Tara Hamilton-Miller: Labour's woeful monkey business

At the time of going to press he is still embarrassing Britain, making us uncomfortable with the grimace he thinks is a smile and quoting his Presbyterian father. Gordon Brown - a man temporarily saved by his colleagues' cowardice.

Tara Hamilton-Miller
Tara Hamilton-Miller

It seems they were all at it on Monday evening at the Parliamentary Labour Party meeting. Labour MPs banging tables when their leader appeared - like monkeys at feeding time. This is not because they had suddenly seen sense and thought the misery-stricken Scot was a great leader, but because they realised what may be good for the party would not be good for them.

The PLP's reluctance to make a decision with its schoolboy endeavours signalled how inept its members are. There were stop-and-start attempts leading to grown men and women slapping desks in a dusty room in the Commons. And, of course, there was James Purnell's strange coup experiment.

Caroline Flint behaved like a surly teenager, backing Brown until she didn't get the job she wanted. She stretched out on a chaise longue like a News of the World kiss-and-tell for a photo shoot, then complained of being used as window dressing. Hardly girl power, Flint. Beyonce wouldn't behave like that.

At least the Tories can launch proper coups, lynch mobs that succeed. Margaret Thatcher and Iain Duncan- Smith both fell to proper disloyalty without faffing. If this was the Conservatives, they would have had the signatures ready, the resignation letter written and the drapes for the new leader's office chosen.

Brown's laughable clean up involves Sir Alan Sugar and Glenys Kinnock. Why not get Lorraine Chase, Duncan from Blue and someone from Hollyoaks to make decisions? He is turning into the sort of leader at which we peer, wondering if he might be deranged. At summits, all the leaders will talk about him behind his back (Nicolas Sarkozy is a known Euro-bitch).

Political Armageddons often escape the man on the street, even though Westminster geeks find them fascinating. But this is different. Voters will not forget Brown's mess, even if his own MPs have chosen to do so.

- Tara Hamilton-Miller is a political adviser and formerly worked for the Conservative Party press team.

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