So, the plot against Gordon Brown has died on its feet. Patricia Hewitt has seen for herself why the armed forces felt less than impressed by Geoff Hoon’s goat-like nimbleness, when he gave the arse of all interviews on the BBC Newsnight programme.
Nick Robinson, the BBC’s Political Editor, went on to name six theoretical plotters from inside the Cabinet, but offered no evidence, and it’s now less than likely that any evidence of dissent will be forthcoming over the coming weeks.
So, has the mutiny done any damage to Labour?
I think that Tories need to play down the damage, because it’s clear that, whatever else one might say, Gordon Brown managed to face down the rebellion. The fact that he had to face down the single most incompetently run rebellion in history doesn’t fundamentally matter; the Times is reporting that ‘Brown Weathers the Storm’, although the Mail is reporting Labour’s death wish.
Having said that, the people hate division, and the coup was allowed to seep into two full news cycles, which is particularly unpleasant, especially in a week when it would not be inaccurate to describe as a poor one for David Cameron.
We’ll see soon enough. A YouGov poll showed a 9% gap between Labour and Conservatives (Lab 31, Con 40) which was valid before the coup attempt, but which, more likely than not, was out of date before it was publicised.