Blair and the Real Battle of Downing St; Gordon Brown Failed to Strike, and Now the Prime Minister Is in Control Again

Daily Mail (London), September 7, 2004 | Go to article overview

Blair and the Real Battle of Downing St; Gordon Brown Failed to Strike, and Now the Prime Minister Is in Control Again


Byline: STEPHEN GLOVER

As Cabinet shuffle re-ignites the feud between Labour's giants ONE OF life's great temptations is to assume that palpable rogues whom we dislike and despise are bound sooner or later to get their comeuppance.

So it has been with Tony Blair. Here is a man who misled us into a war against Iraq and told some untruths in the process. All opinion polls suggest that a majority of British people know he lied. In a fair and rational world he would have been driven out of office.

Alas, we do not inhabit such a place. Not long ago, Mr Blair's demise was widely predicted. He was sunk in gloom and is said to have discussed throwing in the towel, though whether such a vain and power-hungry spirit could have ever done so I doubt. Even so, he looked nervous and ill at ease - hounded, and almost shifty.

And yet the same man, written off only two or three months ago, has returned from his holidays in ebullient mood. Those days spent at Sir Cliff Richard's villa in Barbados, and jaunting about with his friend Silvio Berlusconi, have rejuvenated Mr Blair. Actually, he was pretty upbeat before he went, airily postponing a Cabinet reshuffle, and appointing his old ally Peter Mandelson to a plum job in Brussels despite the complaints of supporters of the Chancellor, Gordon Brown.

Now that he is finally back on British soil, the Prime Minister has again aggravated the Brownites by proposing to appoint Alan Milburn, a loyal Blairite, to the chairmanship of the Labour Party. This is the same Mr Milburn who resigned as Health Minister nearly 18 months ago, telling us how important it was for him to be with his children and subsequently delivering us a lecture about the perils of overwork.

Evidently, all that has been forgotten.

Mr Milburn may not loom large on your or my radar, but his prospective appointment has shaken Brownites to their gunnels. Here is a man who fought skirmish after skirmish with Mr Brown, principally over the issue of so-called foundation hospitals. To appoint such a man to the chairmanship of the party, where he will mastermind Labour's election strategy, is both a snub to the Chancellor and an indication of Mr Blair's renewed confidence.

Shunted aside in the reshuffle will be the existing Labour Party chairman, Ian McCartney, a diminutive Glaswegian not widely understood south of the border, who is liked by the Brownites and is also, for some reason, the particular pet of John Prescott, the deputy Prime Minister. Meanwhile, perhaps as the clearest sign yet of Blair/Brown discord, the distinctly Brownite Work and Pensions Secretary Andrew Smith resigned yesterday because he opposes proposed cuts to disability benefits. He also resents having been briefed against by Blairites over recent weeks.

How is it that a leader who seemed so weak three months ago feels sure enough of himself to give a job to Mr Mandelson, a Brownite hate figure, and an even more important job to Mr Milburn, who is scarcely more liked by the Chancellor and his gang?

Part of the explanation lies in the hopeless performance of the Tories over recent weeks. They have made little or no impact with their dozens of new and often barely intelligible initiatives. Nor did Michael Howard's attempt to criticise Mr Bush over the Iraqi war carry much conviction, given the Tories' previous enthusiasm for the cause.

To be fair to Mr Howard, he had been boxed in by the fervently pro-American policies of his predecessor, Iain Duncan Smith, though he did seem happy to go along with them at the time. …

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Sign up now for a free, 1-day trial and receive full access to:

  • Questia's entire collection
  • Automatic bibliography creation
  • More helpful research tools like notes, citations, and highlights
  • A full archive of books and articles related to this one
  • Ad-free environment

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items

Items saved from this article

This article has been saved
Highlights (0)
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

Citations (0)
Some of your citations are legacy items.

Any citation created before July 30, 2012 will labeled as a “Cited page.” New citations will be saved as cited passages, pages or articles.

We also added the ability to view new citations from your projects or the book or article where you created them.

Notes (0)
Bookmarks (0)

You have no saved items from this article

Project items include:
  • Saved book/article
  • Highlights
  • Quotes/citations
  • Notes
  • Bookmarks
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited article

Blair and the Real Battle of Downing St; Gordon Brown Failed to Strike, and Now the Prime Minister Is in Control Again
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Help
Full screen

matching results for page

    Questia reader help

    How to highlight and cite specific passages

    1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
    2. Click or tap the last word you want to select, and you’ll see everything in between get selected.
    3. You’ll then get a menu of options like creating a highlight or a citation from that passage of text.

    OK, got it!

    Cited passage

    Style
    Citations are available only to our active members.
    Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

    1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

    Cited passage

    Thanks for trying Questia!

    Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

    Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

    For full access in an ad-free environment, sign up now for a FREE, 1-day trial.

    Already a member? Log in now.