GODA RÅD: För alla som planerar att avsätta sina partiledare har Gaby Hinsliff, tidigare politiska redaktören på The Observer, sammanställt en underhållande lista på tio punkter som alla intrigmakare borde tänka på.
Hinsliff har naturligtvis det senaste misslyckade försöket till kupp mot premiärminister Gordon Brown i tankarna men råden skulle lika väl kunna gälla de socialdemokrater som via Metro försökte slänga grus i Mona Sahlins maskineri.
Här är några av råden i sammanfattning;
Definitely think harder about the name. (…) It’s all about the branding, especially when it comes to the inevitable (surely?) plot-associated merchandise. T-shirts might be nice. (…)
Ah. Before overthrowing a leader, do line up a replacement. (…)
Don’t be so squeamish. Do not, for example, launch a coup and promptly insist that of course it isn’t a coup, you’re just trying to be helpful. (…) Did Brutus suggest Caesar might welcome a stabbing to clear the air?
Emailing fellow MPs about one’s plot could have been a good wheeze, avoiding the need for old-fashioned, tell-tale huddling in corners. Unfortunately, it means they can then email back being spectacularly rude about you. And then leak their emails (…)
Learn from the Tories. Forget the myths about what brilliantly ruthless plotters they are: they were useless under William Hague (or he wouldn’t have survived a parliament) and Iain Duncan Smith (or he wouldn’t have survived a fortnight). But they improved with practice. And they realised the business of collecting enough MPs’ names to force a contest (…)
Know your enemy. Westminster is littered with the corpses of people who crossed Gordon Brown en route to Downing Street: he is not going to quit because a few backbenchers criticise him on the telly. Also, know your allies in cabinet. Possibly even talk to them first. Always useful to know they didn’t really mean it when they said they were with you all the way.