Game on – blimey! Came in from election at around 11pm to find news of James Purnell’s resignation. As the night wore on – it seemed the senior cabinet members were rallying around – but they would, wouldn’t they?

Of course – given the nature of Brown – he won’t cave in or go quietly – and the ultimate threat he holds in his big clunking fist is to go to the Palace and call for a general election. I reckon he would do that in preference to an ignominious exit. That is his trump card – his only card right now.

As the reshuffle takes shape – we will see whether there is one last play of the dice – or not.

Watching the tumultuous nature of history in the making is something quite extraordinary to experience first(ish) hand. But in the four years I have been in Parliament – it seems it is always thus – a brutal rough trade indeed. I looked at Gordon during PMQs on Wednesday – where given the pressure he didn’t do too badly. I wonder how anyone is tough enough (or egotistical enough) to bear these moments. Backed into a corner and fighting for his political life – but still fighting.

As today moves on – we will see the full effect of the election results and the scale of the meltdown in Labour. In eight hours of telephone canvassing for the Euros yesterday – I found very, very few Labour voters. But who knows – the dire straights that Labour are now in may make those who bleed Labour if you cut them cleave to their tribal past – whether from pity or loyalty – who knows. Today and then on Sunday (with the European election results) we’ll see.

As for Purnell – I wonder – did he think this was his moment? If fortune favours the brave and who dares wins – did he think that this was his moment for a footnote in history, his chance to make his mark and be a serious player in future years? This game of chess is not quite at checkmate, however, and depending what happens next – we will see if he was brave – or foolish?

0 thoughts on “Blimey!

  1. I think in Purnell's case, taking what he did at face value is actually the right response. I think he reached a "Popeye" moment; having been battered by "Bluto" Brown to a point where it was unbearable, he decided to cry, "That's all I can stand and I can't stand no more!" Even though it failed to dislodge Brown, at least he can rest easily knowing that his seat is safe, and that he is probably the most well regarded Labour politician in the country.