Friday, March 24, 2006

Now Rhodri plunges the knife in

Welsh First Minister Rhodri Morgan has today become the latest senior figure to call on Tony Blair to stand down.

Some will doubtless interpret this as disloyalty but it is surely no less than Blair deserves in the light of his extensive but ultimately fruitless attempts to keep Morgan out of the Welsh Assembly leadership in 1999-2000, as chronicled by Paul Flynn MP in his book Paper Dragons and also by Andrew Rawnsley in Servants of the People.

As Rawnsley says in his book, the lengths to which the party machine went to stop Morgan were out of all proportion to the threat which this engaging maverick represented to New Labour.

Meanwhile old lobby mucker Nick Assinder has produced a thoughtful piece on the BBC website about the shifting balance of power in 10 Downing Street.

"Many believe that Mr Brown has just delivered his last Budget. They claim it would be difficult, if not downright embarrassing, for him to have to deliver a repeat premier-in-waiting performance in a year's time," he writes.

Quite right Nick. The public is fed-up of the phoney war betwen Blair and Cameron and now wants to see the main event. Bring it on.

1 comment:

Normal Mouth said...

No offence Paul but this is a rather superficial reading of Rhodri's comments. The Welsh FM is well known for allowing his 'lips to flap in the breeze' as they say in Wales, and I suspect he was merely musing on the most propitious timing of Blair's departure from the point of view of his own electoral fortunes.

Rhodri, as you touch upon, was knifed by Blair and is no Blairite. But neither is his given to Frank Dobson style fits of pique. After all, Blair's opposition ultimately gave Rhodri a much more solid base within the Labour Party in Wales than he otherwise would have enjoyed.