Tuesday, September 25, 2007

Brown the Unstoppable

Peter Mandelson and Alan Milburn both appeared on TV to back Gordon Brown. They both hate him. What does he have on them or what has he done to them? Meanwhile, the party hacks gave a standing ovation to the most right-wing speech given by any British politician in years. Apart from the lack of jokes, it was more Blair than Blair, full of vaporous 'inishyatives', feelbad stuff about immigrants and crime and feelgood stuff about Britain - barely a word on Iraq or Afghanistan of course.  If Brown had announced that the entire working class was to be rounded up and interned in special camps on the Isle of Wight, the dumb Labour faithful would still have balanced unsteadily on their hind legs to bay their approval. And now, of course, the dumb Tory faithful will vote for him because he seems to be several hundred miles to the right of Cameron and he has Margaret round to tea. He even did his speech in front of a blue wall. Is there no stopping this man?


  1. Probably not. From afar, it seemed like an excellent Clintonian performance, with all the key phrases needed for effective triangulation, if not strangulation, of his opponents. BDWIK? I'm not a Brit. And he definitely rallied his troops. I don't know what else Cameron could say in response, but the line I read in the Telegraph, ("After that uninspiring speech, it's clear that Gordon Brown has no answers to Britain's problems.") was incredibly lame. If that is the best he can do when he had all the time in the world to prepare, the Tories are probably in deeper trouble than I thought.

    As I am not a Brit, and really should not interfere in your internal affairs any more than our American political party advisers are already doing, I shall now shut up and shall go gently into that good night (as long we're misappropriating phrases across the pond, I thought it safe to adapt that line).

  2. Bryan: didn't you earlier decry the Tories mistake in proposing a ban or tax on televisions because people only support energy savings regimes as long as they are vague. Advocating discipline or new taxes borders on political suicide.

    I saw an unpublished poll in California in 1998, wherein 90% of voters agreed the schools had serious problems, 80% agreed something needed to be done about it NOW, 70% agreed that teachers could not do it alone, 60% agreed more money was needed, 40% agreed taxes should be raised to spend it, but only 10% agreed parents had the primary responsibility for inculcating the discipline and study habits necessary for success and a whopping 70% would automatically vote against any politician who told them they did.

    OK, now I'm really gone. I think.

  3. BDWIK? I think it's Nige you are quoting in that second comment. Interesting stuff about teachers.

  4. BWDIK=But what do I know?

    RE: teachers: The candidate & his advisers thought he had a fantastic wedge issue, they were stoked, he was more than ready for the performance of a lifetime in a few days, and then they found out it was a bigger guaranteed vote-loser than advocating storing nuclear fuel rods in an unattended warehouse in downtown LA. IIRC, self-immolation was suggested as a serious alternative should he pursue it.


    (Ta-ta for now)

  5. Bryan, there may well be something significant in your question regarding Mandelson and Milburn 'What does he have on them or what has he done to them?' But with both treading water in career terms, is it also a case of 'What can he do for them?'

    They must see that, barring a monumental mismanagement of a key issue, or a Profumo style scandal, or the emergence of a Tory leader who might just be able to walk on water, Brown could well be in No 10 for a decade. These two politicians may see themselves approaching the prime of their political lives and are desperate to re-enter the mainstream.

    Miles to the right of Cameron, Margaret round to tea, speech in front of a blue wall, talk about having a laugh at your opponent's expense; it would be hilarious if it wasn't so worrying for the state of our democracy.

    Never fear, he hasn't grown a silly little moustache, donned the uniform of the Argyll and Sutherland Highlanders, requisitioned Wembley for a mass rally, and made a territorial claim to Ibiza.

  6. Brown may have boxed himself in with this speech. If Mr serious, sober, flag-waving bank manager, etc, etc, jumps off his pedestal and calls an election now, he risks being thought frivolous and shallow. On the other hand, if he doesn't then he risks being called a tease, too cautious and lacking in bottle. The speech hasn't gone down particularly well in the media; even the Guardian moans about an enervating "top-down sense of command" in the way the country is run. And Mr Murdoch is making clear that the price of his support is about as pleasant as garlic to a vampire: a referendum on the EU treaty.

    If you value democracy, the real deal is currently happening in Burma. Hundreds, even thousands, may be murdered there this week. Sure puts a sharp perspective on our boastful little Don Politicos.

  7. The Tories would have been wiser to choose David Davies. He would have had more grit and substance against Brown. Cameron was the anti-Blair choice. One feels with Northern Rock, Iran, Russia on the prowl and continuing EU encroachment,Brown needs more substance to counter him. We're past the froth of Blair and into a trickier time. Cameron is too frothy against the clunking fist. However, I do believe the media would murder a Tory for saying 'British jobs for British people'. Brown gets away with it.

  8. Sorry to lower the tone, but when I see Mandelson and Milburn cosying up to Brown, the image that springs to mind is of dogs sniffing each other's bottoms.

  9. Like the threat to deport foreign dope peddlers, the call for 'British jobs for British people' is meaningless in the light of anti-discrimatory human rights legislation that protects the rights of Poles in Britain. The words mean little or nothing.

  10. At least Brown isn't Chavez. Hope it doesn't give Gordo ideas for a new chat show...