Friday, September 01, 2006
Blair: gone by February?
"Blair now knows he must go soon, sooner than he expected to when he made his ´no fourth term' pledge (2008?), probably sooner than he currently plans (February 2007, not August?). Brown is almost certainly too smart a politician and too earnest a democrat to think he cannot avoid a leadership contest of some kind when that happens. My hunch is that none of the much-touted heavyweight alternatives - John Reid, Alan Milburn, Charles Clarke etc - will run, though genial leftwinger, John McDonnell MP, is already running, trying to stir a debate about the future direction of the party. Quite right too, though he is likely to lose most of the debate as well as the contest. Blair will back Brown.¨ —Michael White