Gordon Brown is in the Cabinet. He backs the “special relationship”. The Cabinet (including Gordon) has endorsed replacing Trident. However, Gordon wants to be next Labour leader and knows about 150 Labour MPs are against Trident, so What does Gordon do to appease the backbenchers and let them know that he’s really on their side, not that nasty Mr Tony?
Gordon is the patron of Nigel Griffiths, deputy leader of the House of Commons. Griffiths is not blessed with a great intellect or great ability. His tenure as Minister in the DTI was shambolic and uninformed (I once asked him a question at a hustings meeting about his area of ministerial responsibility – Griffiths did not realise that the position in Scotland differed from that in England and consequently fell within the devolved competence of the Scottish Parliament). Yet, despite an earlier sacking, Griffiths is back in government, because Prudence the Presbyterian is his patron. Or, Griffiths will be in government until later this week when he intends to vote against the Cabinet line on Trident in the vote on Parliament. Doing so, means inevitable dismissal. This may be politically motivated bluster – mindful that his Edinburgh constituency is a Lib Dem seat in the Scottish parliament (after the Lib Dem conference vote on Trident last week) – or it may be that Gordon has decided that Nigel hath no greater love than this: to lay down his career for his friend.
Keep an eye for this during the week and the subliminal message that Gordon is sending the backbenchers: that he is truly of the left; that things will differ. Will the backbenchers be taken in by the co-architect of nuLab? Well, anyone that hears Diane Abbott’s regular praising of Prudence when questioned by Andrew Neil will realise that at least one is.