"If we question the path we are travelling then we question our very existence... if we allow our supreme leader to be opposed openly it will damage the very fabric of our society... any election must act as an expression of unity in the face of our opponents"
This is the interpretation of Joseph Stalin's arguments against democracy as offered by my political theory lecturer Geriant Williams as copied religiously from his slides. Bizarrely these sentiments are now being echoed in a Blairite led argument against Charles Clarke standing against Brown and so having a contest for leader of the party and nation.
A contest would be a distraction, it would divide the party, it would create camps, it would expose the arguments for not having Brown as leader. Well perhaps this is required, it may only give voice to sentiments that are already in the public sphere care of the media. But dividing the party is a big statement; the Cameron/Davis campaign did not split the Conservatives; even the disastrous events of the Liberal Democrat leadership contest did not create open battle lines. There appears to be a real fear within the Labour central office of the effects of a contest, however the fact that the deals and arguments are made public means everyone is aware of it all and it could be as damaging, if not more so, as a leadership contest. Perhaps this is the last gasp of control freakery.