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Less effective than Blair in 1995/6? Probably. Less effective than Blair in 2005-7? I'm not so sure. Gordon Brown has been in politics a long time, and seems to have been pretty good at it so far. I think we'd be fools to underestimate him, and it doesn't seem to me that either (a) we've dented him yet; or (b) he's even start properly on us...

Brilliant graphic Tim!!!

Did anyone else watch Sunday AM yesterday where Gordon Brown spoke with a distinctly changed accent to his voice? His deep Scottish boom had almost disappeared.

Would be a shame if he allows the New Labour spinsters to remould him. Although good news for us as he will move from a 'safe pair of hands' to another insincere Labour creation.

At the moment, Brown appears very happy to admit to Blair's mistakes; surely DC can embarrass Blair and Brown at PMQs by quoting Brown's comments verbatim.

Also Brown must not be allowed to draw a line under the Blair premiership by giving the impression that he has not been a party to all the failures over the last 10 years. He and Blair are equally responsible.

DC should also promise that as soon as the tories get back there will be two independent inquiries (i) on the Iraq war and (ii) on the Treasury's squandering of taxpayers' money in Brown's term of office.

We should be prepared for some popular initiatives at first - scrapping ID cards and, possibly with a degree of success, establishing a non-celebrity style. It's quite difficult to judge what Cameron's best tactics will be over the leadership election and initial (short) honeymoon period - a shopping list of all the changes Brown could possibly make that we would approve of could be one tactic: so we can say he has just followed established Tory policy in any that he adopts.

Cameron may be best engaged in having a quieter period publicly, receiving some of the policy group's ideas and then hit the ground running again in September/October. Whilst he is about it he should also concentrate on sorting out the Euro reselection and London Mayoral selection messes we have got into; and make sure that he has a high profile and well-spun meeting with Sarkozy with both sides making it clear that the EPP will be irrelevent to a closer relationship with France when they are both in charge.

The one thing he should be noisy about right now is warning Blair not to give away the farm at his swansong summit in June, possibly even suggesting that Brown's accession should be brought forward to guard against this.

We need to ensure that the truth about Brown being the main engine behind all the current problems is repeated and illustrated to the public as they already strongly suspect this. There are instances where Blair also thought Browns projects wouldn't work but Brown ham-fisted his way through ignoring and sulking his way to get them anyway. The two are actually a dysfunctional double act comprising Blairs spin and Browns wrong headedness.

However in addition to pointing out Browns part in the bureaucratic mess we are in, we also must show how we would be different and where we want to take the country. We must beware of spin in this enterprise and be practical,


The biggest advantage is that Brown is likely to hold on for as long as he can. In that time all the Treasury-led policies will start to un-ravel. There are early signs these are happening now. The mortaging of the country with national debt and huge PFI debt plus all the treasury led targets for public services are starting to bite.
What DC and the leadership need to continually highlight is Brown's fingerprints on all of these things - he can't be allowed to deceive that he is a fresh face - he's been the power behind the throne domestically from the start.

Londoner, how about as Brown is in admitting mistakes mode asking that tax credits are reformed as already more that x billion have been sent out incorrectly and lost which is equivalent to x billion off taxes for the poorest in society?

"There should be a general election, NOT an internal Labour party election, or automatic handover."

We've never done this, and it's rank hypocrisy to expect Labour to do it.

I agree up to a point True Blue but Tony Blair did promise to serve a full term.

I worry that we're not - as of now - in a position to win a GE anyway. But if GB did call one and we were, say, 10 short of a majority, would people demand that DC resign?

agree up to a point True Blue but Tony Blair did promise to serve a full term.

Perhaps Blair could say that he has already delivered his pledge but has simply delayed it to 2009 a la Monsieur Cameron and the EPP.


YHN (Chad)why did you not renew your UKIP membership this year?

it's rank hypocrisy to expect Labour to do it.

Taking The Guardian as the trusty bible of all things New Labour: Blair: I will serve a full third term.

But I agree that we should show the Brooding Brown a little more understanding. The Prime Minister’s job is his preciousss... and it’s nearly in his grasp. You can’t expect him to throw it all away on the electorate now, can you?

YHN (Chad)why did you not renew your UKIP membership this year?

So I can run the new blog as a supporter but free from any party restraints when I really lay into the opposition.

Your Humble Narrator!!!

Chad = Humble


Impressed by Chad's humility...

Wikipedia - always accurate. To even question it reveals your own ignorance.


I think we'd be fools to underestimate him, and it doesn't seem to me that either (a) we've dented him yet; or (b) he's even start properly on us...

I could not agree more Andrew and what's more people are going to compare the gravitas of Brown with the gimmickry of Cameron.
For all Cameron's Eton education my bet is he will never match Brown, one only has to recall the way Brown set about the Tory front bench on the "Pensions Debate", he knocked them back one by one like a row of "Aunt Sally's".
It was a classic performance.
Substance is what he has and Cameron never will have, there is still too much of a showman about this shallow man.
I do not need any lectures about how he done in the local elections either, who people choose to have empty their dustbins is a lot different to whom they want looking after their jobs and mortgages.
I voted for a Tory council but they will never get my vote at a GE.

"I agree up to a point True Blue but Tony Blair did promise to serve a full term."

Fair point. But nobody thought he would hang around that long!

Anyway, a dose of the Brownies should see us in with a decent majority.

Does anyone get the feeling that Gordon's campaign team have started blogging (about as effectively as they arranged his autocue)?

I'll delete all further Chad-related postings on this thread.

Neither Michael Meacher or John McDonnell will provide any credible challenge to Gordon Brown, this is about the least likely time for Labour to go for either someone who although attending cabinet meetings was only of a Minister of State rank who is not a particularily good commons speaker, and is ageing - Michael Meacher's opportunities to lead Labour might have come if Michael Foot had for some reason not stood allowing him to enter the fray although he still would have had to see off Peter Shore and really of the 1980 leadership candidates only Dennis Healey and Peter Shore were credible as possible Prime Ministers; or if he had stood in 1994, but it's past his time now) and stands for a policy agenda that will be rejected by more than 2/3 of the electorate. John McDonnell has never been a government minister and is less pragmatic than Michael Meacher is, he is an effective communicator and obviously both are clever. John McDonnell though could be Labour leader at some point after Labour have lost power, but facing someone who is an incumbent Chancellor of the Exchequer for 10 years when the party is in government - neither stands a chance of even getting half the votes Gordon Brown will in the Electoral College.

As for Gordon Brown visa vis Tony Blair as leader - Gordon Brown is not so good a campaigner, but as a speaker in the House of Commons and as a strategic thinker he is far superior to Tony Blair. He has a vision and he knows how he intends to achieve it, so there is much less risk of drift in policy.

David Miliband is the leadership contender of 2017 not 2007, he wants to gain public recognition and do more things as a cabinet minister first and then he can go head to head in a contest with Ed Balls for Gordon Brown's successor.

How long has arranging auto-cues been a substitute for substance?

Oh! I am quite sure people are going to have auto-cue arrangers looking after their interests, or even one that parts his hair on another side for a photo opportunity. Just like they are having a man of Straw instead of a man of Substance looking after their interests.
Your man could not even get the windmill right on his own house let alone run a Country. Brown has at least been the most succesful Chancellor since the days of Roy Jenkins and he has not led us into any recession or had 4 million un-employed.

You will have to do better than that effort a few weeks from now we will all be in a different ball game, we will see how Cameron and his pathetic lead stacks up then.

You knew who I was talking about then, Joseph...

Your absolutely right Joseph, Brown is a genius and you were absolutely right to mention his marvellous performance in the Pensions debate which he won so convincingly. Better still is his performance with pensions in general. In 1997 when he became Chancellor pensions were a mess and now as we all know they are all perfectly fine and dandy. Not many people know this but the £5,000,000,000 that Brown has taken from Pension schemes has been a tremendous success for pensions. Source G Brown Pensions debate 2007.

That pension figure is quite remarkable it goes up in the thousands by the hour.
Did you forget the bit about the "Pension's Holiday"? how convenient for you.
How I wish my wages would have gone up at such a rate as the Tories claim about this Pension figure during the Tory years.
Has your memory deserted you so much that you have forgotten we even had some people working for 80p per hour, just imagine all of 80p per hour, just think how they could all spend, spend, spend, and the likes of Cameron and his ilk arguing that it would cost jobs for a minimum wage to be introduced and lead to another reccession. Where and when was it?
The reccession they predicted I must have blinked and missed it.

What's Cameron's latest take on that one, please do not inform me he has turned that one also on it's head eh?

The next thing he will be agreeing that Labour was right to get rid of Grammar Schools, now there is a turn up for the books for the Party of the "Lady" who was not for turning.
Of course he also honours his promises the Tories are leaving the EPP next week.

Our answer to everything Gordon Brown proposes is surely, "you've had 10 years, why haven't you done it already?"

He is not "new" like John Major was in 1990 (one budget, nine months as Foreign Secretary)...he is the co-architect of New Labour, so I doubt there would be the same kind of poll bounce as happened in 1990.

Hard to miss V, but then I do not let trivial things like auto-cues worry me unduly or think that auto-cue positions = votes, any more than most sensible people think hugging Hoodies and Huskies will pay the mortgage or keep job's safe.
People say ignorance is bliss how happy you all must be that Cameron gets his auto-cue right, that must be worth at least a few % worth of votes, after all policies do not matter he does not have any.

Alex. You are entering a different ball game, Blair has been numero uno for the past ten years, not Brown and Blair has had the final say.
How many CE's would have their number two going over their heads and making the final decisions?
It does not happen in business ,industry or any other walk of life what makes you think it happens in Government or that Blair would have allowed it?

Joseph, are you sure that you want to be so proud of Gordon Brown’s “prudence”?

Taking data from the Federal Reserve Bank of New York (which I trust as being a non-UK, non-politicized source):

The four-quarter %age change for GDP has bumped from 1.7% in 2002 to 2.8% in 2007. Europe overtook us, going from 0.5% to 3.3%.

Our annual %age change in Consumer Price Index rose from 1% in 2002 to 2.8% in February. Europe’s went from 2.5% to 1.9%.

Our Harmonized Unemployment Rate is going up while everyone else’s is going down. It has risen from 4.6% in 2005 to 5.4% now. Europe has fallen from 8.5% to 7.2%.

Europe’s Industrial Production Index increased from 99 in 2002 to 110 today. Ours decreased from 97 to 95.

In identical trading circumstances, Europe has been improving while Britain has been getting worse. We have been out-performed by France, Germany, Italy, etc. It’s your man, Brown, who is responsible for that.

Well Joseph has given us all a laugh today,


Well out of my depth Mark and by the sound of things yours also, I neither have the time nor inclination to look these things up and if it is you who has written that, you have missed your vocation and are wasting your time posting to blogs. Plus the fact that it is one persons opinion and evrybody is entitled to that. It does not mean because we read it we all believe it.
I read the Mail and Telegraph (enough said)
Nice to have given you a laugh Matt after all the Tories have not had much to laugh about during the last ten years, come to think about it you should be having great fun now with the comedian you have as a Shadow Foreign Secretary and the Vetrilloquist's dummy you have as a leader, whose strings are being pulled by the said comedian.
Not forgetting of course good old "Groucho Marx" AKA Oliver Letwin and just who I ask you could forget John Redwood..

It used to be a basic point of the British Union that all MP's from whichever part of the union were equal and could divine and vote upon all matters in the power of the Britsh government .
Since the Scotland Act of 1998 this has no been so .

The member for Kirkcaldie and Cowdenbeath in Scotland now has no business whatsoever interfering in the internal affairs of England and Tory MP's for English constituencies should - if they have any spunk - tell him so on a daily basis .

Well out of my depth Mark and by the sound of things yours also, I neither have the time nor inclination to look these things up and if it is you who has written that, you have missed your vocation and are wasting your time posting to blogs.

A few hours ago you were telling us how brilliantly Gordon Brown did in the pensions debate. Now, in the shallow end of comparative data, you tell us you're out of your depth. Since that whole of the pensions debate relied on economic data, how were you able to say with any authority that Brown “knocked them [the Tory front bench] back one by one like a row of Aunt Sally's”?

I see Stalin's ghost has been haunting this thread today (albeit modestly using his first name only), lauding Gordon Brown's handling of the economy.

FWIW, I don't think the Chancellor has done a bad job with the economy, but then I'm not a pensioner or the owner of a small business.

Which of Gordon Brown's achievements will you be praising next, Comrade Joseph? The rising tractor production figures? Oh no, I expect the decline of Britain's manufacturing industry (not all the Labour government's fault, admittedly) would make that a boast too far, even for you Labourites.

IIRC it was Matthew Parris that likened Brown to the The Wizard of OZ. How apt, he is a formidable political heavy weight in his kingdom of the Labour party and that is why he will be crowned leader and PM without a contest.
Scratch under the surface and you find more myth than fact, a bit like one of his budgets.
No one should be complacent about Brown, he has leaked, spun and been a lot more brutal with his opponents than Blair ever was, and you can bet he will turn it all on David Cameron and the Conservatives, remember "Dave the chameleon". In the last year he made two basic mistakes that a more astute politician would have avoided. No not the auto cue, it was the smile when leaving Downing street last year having seen the attempted coup force Blair into promising to be gone by conference this year. And this year's budget where his desperation to wrong foot David Cameron's response led him to produce a tax cut that had unravelled in 20 minutes.

As I cannot seriously believe your post was written by an adult.
Are your parents aware that you are playing with a computer at this time of night/morning when there is school in the morning?
A bit of discipline would not go amiss here, sleep is very important for young minds.
Time enough when you are an adult to play with politics in the meantime a good education is more important and sleep is required to achieve that.

Mark, Simply by watching the whole of the debate whilst Brown was on his feet and listening carefully to the experts analyse it. Then weighing the data up in my own mind and making a decision from there.
How do you do it or are you a financial expert or "Jack of all Trades and Master of None"?
As for presenting me with the data you did, like the pensions debate I would have to listen to advice then judge it from there.
I will never be too proud to have to admit that, so you have no need to resort to these shallow practices in the future, they do not wash with me.
Bit too long in the tooth Mark to fall for these juvenile pranks, I suggest you try another Tac never-the-less 6/10 for your effort.

Andrew Lilico is absolutely right that we'd be fools to underestimate Brown, as is Joseph to contrast Brown's gravitas with DC's lightweight persona.

There will be quite a few small c conservatives who look for seriousness and substance in a politician.Despite some of his disasters (e.g pensions raid, huge increase in taxes and pubic expenditure),Brown might have greater appeal to this group than charming, policy-light David Cameron.

I am uneasy about the general opinion that Brown will flop.
He is a dangerously crafty and cunning individual, and a great actor and strategist in my opinion.
I bet he stands everything on its head by selling us into the EU 'Treaty' and into the Euro and giving his Socialist allies their 'Social Europe'.

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