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Battling on

Brian Taylor | 11:18 UK time, Tuesday, 9 June 2009

Is that it, then? Is that the insurrection over?

For practical purposes, it would appear so.

Have MPs learned to love Gordon and all his manifold works? No, this is an act of calculation - motivated, as ever, by personal electoral considerations.

MPs have worked out which course of action was most likely to give them a chance of saving their seats.

I don't, incidentally, remotely chide them for such an approach. It is precisely when such calculations are being made that the power of the voters is at its most substantial.

There are MPs like Tom Harris who have concluded that disquiet with Gordon Brown is so entrenched that his absence is required, regardless of whether that prompts an early election - which might prove challenging for Labour, to say the least.

Most appear to have decided that only GB can credibly stay in office until next May, opening the prospect of an improvement in Labour's fortunes. I stress, prospect.

As ever for a party which has governed for a prolonged period, there is another factor at play.

By now, the leader(s) have mostly promoted the ones they're going to promote, sacked the ones they're going to sack - and the others who've never been promoted or sacked have worked out that they're stuck.

The leadership, in short, has lost the leverage which the early period of power involves.
Now, here's a challenge.

Try explaining the events of the past few days to those Buddhist monks who have just emerged from a four-year retreat in Arran.


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