Guido has had email exchanges from Compass supporters who deny it is some kind of pro-Gordon operation agitating to get rid of Blair. They point out that the upcoming Compass conference has now added Blairites to the speaker list – the Blairdroid herself, Hazel Blears is speaking, Oona King as well. If Compass is not about getting rid of Blair, what is it all about? Neal Lawson asks “At what point does Brown move, or a stalking horse emerge?” Guido thinks some of the necessary plotting for that move, certainly amongst Labour party activists, will take place at his conference.
Maybe Guido is wrong and Blears will be greeted with a standing ovation, perhaps Oona King, a good friend of Jack Straw and a supporter of the war in Iraq, will be cheered by conference attendees? Maybe not.
Let us examine the evidence; the keynote speaker at its inaugural national conference was Gordon Brown. Past Compass event speakers include Douglas Alexander and Ed Balls – Brownites to the bone. What does Blair himself think? At yesterday’s prime ministerial press conference, he said,“If you go into an election with Compass, you will lose”.