Preface 2006.05.19 When I wrote this, I was struck by some coincidences between the downfalls of Robin Cook, David Blunkett and John Prescott; in Cook's case, his perceived ability to deliver a Brown premiership, and his relationship with his diary secretary. I've since reconsidered this whole theory. I think I had some of the dots, was missing others, and those that I did have I was joining up wrongly. I'm keeping this posting here for histrorical purposes, not because I still stand by its message, especially concerning Robin Cook. For more on Robin Cook, please see: Lingering Questions about Robin Cook's Death, and subsequent entries.
If you are a current Labour Party Cabinet minister, or a former Cabinet minister, don't come out too strongly in favour of a smooth transfer of power to Gordon Brown. If you choose to ignore this advice, then please take these precautions, even though they may not save you.
Don't go hill-walking.
Don't boast about your friendship with Gordon. Beware of strangers offering you directorships. Avoid Annabel's nightclub - some believe it's a spooks' playground.
Don't have an extramarital affair with anyone who's likely to be an MI5 agent.
Robin Cook was all set for a high-level political comeback under Gordon Brown, perhaps even as deputy leader. He died, suddenly and unexpectedly, on August 6th, 2005, while hill-walking with his second wife. (It may be pertinent to point out that Gaynor Regan had been the Tracey Temple of her day, except the trajectory of that story differed much from l'affaire Prescott.)
A month later, David Blunkett was letting it be known, through his biographer Stephen Pollard, that he and Gordon Brown had patched up their differences and that he, Blunkett, could expect a senior position in the coming Brown administration [Sunday Times, Sept. 4th, 2005]. Then, as this Guardian timeline helpfully shows, all hell broke loose around Blunkett, for two months, until he had to resign from Cabinet, for the second time, on November 2nd.
And now John Prescott. If there was one more duty in public life that Prescott had hoped, and was expected, to achieve it was to help smooth the handover of power from Blair to Brown. But now he's finished politically.
So, within the space of nine months, Gordon Brown has lost his three heavyweight supporters, the three who maybe mattered most in his campaign to become PM. It's quite spooky - it's almost as if there were a curse on anyone who could make a Brown premiership a reality.
As mentioned below, John Prescott's sex-life, and exposure to state secrets, made him a gaping security risk. (There are new revelations today of the DPM as a "serial groper", and more will surely follow.) MI5 would have been failing in its responsibilities if it hadn't ensured that his weakness wasn't being exploited by a foreign power. As it happens, Tracey Temple had previously worked for Mo Mowlam, the former Northern Ireland Secretary. It would also have made sense for the Security Service to have had eyes and ears within Mowlam's office, given Mo's previous contacts with Sinn Fein/PIRA. Mowlam left parliament in May 2001. Tracey Temple then, after a gap, transferred to John Prescott's office and the affair began at the end of '02, only to be ended by the most unlikely of circumstances. Now, I'm not alleging that Temple is an MI5 agent - I am asserting that she should have been.
And if, IF, she were an MI5 asset, and given what happened to David Blunkett, and perhaps even to Robin Cook, then the curse against a Gordon Brown premiership looks less like a curse and more like a plot to prevent him becoming prime minister. So, if you are a senior Labour politician, and you want a political future, don't act as if a Brown premiership is inevitable. And remember what the Queen told the butler: "There are powers at work in this country about which we have no knowledge".