On Wednesday, after PMQs I had a quick lunch with a number of fairly senior MPs.
I mentioned to the assembled great and good that It had occurred to me, that maybe the Labour party, following the disastrous performances by the PM both at the dispatch box and in his overall handling of the government, would think twice about coasting in to a general election with Gordon Brown at the helm.
Opinion was divided, however, extremely experienced.
One ex Secretary of State said that he would put money on the fact that Gordon would still be PM.
The reason I asked is this; many of the New Labour MPs who came in ‘97 have been away from their previous professions for too long. Too long, should they lose their seats, to fit back in with any degree of ease.
There is a very obvious disquiet amongst Labour MPs, the normal arrogance and swagger in the step has all but gone.
Those who have safe Labour seats have become de-mob happy and don’t really seem to care.
Those at the top have a permanent ‘omigod how did this happen’ look on their face, and I bet they fall asleep at night thinking where is Tony, how did we get it so wrong?
What will they do? Will the ’97 intake of New Labour MPs sleepwalk into a general election defeat? If they remained -8 to -10 in the polls for a sustained period of time would they simply say “oh well, that’s life, win some lose some”. Like hell they will! No, I just can’t see that happening.
The old Chestnut of a question rears its head. If not Gordon who?
The Gap year student? No, he really is too much like a gap year student; Bob Marshall Andrews was bang on.