Auch drei Wochen nach der Wahl keine Regierung: Für Hauptstadt-Korrespondenten kann das eine tolle Situation sein - oder eine grauenhafte.
Sondierungsgespräche, pseudo-geheime Treffen, Spekulationen - die meisten Polit-Journalisten würden in diesen Tagen gerne wieder über etwas handfestes Schreiben. Politik, die gemacht wird, nicht Politik zu deren vorbereitender Vorbereitung Vorbereitungen getroffen werden. Stattdessen wird viel gemutmaßt, werden Äußerungen interpretiert als seien es unentdeckte Werke Goethes und wird logisch geschlussfolgert.
Wie das geht, schreibt ganz wunderbar der "Guardian" anhand des Parteitags der Labour-Partei.
Übrigens: Der "Guardian" hat sein Format verkleinert und sein Layout überarbeitet - und ist jetzt die vielleicht schönste Zeitung Europas. Wanderer kommst Du noch England - kaufe ihn.
Zurück also zur Kolumne "What little we know of what goes on behind closed doors", in der Martin Kettle erzählt, was er aus der schlichten Information, dass Tony Blair und sein mutmaßlicher Nachfolger Gordon Brown sich getroffen haben, folgern kann:
"I have been told that Blair and Brown had a private, face-to-face meeting in Brighton on Wednesday.
My problem is that this is the limit of what I know. Sure, I can imagine some of the circumstantial detail that would make the story sound more immediate. I can tell you that the meeting took place in the Hilton Metropole, because it must have done - since that was where all the bigwigs stayed. I can say with some confidence that it probably took place on the fourth floor, looking out over the Channel. I imagine that Blair wore an open-necked shirt and jeans, and may have been barefoot, because that's what he does when he is out of the public eye; and I imagine that Brown wore a suit and tie, because that's his regular off-duty kit.
I can be reasonab ly certain that the two men met on their own, although it's possible that John Prescott was there, and he may have been instrumental in the meeting taking place at all. However, more often than not, it is a feature of the Blair-Brown relationship that they talk alone, tête-á-tête, away from advisers and courtiers, and certainly without a minute-taker in the vicinity. It may well be that voices were raised, because that has happened often down the years. Brown has been pressing Blair to go for a long time. I remember someone once informing me that you could tell that the Blair-Brown relationship was like a marriage because the two regularly shout at each other, get angry and have rows. What sheltered lives some of the rest of us lead.
But the substance? Here we are in the realm of speculation; but there is no reason for it not to be intelligent speculation. My guess is that this was a very serious meeting because, after the speeches the two men had given this week, it surely needed to be. Th e Brown/Monday-Blair/Tuesday rivalry is now the Labour conference's central dynamic. Each year it gets a little more wayward. If they really have not been talking to each other, then you can see why Blair and Brown needed to get together after this week's bout.
What did they talk about? To be frank, I cannot say. But I can imagine Brown complaining again that Blair will not set an early date for his departure. Equally I presume that Blair will have repeated to Brown that he intends to serve a full term. In essence, after all, that is what their respective speeches said this week."