Will the real Charles Clarke please shut up?

I think it's fair to say I'm interested in politics. I don't know as much about it as I think I do, and I spend far too much time obsessing about day-to-day (or hour-to-hour) intrigue. However, I do tend to pick up on things - small, unimportant things.

Now, I may well be mistaken on this, but I don't think anyone really picked up on Gordon Brown's smile. Had someone asked, it could have easily been explained away as the two great statesmen of the age being of one mind as to the future direction of the country and that Brown was happy that the question had been settled.

Instead, Charles bloody Clarke has to stick his oar in, and ensure that things spark up again just as they were becoming quiet, with the added bonus of damaging the likely next PM. Nice one. Does Clarke have a deal with someone, hoping for preferment by damaging Brown, either to stop him winning or to strengthen someone else's hand? Who is going to run for Deputy Leader?

My concern, again, is that speculation over candidates for both positions and the forming and reforming of factions is going to hole Labour below the waterline. This isn't the Left agitating; we all know the Left don't like TB. These are Blairites, pink in tooth and claw, who have resigned. The coup is from within. The Blair-Brown feud looks increasingly silly as they are so close in policy terms; groups forming every few days (or being portrayed to be Fleet Street) will kill us in the upcoming elections.




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