Reid rules himself out

The Mole, who is ignored at peril according to Guido, has suggested that John Reid has privately assured Gordon Brown that he will not throw his jackboots into the ring when the leadership is up for grabs.  Some have speculated that this leaves John Hutton as the man preparing to be a kamikazee for the Blairites.

There is a view emerging among Westminster hacks that the Blairites will not stand anyone for leader or deputy leader, but will instead use the threat of a candidacy to protect their seat at the table.  Their aim is to become a decent sized faction within the Brown camp, rather than a beaten and weak faction on the outside looking in.

It is an interesting idea – but the threat of Hutton now throwing his hand is hardly the political equivalent of North Korea getting the bomb… Will the Brownites be frightened?

16 Responses to Reid rules himself out

  1. HenryG says:

    The Blairites would get smashed and they know it. They are negotiating from a position of weakness. Apart from David Miliband I can’t see many Blairites fitting into a Brown cabinet. And that is Blair’s legacy.

  2. I would take anything on First Post with a pinch of salt as seeing as only a few days ago the “Mole” was saying “It’s John Reid who now looks the man most likely to challenge Brown” and they are still carrying this listing of Blair and Brown supporters (http://www.thefirstpost.co.uk/index.php?menuID=1&subID=361) which has Chris Bryant and Sion Simon listed as Blairites and Douglas Alexander and Alan Johnson as undecideds…

  3. Andrea says:

    “Apart from David Miliband, I can’t see many Blairites fitting into a Brown cabinet”

    I think the government won’t suffer from the absence of Tessa Jowell, Hilary Armstrong and also from Hazel “all it’s fantastic, just smile” Blears

  4. nick says:

    Blears may survive but I will be both surprised and disappointed if Armstrong does!

  5. Andrea says:

    I used to like Blears when she was at the Home Office…but since becoming Party Chairman, she started to look a bit out of her depth with all those smiles (Polyanna would look like a depressed person next to her)

  6. In terms of content, Blears hasn’t been as bad as party chair as I’d expected. Unfortunately, her fixed smile is genuinely frightening. She needs to learn at least a couple of alternative facial expressions.

    As an outsider in this family feud, I’m not really clear who in the cabinet is a Blairite and who’s a Brownite. Is there an accurate list?

  7. Passing Tory says:

    Isn’t some of this speculation echoing some of the problems that we had in the 1992-1997 Parliament? The trouble with all of this is that the media will grab any piece of tittle-tattle and will run with it.

    The other problem is that all this really does turn off the public at a time that politics and politicians (of all parties) are held in low esteem.

  8. Nick says:

    The media certainly went out of their way to give an impression of crisis and chaos under Major, and now they try to frame anything that happens within the Labour Party in terms of Brown v Blair, often to the point of extreme silliness.

    During Blair’s speech at Conference, for example, Sky News had a camera trained on Brown the whole time so you could see his reaction to every line in a box on the screen. Ridiculous – but it all builds up the narrative.

  9. tyger says:

    Some great prose. “Jackboots” Love it.

    You must be paying those monkeys well.

  10. Actually I think it’s a bit offensive to refer to a Labour politician – however hardline on security issues – as “throwing their jackboots into the ring”.

  11. It’s just a joke Luke, lighten up mate…

  12. Absolutely agree it’s deeply offensive to suggest Reid would be lily-livered enough to through ‘jackboots’ into the ring, I think he could easily stretch to a small nuclear warhead.

  13. You will have to explain the “joke” to me. What is the connection between the current Home Secretary and an item of footware associated with the Nazis?

  14. Nick says:

    Jackboot = symbolic footwear of brutal authoritarianism
    John Reid = smiling face of brutal authoritarianism

    Come on Luke, you can’t say that John Reid doesn’t revel in having some tough views.

  15. Ian G says:

    I think it was Ann Balck who first flagged this up from John Reid’s speech:

    “It cannot be right that the rights of an individual suspected terrorist be placed above the rights, life and limb of the British people”

    ie, if you’re suspected, not convicted or proved, but merely suspected you risk losing your basic rights in John Reid’s Britain. That’s pretty dangerous stuff in my opinion.

  16. Well, it depends what this is actually meant to mean.

    Reid isn’t attempting to jail everyone who’s under some suspicion of being a terrorist – at least not until there’s room in the jails – so there’s an extent to which, assuming that this statement is meant to be taken literally, his practical position is out of step with his principles.

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