Gordon Brown says he will stick to his demand for the 42 days detention by police for terrorist suspects. Whips are frantically going around Labour MPs with heavy amounts of arm twisting, but there is huge resistance to this extension of detention. So, like John Major (with whom he is increasingly compared), Gordon is going for the nuclear option. Except that when John Major did this over the Maastricht Treaty, he had the Liberal Democrats support him when the government could have fallen. Gordon Brown has everyone in the opposition against him (there is always the odd individual). If he pushes this 42 days, not only will the usual suspects vote against him, but so will the Labour principled (who are not arm twisted back into line) and so will those who will come to see this vote as an opportunity to wield the knife and remove him for someone with better electoral prospects.
Is this Gordon actually miscalculating? Is this the same Gordon as the one who does not turn up to controversial happenings, or delays them, or moves them to a sideshow? Is he really going to be the captain making a decision at last and going down with a ship that has been holed?
If he loses this vote, he will presumably try to hang on, but his diminishing credibility will be shot through. If he loses the vote, he is finished. He is, it seems, supplying himself with his own gun. John Major knew he would win his vote, and he got the treaty through, though it helped destroy his party for years. Surely the Labour Party will have to let Gordon Brown destroy himself.
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