It might seem like betrayal to many Labourists, particularly on the left of that party, but red Aussie, pub-murdering dominatrix, Hewitt's, and the Hoon's call for a secret ballot on the Labour leadership comes as a last ditch, desperate response to the fact - yes, the fact - that Gordon Brown is, was and shall be right up to the election (but not beyond) the most unpopular and unwanted Prime Minister this country has ever had inflicted on it.
It seems that smarter Labour operators have finally woken-up to the fact that the so-called 'narrowing' in the polls is obviously a mirage. The trend in polling is terrible for them and it will only take one policy announcement by the Tories, a la inheritance tax in '07, that resonates with the public for that margin to become massive, meaning a wipeout worse than Major's in '97. People are looking for an excuse to obliterate Labour because people, (almost universally, if my straw poll of friends over Christmas is anything to go on, even the Labour supporting ones!), hate, blame and never wanted Gordon Brown. Of course, the only poll that really matters is the general election and those Labourists who seem slightly less bonkers than Ed Balls have rightly concluded that they face absolute meltdown with Brown as leader (assuming the Tories learn how to keep their mouths shut and don't adopt puppy murder as a key policy).
I wouldn't get too excited about all this, though. It makes for good telly and provides healthy blog fodder, but I still think that Labour MPs generally don't have, indeed never had, the bottle to oust Brown, on the strength of their lame performance last year, and having adopted him in that shameful coronation spectacle in the first place. In the end, this isn't really about the Labour leadership, terrible though it no doubt is. It's about the party itself, a party that is not just financially bankrupt, but morally and politically bankrupt, too. A party in this level of disarray is a party in a serious state of decay. It should therefore come as no surprise that they are in the position of being a bunch of cowards led by coward. The fact is that they deserve each other, which is why Brown probably will survive this latest domestic earthquake.
Meanwhile, the electorate waits, frustrated, angry and ignored, to give them all the biggest kicking of their pathetic lives - and to rid itself of Brown once and for all. But hey, that's not 'betrayal' is it? That's just politics.
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