Posts Tagged ‘plot’

Too many coups spoil the plot

14/06/2011, 08:13:16 AM

by Dan Hodges

As no one in the Labour party appears willing to admit their part in the plot to bring down Tony Blair, I’ll cough. I was up to my neck in it.

I briefed and  span. Placed stories. Sowed seeds of confusion and dissent.

Ed Balls says he wasn’t involved. Fair enough. He was the only person outside Downing Street who wasn’t.

Westminster in the months after the 2005 election was like a murder mystery party at the Borgias. Febrile doesn’t come close. No one spoke above a whisper. A discreet alcove couldn’t be had for love nor money. I attended a friend’s marriage and an MP I’d been conspiring  with was so terrified of being photographed next to me that he sprinted to the other end of the wedding  line.

The Telegraph got excited about some scrawled notes and polling. They’d have had an embolism over the spread sheet that was floating around laying out a provisional “transition timetable” with a series of colour coded “waypoints” that need to be passed in order for Gordon Brown to become prime minister before the 2010 election. Or the breakdown of every Labour MP, identifying their perceived level of support or opposition, graded on a sliding scale. 1 was ultra loyal to Gordon. Tony Blair was a 5.

The catalyst for the final move against Blair was an interview Blair gave to the Times around the end of August, effectively claiming that Blair intended to “go on and on”. I remember because I was in the Rivington Grill in Greenwich (highly recommended), when my mobile went off, and a co-conspirator asked me to start tipping off hacks.


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