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Same old Brown, same old blather!

Did Brown just say his vision was in the 2005 manifesto? If so Blair was being disingenuous at the time and the electorate were conned, and Brown is being disingenuous now about how much has 'changed' and the electorate are being conned.

So his vision INCLUDED a referendum on the EU CONstitution ?

Let's see him deliver !

Alan Douglas

A 2008 General Election would be "very unlikely"

Poor Gordon, if only he could use triple-counting on opinion polls...

Shame there isn't a lie detector about.

Absolutely Andrew - particularly the bit about how he would NOT have called an election if the polls would have showed a Labour majority of 100 plus!

He keeps going on about his vision, but with one eye, isn't it impaired?

(Is this too harsh??)

Yes, Richard. It is!

Do he think anyone actually believes his answers?Does he? Honestly?

I'm not sure Brown deserves all this. Yes he showed poor judgement with the "I'm concentrating on the job" answer he gave everyone when he was asked about an election a couple of weeks ago.

But these poll numbers are based on complete rubbish. Cameron will never get £3.5bn from non-doms. I thought he was going to share the proceeds of growth between tax cuts and public spending.

Here's the tax cuts (IHT and Stamp Duty) - from where will he get the money to pay for public spending? What is that public spending?

Cameron mentioned green taxes going to families - if the green tax has its effect and behaviour changes - then revenue goes down and he'll have to find the money elsewhere.

It's Tory nonsense I'm afraid, baseless and uncosted and makes the Party look incompetent.

Tony, you're saying he won't get £3.5bn from non doms. Are you basing this on what Labour are saying. As the last hour has showed, they do have a tendancy to lie!!

In any case, I don't see that £3 billion can't be found in all the billions that are wasted by central government without even touching the non doms.

Can you change the title to "Lowlights of Brown's press conference"?

ToNY, if he thought he could win do you seriously think he would not have gone for it as he said? I just do not believe that at all.

If that is true, then what Brown has done is allow election speculation to continue in a hope to destabilise the other political parties... same Labour same spin then!

Well if The Barnett Rules were abolished and everyone in the United Kingdom treated equally

( a fundamental tenet of the UK or so I had thought )

£3.5 billion could be found easily .

Editor, your heading is misleading. There were no highlights - just the same old recycled Brown stuff.

Agreed Richard and Yogi... which is why I focused on the journalists' questions!

Its obvious that the hacks are not happy about being cheated out of an election to report. It wouldn't be a surprise to see Gordon Brown getting a rougher ride from now on.

Playing Devil's Advocate for a moment, could it just be that famously over cautious Brown had no intention to have an election and was not actually chasing the polls at all, but faced with the sudden and unexpected situation of a disintegrating Tory Party that suddenly looked ready to be completely KO'd, was swayed by some over-zealous trusted advisors in his cabinet to kill the Tories off while they had the chance?

The Tory Conference unexpectedly showed there was life in the old Tory dog still, so Brown kicks himself for listening to his overkeen juniors and reverts to the original plan of action of hanging on until the bitter end.

Just a thought...

Damn BBC bias again.

An HoC staffer has just told me that all the Labour Spads and assistants were running around on Thurs/Friday organising the election, and didn't Adam Boulton say over the weekend that the Home Secretary had phoned him to say that it was more than 90% likely there would be an election?

So it was the Polls wot dun it, Chad.

It was very sad, really. I was almost embarrassed watching. And until today I'd have said I loathed him with a passion. Now he just looks like a man at rock bottom - it felt like any moment someone would ask the killer question that would lead to self-destruction. Perhaps the press should give him time to recover a bit before they ask him any more questions... we don't want to bring the entire office of the Prime Minister of Great Britain into disrepute by destroying him with several years yet to run.

Happy Tory - That consideration never stopped the fourth estate eviscerating the last Conservative government and then kicking the carcas at every opportunity.

Just imagine if this was a Conservative PM acting in this way - Brown and his political dogs would have run us ragged.

This man is as guilty as the rest of New Labour regarding spin and bad political behaviour.

His cynical Iraq double counting was only surpassed by the "good day to bury bad news" spin doctors of a few years back. They are incapable of changing.

Cameron has no need to get nasty, but those below the leader, including activists, need to harass Brown and company every day - do not let them off the hook this time.

BBC bias lol.

The journos are all upset because they know they're being lied to.

What is clear is that Brown faced up to the biggest crisis in his politcial career and walked away more or less unscratched.

Don't be fooled by Cameron's hubris. Brown is no pushover.

The Newcastle Brown stunt was good but too kind. My line would be "Brown trousers on a crap politician who shat himself".

When you opponent is down, kick him again and again..... Cameron needs a Tebbit to put the proverbial boot in repeatedly. Step forward Eric Pickles who should be Party Chairman. Caroline Spelman is too nice for the job. It's time for a quick reshuffle to capitalise on the Brown trousers!

Yes, he looks a bit close to the edge.

Good. Ratchet up the pressure a bit more. Cameron going on about the EU Constitution would be a good time right now.

Not forgetting his Parliamentary report regarding his soujourn to Iraq last Wednesday.

This man only a few days ago was poised to stick a dagger into the Tories.

Now is not the time to let him off.

As for Milliband & Balls, I think there advice will no longer be so readily sought or taken as read. Labour's lobby power is also on the wane now.

I think a Brownie / Millibite bitch-fest is well on the cards. Cameron should return the favour to encourage that just a little bit more too.

Brown unified us. We just have to remember the effect of that unity for the next election.

Looks like El gordo is receiving a 360 degree appraisal:

'LABOUR'S "shop steward", Tony Lloyd, today told Gordon Brown he had to show he was in charge of the country, as the Prime Minister began what promises to be an uncomfortable three days.

Mr Lloyd, chairman of the Parliamentary Labour Party, said the premier had to demonstrate that he was a "competent, trustworthy Prime Minister" rather than a "master tactician".'

This sourced from The Scotsman.

Jonathan / Andrew - I do agree there's fault and blame for the PM allowing this speculation to happen (check out LabourHome and you'll read many people saying as much.

My point that is that this idea that he backed away in the face of a Conservative revival is not a strong argument. The "revival" is based on tax promises that are costed on a number of non-doms that nobody seems sure about. I do know that thousands of non-doms are secondees and fund managers from international banks and are only here a year. £25k will be very off putting irrespective of the number of them and hurt the economy by their absense.

I'm also saying that in Cameron's own language - he said the key imperitive was sharing growth between tax cuts and increased spending. Here's the tax cuts the electorate will say - where's the increased spending?

I'm not a polling expert but I find it hard to believe that these polling figures will last.

Sorry Jonathan I didn't answer your question.

I think had the numbers continued to go his way - it's reasonable to think he would've gone for it. As it was he didn't have to.

He derserves some blame as I say but the truth is that Cameron has also had a massive let off.

I'm just vexed about how all this nonsense came to fruition in the first place. Brown did say this morning he accepts responsibility for that.

Fair enough. Let's get on with it then.

Happy Tory I can't agree with your sentiment,

"Perhaps the press should give him time to recover a bit before they ask him any more questions... we don't want to bring the entire office of the Prime Minister of Great Britain into disrepute by destroying him with several years yet to run."

The labour party did their best to destory John Major whilst he was in office & I've waited 10 years for this moment. Brown has been behind most of the failures of the last 10 years and as has been said on this site already over the last couple of days, has disappeared whenever the going got tough e.g. tax credits or Uni fees etc.

Brown is the one who has squandered the stealth taxes through his refusal to counternance any real reform of public services. He deserves all he gets.

All I would say is that as a party we need to look beyond this next few weeks and continue leafleting and canvassing so that when Brown finally calls an electin ew win and win big.

You say :The Sun asks a question about Brown's failure to hold a referendum on the EU Treaty" but Ian Dale doesn't mention it BUT you don't say what his answer was.

PLEASE !!! He's due in Brussels next week to give his OK to the treaty and come out lying and saying he's defended all his red line subjects while even the EU admitted this week that they've got him over a barrel about making the EU supreme over our legal system.

Am I the only person who sees echoes of 1978 here. A Labour PM, unelected by the electorate. A chance to go early which despite everything (and I hope I'm wrong) had he done so he would have won (albeit with a reduced majority). Jim Callaghan made the same choice NOT to go in 1978. By that error, the country was saved as we could enjoy the prosperity and acclaim that 11 years of Thatcherism gave us. Now whilst DC is certainly no Lady T., I feel that the result of Gordon's dithering and U-Turn may well be the same. Lets hope so.

James Burdett @ 14.00:

You're absolutely right. What was I thinking? Allowed a bit of sentiment to get in the way. Let us not pull our punches. The man was clearly and repeatedly lying.

I guess we always knew that the psychological flaws would be his undoing - and Danny Finkelstein has an interesting analysis of them on his blog - Obsessive, Arrogant and Political - adjectives which correspond directly with three of the well recognised personality disorders - Obsessive-Compulsive, Narcissistic and Paranoid. Quite a self-destructive cocktail.

Sorry Chad Noble (13.33 pm). But these "over zealous trusted advisers" and "overkeen juniors" are actually Cabinet Minister. The whole ediface is rotten from the top to bottom.

I wasn't defending Brown, just trying to understand how a man who has shown no bravery instinct to 'kill off' before has blundered in this big way.

Get Jeff Randall to sort out the facts and figures; he showed the other day that, even if the non-doms ideas did not produce one pound to offset the IHT hike, it can easily be found elsewhere.
The main thing is, this proposal is a very large vote winner (which Brown will no doubt try to take over).
We must counter Labour's arguments (Alistair Darling has already weighed in about irresponsible tax cuts) with facts and figures, preferably to do with Brown's wastage of taxpayers' money when Chancellor.

Brown is humiliated. He will never recover. His party will have no choice but to move him on. And then we will see a sulk to outlast even the one kept by Edward Heath.

Brown has sulked since 1994 when Blair won the leadwership. He'll soon be sulking all over again this time for the rest of his days. Someone should contact the Guinness Bok of Records. He's over. He's finished.

The press pack were appalling, the lot of them. They showed no teeth, none of them, not 'incandescent' Boulton, not Clever-Clogs Crick, none of them. He was uncomfortable, yes, but it's not their job to empathise with him, and because they let him get away with his filibustering (for such it was) repetition of lies, the best opportunity any of them has had for years to make their reputation by, er, doing their job, has passed them by and Brown can go back to business as usual on his own terms, a little shaken, but not much. He will calmly nick Tory policies and he will ignore Cameron as he did in the Commons today despite DC insulting him to his face. This man has the thickest skin in modern politics and our gallant press have no darts sharp enough to penetrate it.

"Did Brown just say his vision was in the 2005 manifesto? "

James Burdett, yes and that's what makes Brown's claim he wants time to set out his vision, so wrong. For Labour set out their vision thing and manifesto at the 2005 election, if they are now seeking to change it, as Brown is saying, then they have no mandate to do that, and in fact Brown by saying this is making the very case for an election.

I have just witnessed a very upset former S.A.S man do an interview on News 24 follow the Iraq statement calling GB a disgrace. Will it make it on to the later BBC news? If it doesn't the BBC is a disgrace.

"This man has the thickest skin in modern politics and our gallant press have no darts sharp enough to penetrate it. "

Prodicus, yes Labour have no shame, which was noticeable yesterday when Brown trooped his acolytes across our TV screens, with everyone of them lying through their teeth. Then having seen that their lying strategy hadn't worked, (saying that the polls hadn't been influential because they hadn't been considering an election) they switched strategy this morning with Straw and partially admitted they had been thinking of an election.


I saw it. What a cracker of a rant. I can't see the BBC showing it again tonight, though I hope they do. Showing it at prime time would really ruin Gordon's day (if it could get any worse).

I think Brown is finished folks. Sometimes the light is let into the publics mind in just such a way that they never quite forget it. It may well be a slow decay but he is finished and each month that goes by it will get worse. The problem is that this isn't some one-off mistake, its part of a flaw in the guy that people sense and don't like the look of. That is the view of most people from various political and non-political backgrounds that I spoke to today.

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