There are many places where MPs meet guests in the House of Commons. Some are private, some not so.
Over the last few months I have noticed Charles Clarke hosting numerous cups of tea and coffee with numerous Labour MPs and Peers.
Charles Clarke is no fool, he is known as a very shrewd Parliamentary operator.
The first day I noticed his prolific tea drinking it was as though MPs were playing musical chairs .The seat next to him had hardly gone cold before another one arrived. I remember thinking in my Wind in the Willows way, “mmm, what’s occurring”? He was so obviously networking with a sense of urgency.
Gordon Brown had only just been elected leader, he hadn’t yet had a chance to warm his seat up.
As I said, the man is no fool; he could probably see the writing on the wall a long time before anyone else.
Question is, is he a stalking horse for someone else, or is his eye on the main game?
Imagine if Labour are wiped out in the local elections and Boris wins London.
What would be the method of Gordon Brown’s departure?
I reckon into hospital for tests with much media coverage followed by an announcement of retirement due to ‘a health problem’ or similar shortly after.
It will happen as a result of pressure brought to bear by a collection of Labour ministers and the party great and good paying the Prime Minister a visit. The conversation will be finessed around, jump or be pushed.
Gordon Brown is walking wounded. He has transformed himself from a powerful Chancellor, to a dysfunctional PM.
He has also become a figure of fun. That Orange blob on his head? Fake tan gone wrong. Believe me, I'm an expert.
It may not belong before we discover just what it is that Charles Clarke is up to whilst keeping the share price of Darjeeling so buoyant.