I hope for the sake of our sanity that we do not hear any more ridiculous nonsense about when Blair is going to go - now that he has made an announcement. (It was nice for him to apologise for the recent ruccus though. And how is it that all his major announcements are made in front of a audience of bemused school children?) The full text is here.
If Gordon Brown makes any more mischief about it, or allows anyone within his "camp" to do so, then it proves he is not fit to hold the office of Prime Minister. It is quite right for Blair not to name a date now. After all, Bush might ask him to help him invade Iran next year and he can't handover to Brown while that is going on can he? Seriously, he has said clearly that this month's conference speech will be his last. It would childish for there to be any more speculation and debate. I realise that people like Jeremy Corbyn will never be happy and that all the recent internal debate in the Labour party has been good for the LibDems. But it really would be silly to have any more controversy over which month next year he goes.
When you add all this recent "Blair date" nonsense to all the rigmarole and pain over Thatcher's exit and the elongated Churchill/Eden handover charade then two things become clear:
-The Prime Minister of this country should be directly elected
-The Prime Minister should have fixed terms
The government could then get on with the small matter of running the country without such distractions. After all, no human being should be in office as leader of a country for more than ten years. It is ridiculous to try to go on for longer. The US constitution, once again, is proved to be one of the the wisest documents in history with its fixed terms and direct elections (albeit via an electoral college) for the President.
As for Brown, he is going to have a lot of tricks up his sleeve to dig the Labour party out of its current mess. I can't see him doing it myself. He has been a reasonably good Chancellor. But he has to turn on his smile rather like someone wiring up an ageing generator to one of Edison's original light bulbs. It doesn't come naturally to him.