coup. n. sudden overthrow of a government, usually done by a small group that just replaces the top power figures
Whatever one's own definition of the word coup, an inescapable fact is that the electorate has not been consulted. The Conservatives and LibDems rightly point out that this transfer of power is different from previous instances because the Prime Minister was elected on a promise of serving a full third term. As in so many other areas he reneged on his promise. But if the opposition parties think they will get a quick election from Gordon Brown they will be sadly disappointed.
The question which now being asked is this: if Gordon Brown has no opponent, why on earth drag this process out for six more weeks? Alastair Darling has broken ranks this morning and called for Gordon Brown to take over immediately, which illustrates just how much Blair's authority is already shot to pieces.
The devil in me quite looks forward to the next six weeks as Labour politicians jockey for position and Gordon conducts hustings with himself (you couldn't make it up), but it cannot be good for the government of the country. Whitehall departments are already in paralysis and unable to function properly. They are not used to 'periods of transition'.
What we are going to experience over the next six weeks is an elongated ego trip on the part of Tony Blair as he jets round the world to say goodbye to his mates. I suppose no one should be surprised that his vanity knows no bounds, but it doesn't mean we have to lie down and accept it.
Graphic hattip Theo Spark