New Times,
New Thinking.

  1. Politics
2 March 2007

Is Denham the man?

The question of who will challenge Brown occupies the blogosphere

By Owen Walker

For many Gordon Brown’s premiership is a foregone conclusion, but it wouldn’t be politics without a twist in the tail. The question of who, if anyone, will challenge Brown has occupied bloggers left, right and centre.

A week ago, former lobby journalist Paul Linford outlined the case for John Denham MP, and this was picked up by Mike Smithson earlier this week who gave this glowing reference: “Four years ago three senior ministers resigned over Iraq: one, Robin Cook is sadly no longer with us; the second Claire Short is no longer with the Labour party; while the third, John Denham, remains as a Labour MP and has been a regular critic of the Blair administration as chair of the Home Affairs committee.”

Smithson revealed he put on a £6 bet at 320/1 and when Linford found out he wrote: “He can buy me a pint out of his £1,920 winnings if JD scoops the big prize.”

Iain Dale then confirmed he has received several emails suggesting Denham would run and then Peter Kilfoyle MP added his own kind words: “He’s principled, he resigned over the Iraq war and he has good policy ideas: he should stand for the leadership.”

But just when the Labour Left began to rally round a new hope, Tom Watson spoiled it all by actually asking Denham himself: “He was amused by all the speculation about him but said that he had no intention of running for leader.”

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The New Statesman’s Chris Ames’s new website and article have been met with an impressed reaction by both Blairwatch and Obsolete who concludes: “That [Blair] is still somehow in office is both the biggest outrage and biggest indictment of the failure of us (yes, all of us) to rebuild politics from this, its absolute lowest ebb.”

Meanwhile, as George Bush offered his hand of friendship to Wales on St David’s Day, Esther McVey gave a brief guide to the day. In contrast to McVey’s nostalgic entry, Blamerbell Briefs reminded us of the true history of traditional Welsh dress.

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