This morning’s Mirror has been leaked what is describes as a "sensational" memo – outlining Blair’s ‘farewell arrangements’. Written by aides including Philip Gould, it reads like a memo from the bunker of a deeply out-of-touch leader. It speaks of plans for Mr Blair to appear on Blue Peter, Songs of Praise and Chris Evans’ radio show. These lines are the most extraordinary:
"He needs to go with the crowds wanting more. He should be the star who won’t even play that last encore. In moving towards the end he must focus on the future."
That’ll appear in lots of speeches and TV reports in the weeks to come.
The Mirror leaks coincides with news that previously loyal Labour MPs from the 2001 intake are drafting a letter calling for an exit timetable. The pressure is certainly beginning to tell. On this morning’s Today programme David Miliband conceded that twelve more months of Blair was probably reasonable. It is already clear that the frenzy of recent days has forced this concession from the Blairite camp. But will it be enough? Has Blair lost too much authority and will he be forced out sooner?