So the whispering from the Labour benches has oozed out into a fully-formed five-pager detailing how Blair should conduct his final months in the public eye.
I’m going to make a prediction here. Blair will not go quietly, Gordon Brown will not take over, and John Reid will emerge as the next leader of the Labour mob.
Now, this sounds like an ‘in all the confusion’ plan. (You know, ‘We’ll cut the power, set off the smoke alarms, lock the front doors, and in all the confusion we’ll steal the diamonds…’) But there’s an important difference. John Reid won’t be part of the confusion, and like John Major in a previous decade, he’ll simply throw his hat into the ring when the smoke clears, making him the only untainted choice. The contest will involve Brown, Reid, Charles Clarke, and probably Blunkett will want a go.
So: perhaps a Prime Minister Reid in the next 18 months, and a Prime Minister Cameron a year after that. But that’s a long time in politics…