Monday, January 29, 2007

Things can only get worse

There is a fair amount of speculation on the blogosphere today as to whether Tony Blair might surprise us all and resign this week or next rather than attempting to see it through to his 10th anniversary in May. Mike Smithson on Political Betting suggests his demeanour in yesterday's Politics Show interview was that of a beaten man. Meanwhile Iain Dale quotes an interesting exchange with a TV producer who seemed to think the PM's departure was now very imminent.

This might or might not come to anything. But if Blair is contemplating a swift exit, then I would suggest it might have something to do with the recent revelations from Guido revealing the existence of the secret email system that No 10 initially denied, together with the Daily Telegraph story claiming that police have now found a handwritten note from Mr Blair implicating him directly in the cash-for-peerages affair.

In my latest Podcast, which is now live, I take the view that things can now only get worse for Mr Blair, and that each new problem that arises, while it may be small in itself, is pushing him more firmly towards the exit door.

"He has made it clear he still wants to go out on a high, and has publicly stated his intention to remain in charge at least until the EU Summit due to take place at the end of June, but the odds on an enforced departure occurring well before then are now shortening by the day. Indeed, all things now appear to be conspiring towards that inevitable conclusion."

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Raymond said...

» … things can … only get worse …

oddly ironic echoes of the fanfare to which Tony marched to power!

Atomboy said...

I still think he will not leave when he thinks everyone hates him. We need to schmooze him out or he will never go.

Andrew Brown said...

You say "initially denied" suggesting they've changed their tune.

The last briefing on this from the Prime Minister's Official Spokesman seems pretty firm:

"Put that we had "rubbished" any idea of alternative computer networks, but the Mail on Saturday and "Guido Fawkes" website had both claimed that they had evidence of alternative email networks in No10 that linked up to the Labour Party, the PMOS said that we stood by what we said to ITN. There was only one email system at No10.

"Asked if it would be possible for someone to "hop on" using a No10 computer onto the Labour Party network, the PMOS said again that there was only one email system at No10."

Craigoh said...

I often post Anti-Nu-Lab, Anti-Blair comments on the Graun'. (Their link led me here.)

So I'm agin' Blair. Although I hope I'm not one of the mouth foamers, let me put it this way: I've got Champers in the fridge against this very eventuality...

But while I cannot wait for him to go, he surely won't do so until he's clocked up ten years at Number Ten. Not 9 years, 9 months.

Besides, as PM he is surely more likely and more able to deflect any trouble or dampen any flames arising from the cash-for-peerages investigation than if he's out of office.

MorrisOx said...

Two people very closely associated with him have been arrested, one for a second time.
While ever this cloud hangs over him there is no chance whatsoever that he can go out on a high.
Only he knows how this investigation is likely to conclude from his perspective.
If he knows it will run out of steam, then there is still a possibility that he can go out with some sort of reputation still intact. So he hangs on.
If he knows it may go somewhere, then surely those who will remain in power will want him out. That is now a possibility.
As things stand, his authority is shot. And never mind cash-for-honours, Labour has a huge repair job to do about the corrosive cynicism it has bred among the public about politics and politicians.
This is its legacy: it doesn't give a shit.