Well this has been a whirlwind 10 hours since James Purnell announced his resignation and called on the Prime Minister to go. I doubt Mr Brown got much if any sleep and apparently the reshuffle has been brought forward to today although there are few details as of yet.
Friday, 5 June 2009
There are also little vignettes coming out like Barry Sheerman on Radio 4 just now saying that Number 10 and Yvette Cooper spent time yesterday ringing around his local party colleagues trying to get them to pure pressure on him.
My unsurprising view is what is the point? Gordon Brown will be out in a matter of days. A senior cabinet minister and bright young prospect for the future of the party has resigned and openly called for the Prime Minister to go along with several other ministers in the last few days who have been more coded (but also clearly want him to go). It looks like the local and European election results will be worse than they have ever been for a government. Gordon Brown said 18 months ago that he needed time to show us his vision for the country but the cupboard is bare. He is like the little man behind the curtain in the Wizard of Oz.
We are now into the territory of how much damage does he want to inflict on his own party. If he goes now, he can help limit the damage. If he tries to stay on and fight he could leave the party in an even worse state than the Tories were after 1997.
However, there are people around Brown who can now move and make the decision for him. People like David Miliband, Jack Straw, Alistair Darling etc. are all politically experienced enough to know that the jig is up. They should go to him now and insist he steps down.
It is not encouraging to hear that Miliband has backed Brown. I guess he is worried that if he moves against him the prize will never be his but a banana last year put paid to this anyway. The cabinet needs to follow Purnell's lead and end this charade.
Brown needs to be put out of his misery and country can breathe a sigh of relief.