Wednesday, 6 January 2010

Keeping Calm and Carrying on?

Is the snow plot melting? Although it's true that Ministers have not been rushing to sing Gordon Brown's praises, it's been difficult to discover much support for the Hewitt/Hoon plot among even the usual suspects on Labour benches.

Among the MPs we've spoken to, verdicts include "completely bloody daft", "completely bonkers", "nonsense" and "insane".

Former Minister Don Touhig has e-mailed both Ms Hewitt and Mr Hoon angrily to let them know what he thinks - the word "unforgiveable" just about sums up his view.

Wales Office Ministers Peter Hain and Wayne David are turning down interviews rather than risk fuelling what they say is an annoying distraction. Of course, they could be plotting but on this occasion I'm prepared to give them the benefit of the doubt.

There is a genuine sense of bewilderment at the timing of a coup attempt that follows improved Labour poll ratings, better public performances by the Prime Minister, and confusion in Conservative ranks over their policies.

Lord Mandelson, one with the power to break Gordon Brown's Government, said: "No one should over-react to this initiative. "It is not led by members of the government. No one has resigned from the
government." (At least not yet, despite rumours yesterday that at least one was rushing for the exit)

"The Prime Minister," said the Business Secretary, "continues to has the support of his colleagues. We should carry on government business as usual."

The snow is starting to settle at Westminster but the plot may well be melting.

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