Labour's World Cup strategy
Operation World Cup is under way.
No, not an op on Wayne's foot. And no, not a plan to combat hooliganism. This is Downing Street's not very secret strategy to steady the good ship Labour. The thinking's simple. If we can just make it to Saturday without sinking, then the public's minds will be on metatarsals, robot dances and barbeque fuel - and the papers will have more than enough to fill without needing to cover day 19 of the row about John Prescott.
In the meantime, the masterplan involves ensuring that Tony Blair's seen to be as busy as possible doing the public's business and not worrying about his own or his deputy's position.
That's why the cameras were invited in to a Cabinet committee for the first time yesterday. That's why he announced a policy he's announced before and dropped before on cutting housing benefit for those who are anti-social. That's why he met business leaders to discuss climate change today. And - this is the last "that's why", I promise - he's doing a web interview this afternoon taking questions from the public (which you can take watch and take part in by going to Downing Street's website).
This is the way Blair has survived previous crises - look calm in public and look busy too. On other occasions it's meant that he's been been able to defy all those who predicted - or hoped - that he'd be gone soon. Gordon Brown's supporters may wish to ponder whether the World Cup will allow him to escape again.