Doctor Hoon

Admit it. You miss him.

As Bob Piper has already noted, hurrah for David Tennant, who has told the esteemed political periodical, Doctor Who Magazine, that he “would rather have a prime minister who is the cleverest person in the room, than a prime minister who looks good in a suit.” For those not paying attention, the clever chap is Gordon and the empty suit is Dave. Tennant is a known fan of The West Wing, so there’s no surprise he feels this way; we all learned long ago that you want the smartest kid in the class in charge. What’s more surprising is that Gordon Brown’s own party don’t seem to think the same way.

I’m with Steve Richards on this week’s absurd attempted coup when he writes that, “An act of regicide committed only months before an election sends out a single message to a wider electorate already disillusioned with politics – that a party is falling apart.” In short, Hewitt and Hoon’s medicine was more kill than cure. Michael White has a good autopsy of the botched leadership challenge, but ultimately who muttered what to whom seems by the by – what is more depressing is not what Cabinet ministers whine to each other about in their darkest moments, but what a government machine says to the voting public.

An ICM poll today has Labour standing firm, if not quite strong – no doubt in part because everyone feels something of what Tenant does, that Cameron can’t quite be trusted. So Polly Toynbee is right to focus on what is rather than what might have been. Brown may be awkward and a poor communicator, unable to push Labour up in the polls even as voters get cold Tory feet; but the Labour party’s identity crisis (characterised with the inevitable bias by Benedict Brogan) threatens far worse.

3 thoughts on “Doctor Hoon

  1. What on earth were Geoff huhne and Patricia Hewitt thinking?!?!?

    PS. Jed Bartlett smartest Kid in the class but as your picture shows, he didn’t look too bad in a suit either.

  2. Su – woes! Catho – fo sho.

    On what Geoff and Pat were thinking, the consensus was that they had been given the nudge and wink by parties nameless – though Harriet Harman and Jack Straw keep being tipped. The ther story was that Charles Clarke, that old malcontent, was simply blustering that the six or seven Cabinet ministers who’d complained to him would go given the chance. Wishful thinking, though, seems insufficient to fool politicians of Hoon and Hewitt’s experience.

    The other theory, though, is that it was a plot designed deliberately to fail: “Most of Mr Brown’s own colleagues find him so impossible to work for that they cannot bear the thought of another Brown premiership. ” So says, er, Bruce Anderson at any rate. That Brogan piece takes the same line. It might be over-complicated, or it might be true – Hoon and Hewitt wanted to hurt Brown, not topple him.

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