Total bloody shambles
This whole thing is an embarrassment. Not only are the Labour party demonstrably too incompetent to run the country, they’re too incompetent to run a coup. By staggering the three resignations over three days, it would seem that they were trying to maximise the impact. In fact it seems to have enabled Brown to survive – by playing each resignation as it came. Further, as it seems that these were not really co-ordinated at all, and that there is certainly no organised plot within cabinet to defenestrate our woeful Prime Minister. That John Hutton has simultaneously managed to self-immolate without even criticising Brown is particularly useless.
The silence of Alan Johnson – now sealed by his willingness to take the Home Office, the quiescence of David Miliband, the conspicuous loyalty of Peter Mandelson: all these things add up to there not being a palace coup. That Brown has been forced to hold his reshuffle before the results come through may actually have helped make a palace coup impossible – how could you take a job on Friday and call for a Prime Ministerial resignation on Monday?
So we are left with the possibility of a peasants revolt – that mythical email. But on a purely procedural level this won’t have the power to force Brown to stand down; the Labour Party internal rules make it very hard for a sitting Prime Minister to be forced out if he refuses to co-operate. So, although it would seem impossible for Brown to survive – especially if the election results are as bad as I think they will be – it actually seems more likely now that he will survive. Piss ups and breweries.