For a long time I have believed that Jon Cruddas might be the secret Gordon Brown candidate in the Labour deputy leadership election, mainly because he doesn't want to be DPM and Gordon doesn't really want one. Analysis of the nominations, however, strongly suggests that Harriet Harman is the favoured one.
Although Brownite blogging MP Tom Watson is indeed supporting Cruddas, the nomination list for Harperson looks like a roll-call of Brown's inner circle.
Key lieutenants of El Gordo plumping for Mrs Dromey include: Douglas Alexander, Nick Brown, Tom Clarke, Yvette Cooper, Alistair Darling, Nigel Griffiths, Geoff Hoon, Kevan Jones, Ed Miliband and Michael Wills.
Watson aside, the only ones among the Chancellor's intimates standing aloof from the Harman campaign are Ed Balls, who plumps for Alan Johnson, John Healey, who goes for Hilary Benn, and Doug Henderson, who is yet to nominate.
Continued May 17. Following on from the above, I supopose that if it is the case that Gordon is backing Harriet the obvious question is why? If he thinks that she is the candidate to help Labour reach the parts of the electorate that he himself can't reach, I fear he is much mistaken.
For once, I agree with Tony Blair in his assessment of Harman's claims to represent the voice of Middle England. "Middle England? Middle Islington maybe."
In fact Harriet Harman is regarded by much of Middle England as a champagne socialist - a breed they despise with far more venom than straightforward cloth-capped lefties like John Prescott. I may not like her boyfriend much, but Fiona Millar is spot-on with this piece on CiF today.
As it is, I don't think the unofficial "endorsement" of the Brownite camp is likely to be helpful to HH. Having been deprived of a contest for the leadership, I think Labour members are slightly in the mood to be counter-suggestible where the deputy leadership is concerned.