Labour has lost the election. It just hasn't actually happened in time and space yet. If you wanted proof you could have turned on your tv this morning and watched the Prime Minister and his wife talking about how he would give himself over to some form of public service if May 7th found him moving house again. They always play on Gordon's nobility when he's crashing in the polls. "If we lose on May 6th," Brown supposedly said, no doubt straightening his back and drawing in a Churchillian breath, "I'll take full responsibility for it." This doesn't make him look as broad-shouldered as he intends it to, of course, as everybody else will think he's fully responsible for it too.
The other unarguable illustration that Labour has already gone and that Mr. Cameron will be Prime Minister at the end of the week is the unedifying spectacle of Labour Cabinet Ministers telling voters to vote tactically in marginal constituencies if they want to keep out the Tories. I heard about this on the radio, which has been my source of early morning news ever since I realised that staring at a television screen even after a long sleep tends to make me want to go back to bed again.The comments of Mr. Balls and Mr. Hain add to the perception, in the minds of voters, that Labour has broken apart at the very top; that even Brown's own allies don't think he has a chance of winning. It makes it look as if the electoral momentum is all with David Cameron. Which is true, yes, as Nick Clegg appears to have faded on the last stretch too; but to assist in turning a vague hope into no hope whatsoever is the act of a traitor.
Everybody in the Labour Party knew that Gordon Brown would not be able to win at the General Election as far back as when Mr. Blair stepped down and annointed him. If those within the inner circle had had the courage and the vision to choose a new leader then -- and if Brown, perhaps, had not had the colossal vanity he must have had to deny the obvious -- the country might not have been in the position it is now, facing a Tory Government which will decimate public services, restore fox hunting and gradually reveal itself to be every bit as nasty as its predecessors.
I think it was Ambrose Bierce who said, "People get the sort of Government they deserve." That's not necessarily true for everyone, but it will definitely serve for Balls and Hain in the coming four, eight, God knows how many years, as we slave, again, under the Tory yolk.