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The Tories’ "not quite 40%" and the subsequent reshuffle have sparked open warfare between the Brownites and Blairites.

Tony Blair will be meeting with the parliamentary Labour party today, knowing that up to fifty Labour MPs are rumoured to have signed a letter asking him to resign. Today’s newspaper commentators are already buzzing with the smell of blood. Roy Hattersley challenges Blair’s motives and Tim Hames wonders if Blair is a handicap to the cause of Blairism.

Jackie Ashley believes that whilst Blair has made the cabinet more Blairite, the parliamentary party has turned more Brownite. Some might speculate that rather than a defiant reshuffle, it was putting the Blairite cowboys in the same pot so that the Brownite Red Indians can come to power in one foul sweep – making the change of leadership a clear change in the party in the public’s eye.

The Guardian leader writers are anxious about how this will pan out:

"Mr Blair has to beware of allowing his premiership to descend into a
vanity project, while Mr Brown has to beware of allowing his challenge
to be seen as a return to Labour’s bad old days."

The Telegraph believes that Blair’s premiership is already descending into a petty, futile project and has achieved all that it is going to achieve. The Times however, believes we should all step back and let the Government carry out reforms for a while.

It does seem clear that the Labour party, and therefore the government, is not functioning as a machine just one year after winning a general election. This can only be good for the Conservatives.

Deputy Editor

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