Thursday, January 07, 2010
Poor decision making at number 10 leads to media storm
I've already written that Hoon and Hewitt's call for a ballot on Brown's leadership was careless and damaging. Much subsequent comment has focused on the delay of the cabinet in supporting the Prime Minister. This has been taken to be a sign that the cabinet is not behind Brown.
Rather than sinister I believe this was a tactical mistake from Brown's team. A massive mistake at that. Perhaps Brown's advisers thought it better not to comment on the attempted coup for fear of making news out of something they thought they could get away with. How they thought that the Tories and media wouldn't find out or make great play of this is unfathomable. Absurd.
If they came out in support in the end then why not come out earlier? It is rather perplexing. I've long suggested that Brown's major weakness is the poor quality of the team around him. He may have again received poor advice and unfortunately has agreed with it. Hoon and Hewitt have not, unwittingly, unearthed anything new here. Brown's advisers haven't helped him and he hasn't helped himself by taking so long to act on key issues, like MPs expenses.
Out of adversity comes strength and the level of positivity coming from all sides of the grass roots Labour movement since Hoon-Hewitt's letter has been heartening. The party is tired of infighting and is largely behind Brown in a manner that might not have been the case before this affair. As Labour List states, it is only Fiona Mactaggart who has come out in support of Hoon-Hewitt.