The Futility Monster

He'll pointlessly derive more enjoyment out of your resources than you

The Curious Incident Of The Hoon In The Day-Time

Posted by The Futility Monster on January 7, 2010 @ 09:37

I guess it was like the Boy Who Cried Wolf. The one time he really was telling the truth...

As the UK descends into the frozen wastes of a minor Siberian winter, events over at Westminster reached boiling point yesterday as the man himself, none other than Geoff Hoon, attempted to plunge the knife into Gordon Brown.

But Brownfink‘s wings were like a shield of steel, and they easily deflected the mincing blow of The Hoon.

There had been rumours over the past few days that yet another coup attempt was imminent. There was much talk that it would involve a Cabinet minister, if not several. At last it wouldn’t just be the usual suspects. At last the Labour Party would be free of Gordon Brown.

But Labour don’t do proper coups. Labour prefers to do its business slowly, minimally, and with no conclusion. Death by a thousand cuts. Only there is never a death. It’s like a curious case of self-harm. A violent release, a quick trip to A&E to staunch the bleeding, maybe a blood transfusion or two. And on the road again.

Lather. Rinse. Repeat.

The irony of all this is that Geoff Hoon actually did something honest. He put a public face on the widespread disquiet amongst the Labour ranks. Fancy that! Geoff Hoon, teller of some serious porkies over the Iraq War, comes clean and tells the nation that the Labour Party simply can’t go on like this.

What makes no sense, however, is why he has waited so long. If Hoon and Hewitt had gone public when James Purnell did maybe the only honourable thing in his career by resigning, it may have given his campaign the critical momentum at the exact time. Coups are all about momentum. You set off the initial strike, and then set rolling with wave after wave of punches.

Maybe Hoon had been promised by other backbenchers, maybe even a Cabinet minister, that they would back his plan. Why else would anyone go public now and be made such a total fool of? Hoon looked extremely sheepish on Newsnight last night. He appeared to know he’d done his party serious damage and achieved nothing in the process. There was also a tinge of resentment that he’d done his bit and then been left in the wilderness.

The reason is that the Labour Party are serial bottlers. When faced with the opportunity to do the deed, they run a mile. That has been the tale of the New Labour years. Lots of rumours, lots of plotting. But no backbone. No one prepared to throw their career to the wolves in order to save their party. Everyone waiting for everyone else to act. Every chance wasted.

And what do they get for their troubles? Just imagine if there had been no plotting at all since Brown became PM. There’s no doubting he would be in a stronger position. He might also feel the spring of self-confidence. What, then, has been the point to it all?

There is no point. If you’re going to attempt a coup, you’d better be bloody certain you’re going to win.

As far as Labour are concerned, they either don’t understand that, or don’t believe it applies to them.

What a shower.


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