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Friday, 5 June 2009
Now that James Purnell has run from the cabinet and openly told Gordon Brown to resign, on top of all the others, David Miliband has surely only made a statement that steadies the ship overnight. Miliband and Alistair Darling will now expect to stay in their jobs, which means they would rise in power and demonstrate Brown's weakness. If Brown moves either or both, they won't accept other jobs and will add to the sense of impending doom - in that they will comment from outside (via resignation speeches and more) and because it may get difficult for Brown to fill some cabinet posts. Labour MPs are openly disagreeing with themselves. It isn't a straight Blairite fight here, getting their own back on Gordon Brown, because Darling worked closely with Brown and showed himself as a lapdog - rather that Brown's back room boys tried to load the crap on to Darling as a sort of scapegoat for present troubles. Mandelson is also showing loyalty to Brown, though his options to strike are limited for the very reason he was chosen to add ballast to Brown - he is in the House of Lords. He wants to be Foreign Secretary (to remove Miliband) but there is more damage removing Miliband now (thus his quick and clever statement, only that he is not resigning, that actually doesn't commit him to much.)