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January 08, 2010


Dave Weeden

Great headline. That's worth knowing, but it doesn't explain the attempted coup: both the plotters and the rest of the cabinet want Labour to win the next election. I actually think getting rid of Brown would make that slightly more likely. That her motives may be corrupt doesn't make her analysis wrong.


My theory: this is actually the Blairites signalling that they're on board for the elections. There is no way they could credibly promise this, other than by demonstrating weakness.

[strokes white cat]

Signalling, of course, must be costly to be credible. So they send in Hoon and Hewitt. One of them obviously has a future outside politics, and the other is Hoon and getting rid of him is a net gain to any political faction. (his CLP is already getting the deselection vote organised.)

Also, of course, using Hoon guarantees the thing will be botched badly enough to get the point across, and eliminates any risk of accidental success. Further, he's evil enough to do it and thick enough not to understand his real role. The perfect fall guy.

Apparently he wrote a letter demanding Brown's resignation back in the summer but never delivered it because he was still hoping they might give him a job in Brussels. What a piece of work.

Richard J

That episode of the Thick of It (one of the specials, I think) where Malcolm and Jamie get through about four stalking horse challengers in a night pretty much as a way of getting rid of some dead wood is looking remarkably prescient now...


both the plotters and the rest of the cabinet want Labour to win the next election

I don't think this can be assumed.

I actually think getting rid of Brown would make that slightly more likely. That her motives may be corrupt doesn't make her analysis wrong.

Waving a wand and replacing Brown with A.N. Other overnight, perhaps. Defenestrating Brown and electing a new leader of the Labour Party, in what would presumably be a contested election, between now and May... no. Success for Hewn and Hooitt, here and now, could only damage Labour's chances - and I think they'd both have to be idiots not to realise that. So what is Patricia Hewitt up to?


Enriching herself, I guess: or investing her remaining political capital in the possibility of same.

Anyway: this is Blood & Treasure's 10,000th comment. Woo!


Well, it keeps us off the streets.

Solomon Hughes

This is my speculation. Who knows what evil lurks in the heart of Hewitt ? Only the Shadow knows, but my guess is this - I would think Hoon and Hewitt's motive is that they hate a Brown government more than they hate a Cameron government. So their ideal result would have been Miliband (or whatever other Blairite banality) taking charge and winning the election. But if it didn't work, and Cameron won thanks to the bloody internicine battle, that would still be better than Brown winning. And if their coup failed , and that hurt Labour, so be it - for the Blairites, Cameron is better than Brown.
Out here among the Oi Polloi it is very hard to tell the difference between Brownites and Blairites, but that doesn't mean they don't view things passionately. Brown's Ed-Balls "Class Warfare" tack to the left might look completely imaginary to sensible folk, but the the Hewitt's and Hoon's it is dangerous red stuff, added to their personal hatreds.
Which is where the health cash comes in - Hewitt is already in that wing which isn't sure which they think is worse - Brown or Cameron. Part of this is the stalling of the health privatisation plan which Hewitt always backed. And now she has a very strong financial reason to back it. Remember Hewitt gets more for working for Boots and Cinven than she does for being an MP. She might more accurately be described as a Health Business Executive and Part Time MP. Then up pops Cameron with his health manifesto offering your employers fresh business. As she is a political adviser to Boots and Cinven, it seems likely to me that she will have prepared "what will the Tories do" reports for her employers. So she should be conscious of the Tory announcements. So maybe that is enough to tip the balance and go for the Coup. Nothing to lose, everything to gain, either way.

As to the second part, why is it so useless - I suspect that Hewitt and Hoon are not strong at organising in adversity . They are too used to easy headlines, supportive journalists , the whipping system, Ministerial support, so without it they just can't do grassroots organisation, even when your grass roots are the quality turf of the MP's

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