Thursday, July 31, 2008
Two Labour backbench MPs are calling for Gordon Brown to sack David Miliband as Foreign Secretary after yesterday's will he, won't he stance over whether he was mounting a leadership challenge. The latest new on that front is that David told Jeremy Vine on Radio two that he is "not running a leadership campaign".
However, what would occur if Gordon where to sack Miliband from his cabinet?
For a start he would be accused of double standards. How often in his 1o year wait to become Prime Minister did Gordon not say, or leak stories to further the cause for his anointing as the divine Tony's successor. Admittedly he did wait longer than the first year of Blairs leadership before doing so, young David may be showing exceeding haste in copying his mentor.
The other thing is outside the cabinet would Miliband not become a stalking horse, unrestrainable, or at least more so that at present. The fact that rebel extraordinaire Bob Marshall-Andrews is one of the two calling for his sacking is strange when you consider the predecessors. Look at the almost constant threat to Margaret Thatcher from Michael Hesletine and then John Redwood when they were outside the confines of her cabinet. You also wonder, if not for his untimely death in 2005, just what role Robin Cook would have taken in the anointing of Blair's chosen heir. I doubt he would have sat back totally, indeed I think he would have given the Labour Party a contest, maybe even have won it. One thing he would have had over Miliband would have been the experience he was lacking.
So what will Gordon do with the questionable mini-rebellion of youth? Take him aside as a caution? Take him out for a meal to discuss when he will seamlessly pass on the baton? No can't do that Granita's been shut down. Gordon can't afford to have such talk within the ranks of his cabinet, at the same time he can't allow it to be unconstrained from the backbenches.
He faces a dilemma when he does return from Suffolk, and gets confortable by retying a tie around his neck. Cause he sure hasn't carried off the casual element of smart casual on his holiday so far, possibly because he can't truly relax with the knife's grinding on the stones at Westminster.