Blair is more susceptible to flattery than accusation and allegation. The more Brown resorts to strategies like the Watson resignations, encouraging or at least not blocking his acolyte Paul Dacre’s publishing General Dannatt’s views on Iraq and now clearly taking pleasure in Blair’s discomfiture over the Loans For Peerages enquiry, the less like a leader he seems, and the less likely he is to get a clear run at the leadership.
In fact the more dirt he throws around inside the tent, the less successful Labour seem as they plummet in the polls. On the other hand, if Brown offered Blair a deification Caesar style from a grateful Senate, Blair might be tempted. As it is, Brown wants not just the leadership but also a Blair humiliation. Blair will not buy into it, and will cling on with every claw. As the war of the Blair Succession gets nastier by the month, it becomes more and more likely that Blair and Brown will go down together in a vortex of bitterness, just as surely as they ruled supreme together for nearly a decade.