Sunday, June 07, 2009

Independent U-Turn.

Perhaps The Independent's leader page is written by different people every day, because they really do seem to have had an utter change of heart over the last week.

I was shocked last week when they called for minsters to, in effect, stage a coup and force Brown to stand down:

If this week's results turn out to be as bad for the Government as many expect, Cabinet members and backbench Labour MPs need to summon up the courage that deserted them when Mr Brown ran unopposed for the Labour leadership and take action to remove the Prime Minister. That, in the end, is the only way the country will get the early general election it craves.
However, this morning they are arguing the complete opposite:
What we cannot grasp, though, is the logic of the rebel Labour MP, actual or potential, who is considering dumping Mr Brown.
They then go on to make the very argument I was making last week against the position that they, at that point, held.

Should Labour backbenchers dump Brown now and replace him with, say, Alan Johnson, whom we rather like, and then fight an early general election (for with or without a written constitution, that is what would have to happen)? Do they really want to fight a campaign that might be dominated by the issue of expenses, which is hurting Labour, as the party of government, disproportionately? Or should they stick with the Prime Minister in the hope that there are green shoots in the economy that by next May will have borne fruit?

Labour may well be doomed next year, but is the case for dumping Brown now really so overwhelming as to justify an early general election with potentially catastrophic consequences? Mr, Mrs or Ms Rebel, we suggest not.

I am very pleased that they have abandoned their reckless calls for Labour cabinet ministers and backbenchers to overthrow their own leader, but am mystified that they are so confused as to why some backbenchers were considering such a suicidal path.

It was, after all, the very path which they spent the last week championing.

Click title for this weeks leader column.

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