something?
Now I know that I was a big supporter of the coup attempt in June last year - see here, for example - but six months is an aeon in politics, particularly when the election is now about 4 months away. And getting rid of Brown now would be ludicrous.
The idea of changing the leader back in summer 2009 made some sense. With almost a year to go to the election there would have been an opportunity to make a start on electoral reform and also to rework policy and give the new leader - Johnson, maybe - a chance to establish himself.
But now? Even if a 'coronation' of a new PM could be arranged - unlikely, given that one of the leading Brownites would fight it even if Brown agreed to stand down (also unlikely to start with) - the new leader would have no time to build a new policy, no time for electoral reform, no time indeed for anything except to career headlong into a landslide defeat and the obliteration of the Labour party.
Which is, in fact, what Pat Hewitt and Geoff Hoon want. Hoon has always been a Tory, and Hewitt started out as Labour but moved progressively further to the right until she is now pretty much indistinguishable from Rupert Murdoch. These two have just decided to attempt to kick the party into the ground. They may indeed have made some deal with the Tories for peerages or something like that. Someone should tell them the silly season is over.
I wanted to dump Brown back in June, I'll freely admit it. He seemed to be incapable of stringing a sentence together, he was trailing DaveCam by 25 points in the polls, and it felt like a mercy killing.
But now? The poll deficit has closed to 10 points - still a lot, but the momentum is with Labour. Brown sounds like he is up for it again - at least most of the time. And while he is unlikely to win the election, the best option is to let him try rather than attempting to stick the knife in now.
I think this coup will fail because the plotters do not have the guts to see it through. Nothing's really changed since June - in fact Brown is actually doing better than in June. So why the hell now? No reason at all.
OK so Dave Miliband has been 'lukewarm' in support. But is he really popular enough in the party to be installed with a coronation? I just can't see it. Plus he's too Blairite for my liking anyway. Brown is too Blairite as well, by the way; this isn't the old Blair/Brown crap. Now Ed Miliband, maybe. But not until AFTER the election.
This coup won't outlast the big freeze. Believe me.