It looks like Guido and Iain Dale were pushing at the right door, in suggesting that the fuss over the last few days was some kind of spin. Today the Sun has a clear timeline for Blair’s departure ‘from his aides’: he will resign as leader of Labour on 29th May next year, and as Prime Minister on 26th July. The purpose of the gap is intriguing. But as Brian O’Connell noted on Morning Ireland this morning, it does Gordon Brown no favours to be left as the bridesmaid for the guts of a year. Locally, it is likely to harden the resolve of the British government to push for settlement in time for a May election.Barring another polaroid moment, it’s hard to see any of the players to duck their electoral responsibilities this time round. The train may arrive late for 24th November, but Blair and Hain will pull out all the stops to seal the second generation Donegal man’s premiership with some kind of positive result in Northern Ireland: which looks set to be a hugely more persuasive valedictory note than Iraq.
Mick is founding editor of Slugger. He has written papers on the impacts of the Internet on politics and the wider media and is a regular guest and speaking events across Ireland, the UK and Europe. Twitter: @MickFealty