Monday 26 April 2010

Postman Pat Positions Himself for Leadership

It’s been clear for ages that the anointed leader of Labour was the wrong one.

Pretty much a matter of two weeks into the reign, the wheels started to come off. For all his many faults Blair was popular within at least a certain faction of the Labour Party, having made them electable, and kept them in power. Brown’s sect was much smaller and less fashionable. So from the moment he took over there were those out to get him.

Everything has gone wrong, from outbreaks of pestilence to economic meltdown, it’s all happened under the touch of Midas in reverse. Of course some of it is not his fault. The election of the first ever SNP government in Scotland was nothing to do with him; nor was the election of a less pro “Anglo” president of the USA. Volcanic eruptions in Iceland can hardly be laid at his door and he could never have guessed that just as his cunning plan to buy some Catholic votes came to fruition that the cloud over the involveme
nt of the Pope himself in child abuse scandals, would break.

But he doesn’t handle stuff well. His snub of our duly elected government and refusal to talk to them was plain childish; his creeping around desperately trying to be seen with Obama belittled the UK, and the dithering that accompanies everything else he does combine to show that he is not a suitable man to be a First or Prime Minister. The tragedy for Brown is that his overriding ambition was to be what he can never be. A leader.

For a long time Labour has known that he was their biggest liability. Election leaflets here show the local Tory candidate and a picture of David Cameron; the Liberal candidate’s own picture is relatively small, but there are two pictures of Nick Clegg, one with Vince Cable, far more prominent. But, despite the fact that the Labour candidate here has been parachuted in from Glasgow, is not known at all, and, in the
circumstances could have done with some support in this highly marginal seat, Gordon is nowhere to be seen.

In an age of wall to wall 24 x 7 television, like it or not the image of ministers is important. How you come over always mattered but it matters more than ever now.

So given that he must know he has an image problem and both David Cameron and Nick Clegg are younger, fresher, more telegenic and better communicators, it was a brave, or a foolish move to agree to debate with them on live tv, not once but three times.

Since the first tv debate the polls have consistently shown Brown in third place. The looks on some of his colleagues’ faces (most noticeably Peter Mandleson’s) tell the story that it is over for Brown. The debates that he need not have had have done for him.

And so it would seen the first of his internal opponents has already come out and following Mr Clegg’s assertion that, if Labour comes third he will not support Brown “squatting” at No 10, Alan Johnson has talked up what he is now calling a “balanced” (not hung) parliament and his belief in PR.

I wonder how long it will be before the Milibands and his dear close friend Balls start setting out their stalls.

Pics: Alan Johnson and David Miliband, Gordon Brown at the famous door (how do they keep it so shiny?)


  1. Is that the same Ed Balls that was fined £60 and given three points on his licence for using a mobile phone while driving last Sunday (driving illegally last Sunday not fined)? Him and Harriet Harman obviously don’t need to bother with niggling little things like the traffic laws. As far as Labour are concerned the adage runs “there is no such thing as good publicity”.

    Poor old Cyclops he can’t seem to do anything right can he? Everything he touches turns to... well shall we say lead. And neither can his Government, give him his due though it was Captain Beaky Murphy that trumpeted the Pope’s visit, until the unfortunate child molesting revelations, at which point he ceased to mention it any more. I wonder why?

  2. No no no. These people don't bother with laws they make. Mrs Scotland employed illegal immigrants despite piloting through the law on NOT employing them, and as you say Harry and Balls-up don't worry about driving and phoning. Their calls, unlike ours, are important.

    The law, you see Munguin (watch my lips) is made for the little people like you and me. It has nothing to do with superfolks like them. They have an altogether different set of rules to play by.

    You are a tad dim at times.... if you don't mind my saying so.