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Ive just got back from our Patrons club dinner. Francis Maude speaking. Thought he made a very pertinant point about attacking labour hard as some members wish. It seems it rebounds on us, and we make more of an impact if we are really subtle with our attacks, agreeing with them when they do something right. Said our biggest hurdle was to overcome the inbuilt distrust of us over the last 10 years or so. We really do have to change, and not just a surface change. I noticed some of our elderly patrons looking a tad unsure, some of us will find it hard to changeif we go on acting our age instead of our shoe size. Its a mind set, not how much osteoarthritis one is afflicted by. My old man is saying it gone midnight, and people go to bed then, so see you lot tomorrow.

We should be focusing on taking apart Brown's economics, instead of pointing out his personality defects.

Voters care less about if a government is headed up by somebody with "serious psychological flaws" than whether the policies of that government could see them out of work, unable to pay the bills or have prices rocketing.

Humour is the most under-used weapon. Gentle mocking is better than vicious attempts at character assassination. William Hague is good at this and Cameron seems also to have that sort of ability. We should avoid preaching - leave that to Brown. Perhaps he could be portrayed as "Father Brown", like Father Ted!

Annabel Herriott wrote:
""Francis Maude speaking. Thought he made a very pertinant point about attacking labour hard as some members wish. It seems it rebounds on us, and we make more of an impact if we are really subtle with our attacks, agreeing with them when they do something right""

What a dreadful defeatist this man is. No wonder the older members of the audience looked a little unsure - these endless goadings to change - but into what?
It is highly desirable that Brown be attacked both for what he is doing to the economy and the dependency culture that he is establishing in society. He is evidently a suitable case for treatment - arrogant, bullying, deceitful. Pointing out that how this Scottish, nail-bitten, republican, unreconstructed socialist, psychological wreck is ruining the country might not play well in London Dinner party circles but, by God, it would be well-received in the country beyond the M25.
Instead of any such attack we have dear Francis Maude (he of the tieless tendency) recommending supineness.
I read a letter recently from one of Brown's school contemporaries. He said that, when playing rugby, Brown could be relied upon to run away from the ball. He concluded with: "He was a Jessy then and he's a Jessy now."
I am white, middle-class and wearing a tie. So, forgive me, Party Chairman. But at least I know what I know what would get results amongst the general electorate - an awareness that the present leaders of the party have been denied by dint of their upbringing.

I fall somewhere between Rob Largan's views and John Coles's.

I do think many voters voters would mind being led by an egotistical "Scottish, nail-bitten, republican, unreconstructed socialist, psychological wreck" but also think we need to be duplicitous about pointing this (sorry Rob but politics does mean attacking your opponent and his policies).

We need the front bench to be on the whole positive, appearing to be above Punch & Judy politices, concentrating on being the coming force, the new men, the digital future etc. But occasionaly finding the fifth gear of an unexpected left hook of personal attack.

But we also need some attack dogs - maybe not all attack - the Eric Forth rottwielers getting their teeth in, the Nigel Evans corgi's keeping on nipping at his achilles tendons, the Boris Johnson sheepdogs getting a quick nip in. All aimed at re-inforcing in the public mind the less attractive facets of a complicated man.

Because it's Brown's character that drives his agenda. He is a product of a presbytery & Scots Labour which are both strong sects in themselves. Added to that mix is the fact that for over 9 years he has been in a central position of power but unconstrained by leadership, which imposes its own disciplines.

He doesn't share DCs self professed fear of failing because he doesn't believe he can - both are dangerous because one can cause inaction the other egomania. But in both men the near self same trait of self-confidence seems reversed - DC seems confident, Brown not to be. It's perhaps that Brown hasn't the social skills and ease that Dave has.

Brown surrounds himself with totem greats - the Bill Gates etc coterie - rather like a rich man buying the company of A & B list celebs by sponsoring the polo. Brown has seethed publicly for years over waiting for Blair to go but always puts off the final act to make it happen. He seems to have disciples but few friends except those made years ago.

But he has exceptional luck and skill - he seems to have decided the country will accept tax at current levels but no further so has put the lid on overall spending growth but hides this with the showmans tricks of the trade - re-announcing Education expenditure, announcing taxes he won't put up but leaving hdden in the Red Book those tweaks that cost.

To beat him means exposing the failures of policies and exploiting his personal weaknesses.

I agree with John Coles, I don't think that 'nice' people like DC or Francis Maude, realise the changes that have taken place in British society since '97, in hindsight I suppose the most graphic example of the way it is going is the footage that is shown again and again on TV, that of Prescott jabbing his way to fayme of a sort, or perhaps trying to convince himself that although fat he can still 'oof oof'!

A vast number of people of all ages AND classes (if we have to use that bl.... outdated classification, after all they have a class system in the US, it is just money based) think it is perfectly alright to get so drunk more than once a week, that they crawl around the gutter or attack anyone who looks at them. These same people may be fairly spineless when they are sober, but if you think about it, they would find an oafish Brown or an apparently barely literate but thuggish Prescott, much more familiar to vote for than a man who appears kind, considerate and intelligent! Many people just don't respect those characteristics any more, think of the endless films that that spoilt, immature man Quentin Tarantino makes, and what they glorify (the latest one that he has lent his name to, goes even further along that depressing road, apparently), and think of the violent computer games that many children are brought up on, no wonder they end up needing ASBO's.

That is one section of society that may not relate very easily to the new young conservatives, but there is another section that shouldn't just be disregarded. Mr. Brown is so sure of himself now that he certainly turns his nose up at this group, barring making a thoroughly spurious offer of 'free' travel sometimes. Yes I am referring to the older age group, who should not be disregarded in the search for the youf vote.

If some older people/voters seem to feel that a more aggressive approach by David Cameron towards Brown would be more effective, isn;t that worth some consideration, after all the Conservative Party can't afford to loose the Third Age group.

Maybe Mr. Hilton will have to show that he is worth employing at his large salary, and do more than advise on clothes and gestures and mood!

With apologies to the red visitors amongst us...had iPod on playing on random and the Internationale turned up (I've got the white cockade version of the Red Flag too..Hmn) and it struck me how few words needed to be changed (especially the beginning of verse two as regards Gordon)

The New Internationale

Arise, you prisoners of taxation!
Arise, you wretched of the earth!
For justice thunders condemnation:
A better world's in birth!
No more Gordon's chains shall bind us,
Arise you slaves, no more in thrall!
Great Britain shall rise on new foundations:
We have been nought, we shall be all!
 'Tis the electoral conflict,
  Let each stand in his place.
  The conservative voter
  Shall take the smirk off Gordon's face
  'Tis the electoral conflict,
  Let each stand in his place.
  The conservative voter
  Shall take the smirk off Gordon's face

We want no condescending savior
To rule us from his judgment hall,
We workers ask not for his favour
Let us consult for all:
To make the Treasury disgorge its booty
To free our spirits from our cell,
We must ourselves decide our duty,
We must decide, and do it well.
  'Tis the electoral conflict,
  Let each stand in his place.
  The conservative voter
  Shall take the smirk off Gordon's face
  'Tis the electoral conflict,
  Let each stand in his place.
  The conservative voter
  Shall take the smirk off Gordon's face

No Labour plan ever delivers,
No faith have we in Brown or Blair.
Our own right hand the chains must shiver,
Chains of tax, greed and fear.
E'er the thieves will out with their booty,
And give to all a happier lot.
Each at the forge must do their duty,
And we'll strike while the iron is hot.
So voters, come rally,
And the real fight let us face.
The conservative voter
  Shall take the smirk off Gordon's face
So voters, come rally,
And the next fight let us face.
The conservative voter
  Shall take the smirk off Gordon's face

"sorry Rob but politics does mean attacking your opponent and his policies"

I agree, my concern is the fact that Cameron and Osborne have personally launched direct attacks upon Brown's character but have less to say about his policies. As you say the front bench should stay positive, leave it to the spin doctors to attack his character and public image.

Keep your heads folks. DC needs to ensure his team link Brown with Blair (they both invented New labour).


"Many people just don't respect those characteristics any more"

There is, however, an element of hypocrisy. While the personal standards of vast swatches of the electorate may be low, they tend to apply higher standards to their elected representatives. It's as if they're saying "it's alright for me to get plastered every week, but Cabinet Minister X shouldn't do that, he's an MP!".

Yes, Richard you are right!

Buy the paperback version of Tom Bower's "Gordon Brown". There's enough ammunition in there for all of us.

Patsy! Please check your Tom Bowers "Gordon Brown" against this. I'd be interested.
Aries rising. Sees life as a challenge.
Sun,Jupiter North node, Mars, and Venus in Pisces in the 12th house, (also pisces of course)12th house ruled by neptune, so very much smoke and mirrors. The religious scottish background fits with that too.
Mars in 12th - feels his power is eroded.
Has 5 planets in water signs - reacts without thinking it through. Can fail to take objective perspective.
Moon in Leo - needs praise. Conjuct Pluto in leo. Intensly emotional, extremes of highs and lows. Strives to make his mark on the world. Disruptive if caught up in an ideal.
Moon rules 4th house of home - heavily influenced by his roots in Scotland.
Hard aspect between Sun and saturn - problems with rules and regulations.
Mercury (communication)in aspect to neptune. Good story teller.
Mercury opposite Pluto - obsessed with own ideas and relentlessly imposes them on others. (Saddam has this one also!)Needs to learn others may not agree.
Tendency to be critical, because, underneath, he feels inadequate.(personal planets in 12th house of self undoing)
Thats a quick run around his chart, so Tom Bower may tally if he knows the man well enough.

Sorry! Its Michael Clifford with the book not Patsy!

What utter claptrap. What with this astrological nonsense and Ted's doggerel it is becoming difficult to believe that this is a serious political Blog.

I don't think Annabel's astrological nonsense should be in the same category as Ted's post, John, but I take your point.

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