“Given we haven’t got a cabinet stuffed with people who would win political VCs, this strategy is forced upon MPs because the cabinet has so far failed to carry out one of its key roles”
~ Frank Field ( via Conservative Home)
Well no we have not. Rather incredibly it appears that the political zombie that is Gordon Brown is going to be allowed to roam the Earth for more time. Whilst a small number of MPs have publically called for Brown to go most of them seem content to walk over the cliff to electoral oblivion with him.
This cowardice might have something to do with the calibre of Labour MPs, as has often been noted the quality of the Labour benches is low, not just in absolute terms but even compared to the Conservative and Liberal Democrat benches*. Even within the cabinet not many of them were high flyers before the entered Parliament, the only possible exceptions are Baroness Scotland, Ruth Kelly and Ed Balls ( who may have the social skills of Norman Bates but is intelligent). Jack Straw possibly fits the bill too but it is a bit late for him to start a second career.
This means that for most MPs when they lose their seats at the next election that is them finished career wise. They probably won't even become MPs again, as younger non entities take their place. Everyone seemingly agrees that changing a Prime Minister for a second time in one parliament would necessitate a prompt election which even under a new leader Labour will still lose (albeit not as badly).
So the choice for the average Labour MP (and most of them are very average ) is this; should I do what is best for my party and get rid of Gordon Brown and lose the best job I will ever have two months from now? Or do I prolong my stay in Parliament for another two years before having to leave everything behind?
* The Lib Dems are interesting and prove that it is possible for a centre left party to contain talented people, the likes of Vince Cable, David Laws, Susan Kramer or Chris Huhne have been successful outside of politics in a way that few Labour members have, of course the Lib Dems also have a fair number of duds like Lembit Opik.