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?