The failure of Dumb and Dumber

Yesterday, I dubbed Patricia Hewitt and Geoff Hoon as "Labour's dumb and dumber." The Mirror this morning used the same headline and it's not hard to see why.

After the news of Patricia Hewitt and Geoff Hoon’s attempted coup broke yesterday, I tweeted that “Hewitt & Hoon are Labour’s dumb and dumber” and attached this picture. The Mirror this morning used the same headline and it’s not hard to see why.

On Newsnight last night, Geoff Hoon bumbled through his interview and outlined that he and Hewitt only had the idea “when we came back from the Christmas recess” and “did not speak to a single Cabinet Minister”. If they’d thought longer and canvassed more widely, they might have come to a different conclusion.

Hoon also conceded that the the poor timing of the attempted coup was a “fair point.” Steve Richards in the Independent summarises how Labour was gaining momentum yesterday before the duo sent an email to MPs after PMQs:

“Peter Mandelson delivered the most effective speech on government policy that any minister has made since the start of the economic crisis. Next, Gordon Brown was in robust form at Prime Minister’s Question Time, performing more effectively at the despatch box than any of his immediate potential successors would be capable of doing.”

Hoon’s appearance on Newsnight made repeated mentions of Labour MPs but failed once to reference the views of Labour activists and supporters. Labour List has a good summary of condemnation from Labour bloggers and tweeters and a “statement calling for Labour to unite and focus on the real challenges ahead” which has now been signed by over 102 people. While today’s You Gov poll in The Sun is also revealing:

“An overwhelming number [of core Labour voters] – 82 per cent – say it would either make no difference or encourage them to vote Labour if he stayed.”

The poll also outlined how “no other senior Labour politician [is] capturing the public’s imagination as Premier instead of Gordon Brown. So who was the winner? No surprises here but Mike Smithson at Political Betting puts it most succinctly:

“So is David Cameron today’s main beneficiary? The answer must be yes. His general election opponent remains someone who is deeply unpopular in large parts of England where the marginals are.”

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