Gordon MacMillan,  UK Politics

Lamest coup ever results in call for election

So there you have it. The lamest coup in history (pretty much ever) has ended with no one of note backing Geoff Hoon and Patricia Hewitt and the end result being a stream of negative headlines across the national press and online. Great job.

The Labour Party has taken a hit and David Cameron has been given a platform to call for an immediate general election. You can’t  buy that kind of PR you need idiots to give it to you for free.

According to the BBC, Hoon and Hewitt said they “had no direct contact with any member of the Cabinet” but it reported one rebel saying: “We wanted to create a storm. Our purpose was to create the space for the Cabinet to act. They bottled it.”

Those who the space was created for are reported all over to include so called Cabinet rebels Harriet Harman, David Miliband, Bob Ainsworth, Jack Straw, Jim Murphy and Douglas Alexander.

Hoon and Hewitt clearly did not act alone no matter the “no direct contact” denial, but in the end no one came out and offered support. Did someone say pointless damaging damp squib. Maybe they did bottle it. Maybe they are plain useless. Maybe it was just an exercise in destabilising the Labour Party as that is the chief end result.

What is true is that the cabinet rebels all waited hours before issuing faint support, which only helped to crank up the bad press coverage and speculation.

The Times reports Miliband did little more than acknowledge Brown as a colleague. “I am working closely with the Prime Minister on foreign policy issues and support the re-election campaign for a Labour Government that he is leading.”

Chancellor Alistair Darling also took hours to come out for Brown. Up to his neck in black hole finances again no doubt.

Labour MP Eric Joyce said: “I think it’s fairly widely known that there are a few people who imagine, if they just sit there quietly, the backbenchers will deal with the work for them and they can perhaps inherit for a brief period the prime ministership. That has now passed.”

It is truly a bizarre way to carry on.

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