I like Geoff Hoon and think he was a great Minister but have to say I have always found Pat Hewitt deeply irritating and patronising.
I can't see their joint letter calling for a leadership ballot as anything less than bizarre, weirdly timed and destructive.
Maybe the PLP are still agitated about the issue of Gordon's leadership.
The wider party isn't though and nor are Labour voters. For most Labour people this issue was settled by the reaction to the June ministerial resignations.
Out in the grassroots we have been getting on with fighting a General Election campaign. And with some success. Maybe Geoff and Pat don't read opinion polls and haven't seen us eroding the Tory lead. Maybe they don't look at council or parliamentary by-election results and haven't seen the Labour landslide in Glasgow North East or the string of council wins in December. Maybe they don't watch TV and didn't see Labour dissecting the Tory spending plans on Monday.
As it is this is another slap in the face for hard-working Labour activists from MPs who seem wrapped up in the plotting and gossiping of the Westminster hot house when they should be out selling Labour to ordinary voters. I assume the PLP plotters think they can oust Gordon then bounce in another candidate without ordinary party members and trade unionists getting a vote, seeing as that process takes months.
To propose a leadership ballot without naming a replacement candidate is politics at its most negative.
If the PLP carry on behaving like this they are just repeating the Tory behaviour of 1992 to 1997. And they will deserve a similar result.