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Great opening question from Bob Neill.

Cameron's saying "you" rather than "the Prime Minister" a lot - has he forgotten how the House works?

Loved the point re the 100 seats which was asked in his press conference earlier in the week by Simon Carr I think:-


I totally agree that it makes the PM look unbelievable! Anyone who thought they could achieve a 100 seat majority at this stage would call an election.

Bottle bank joke was brilliant. Even Jack Straw had to suppress his laughter.

Cameron went for the kill and I think it worked. He bungled the referendum line (calling it an election), but he showed genuine anger and Brown just couldn't match it.

What is noticeable is that the Labour backbenches are very quiet and are barely cheering Brown.

"Brown says the Tories have published their election manifesto and he looks forward to dissecting it week after week in the Commons."

Brown is just incapable of understanding what he needs to do to get himself out of this self inflicted mess!
He needs to start acting like a bl**dy PM not the smiling and jeering bully in the play ground. He is playing politics when he should be setting out his vision and ideas.

Brown is merely the Labour Party leader, not the Prime Minister, and I refuse to acknowledge him as such. Nor too, it seems, does Mr Cameron, who referred to him as 'you' directly, rather than going by parliamentary formality.

The Labour frontbench looked a bit embarrassed at Brown's tepid responses to Cameron's fierce attacks. Alan Johnson had a thousand yard stare, and Harriet Harman looked genuinely bemused.

Some very poor questions by Nick Young, Patrick Cormack and Damien Green that get off the main subjects of the election and the budget.

I think we've just seen an impossible - a politician looking more smug than Tony Blair. He seems to think he's some sort of tactical genius; I really do think all his plans will be found out though. The public are just too sceptical.

Cameron did very well - if anything, his fury at the lies, spin and thievery just shows how much more he cares than Brown.

Thought one of our MP's might question the implications on small business of the new 18% capital gains tax rate.

12.24 Sorry I meant Nick Gibb not Young.

A few more wasted questions such as Spicer's on flood money which just give Brown a platform to quote figures.

It is a waste of time to ask these things with this Speaker. Better if it was on the referendum, election or budget.

How come the BBC2 politics programme has 2 Labour supporters (excluding the BBC staff) and only 1 Conservative?

Nick Gibb's usually good but he fluffed his lines.

If people want to sign the petition Brown refered to


Watched Daily Politics on BBC2 also.

Something needs to be done on media and debate training for Conservative MPs. They are always 'polite' to their Labour opposite number who proceeds to shout them down as soon as they speak. Mrs Balls and Alan Duncan were an example - but I've seen it a lot over the last few weeks. Mr Balls vs IDS.

This must be sorted or else we will not be able to communicate - which is what Labour wants.

Edison 12.23
Harriet Harman did not look too pleased yesterday during pre budget statement either.

Man in a Shed, I think he was letting her dig her own grave. The constant interupting like arrogant.

NigelC, Harriett Harman never looks happy. Too much pent up anger in believing she's far more ability than she actually has.

Gordon Brown definately looks stressed when David Cameron adopts an aggressive approach to PMQs. This also makes a good impression on TV audiences too. Brown is really aweak character and don't enjoy being harangued. This is the way to get to him because Brown's comeback is weak and he seems to struggle to maintain it.

"Brown is just incapable of understanding what he needs to do to get himself out of this self inflicted mess!"

Scotty, yes his every move seems to be directed towards digging himself an even deeper hole.

His principled stance became unprincipled when he went to Basra.

His big tent, Governing for the benefit of the Britain, became Governing for his own and Labour's narrow interests.

And his vision, as George Osborne said yesterday, is waiting for the Conservatives to tell him what is.

I was sorry a Conservative MP didn't question him about his habit of calling up journalists at 6 o’clock in the morning and haranguing them for what they might have written about him. For this would doubt his assertion that he is concentrating on Governing for the country, and that he is mentally unstable if he's taking personal slight at what journalists are writing, and thinking it reasonable to be calling them up early in the morning.

Harriet Harman probably knows how badly this chasing around of Tory tax plans plays with her party faithful. They've been saying for years that IHT isn't a priority and then seem to be copying the Tories by implying it is. She probably doesn't realise that it's all slight of hand, so maybe she'll be more cheerful when she tumbles to it.

Alternatively perhaps she's hoping to be left something by her uncle, who is an Earl, and was disappointed that Darling's plans won't increase his net estate...

Thanks for the election petition link Andrew @ 12:48. There are now 200 signatories - I'm sure we can do even better than that.

Thank you Andrew Woodman for the link to the petition. I see it is going up in leaps and bounds.
Another Brown boob!

I think we have to be careful in our use of language here, as Cameron was. He did not accuse Brown of 'dishonesty', he accused him of 'breaking promises'. We mustn't fall into the 'liar' trap that damaged us during the 2005 election.

What I find interesting is that Cameron's assault shook Brown so much that he failed to stick to his own messages.

Cameron reinforced the attacks and messages of conference by branding Brown a coward who breaks his promises and borrowed a direct quote from Brown himself: “You can’t believe a word he says anymore.” He also repeats the idea that he represents the future and Brown the past.

Brown, on the other hand, failed to reinforce his conference messages; no mention of change, no mention of aspiration, no mention of Britishness. He fell back on Blair’s mantra… ten years of growth, minimum wage, etc. etc.

A win for Cameron by four (TV friendly, repeat messages, damage opponent, raise morale of own side) to one (repeat positive economic record).

Man in Shed - I think both IDS and Alan Duncan far outshone and outsmarted Mr and Mrs Balls. I know the approach is quiet and polite (and sometimes it can be too understated - for instance Grayling on last week's Any Questions) but ultimately this goes down much better with the public than the tiresomely noisy Ballses. And anyway Andrew Neil absolutely tore Yvette Cooper's position to shreds.

Anyone else notice how hard Brown is trying to lose his Scottish accent?

The smack back that should hurt is the jibe about "punch and judy politics".

Why is it necessary for a well-educated Old Etonian and scholar of Oxford -- BNC, no less -- consistently and repeatedly to pandar for the lowest tastes of the gutter press and come across like a street lout at closing time?

Yet again that overworked and tired "bottled it" bit (why does repeating that so often sound more and more like a slurred "Come outside and say that again!"?). Now, the next great 'sound bite' is "looking phoney" (surely, an expression rarely found outside tired and sordid 1940s US pulp fiction).

All this is, and looks out-of-character for a man like Cameron. It is palpably false, and will increasingly be regarded for just that.

If there is a case to be presented (and there self-evidently is) a bit of self-righteous dignity might not come amiss.

However, I fully appreciate that dignity and self-worth do not sell easily to the denizens of this site.

Brown actually said this, 'we are the government that improved the education system against Conservative advice'.

Did we really advise the government not to improve the education system??

Sounds like Cameron did well. Will be interested to see what the BBC made of it.
Yesterday I predicted Brown/Darling would get good headlines for a day.Well I was wrong about that one. Excepting the Evening Standard they didn't,not even from the Grauniad.
And yet,and yet. I am peturbed by the fact that most commentators amidst the furore over IHT seem to think that Darling's report cut taxes. It doesn't, it raises them.
Most people also seem to have missed the fact that after another year of the economy growing above trend government borrowing is still going up, significantly.
Lastly, but in my opinion very importantly,the Local Government settlement will mean either very stiff cuts or yet another steep rise in Council Taxes next year.
If I was Gordon Brown I would still have called an election but I'm not so sure I would have wanted to win it.
I don't think next year is going to be pleasant for him at all.

To be fair to Harriet Harman, I don't think she lacks ability, but tends to dislike opponents.

As for having some of our policies stolen - that is the risk we face, but the electorate is responding well to what we are saying, after a lot of confusion over the summer. As long as we are seen to be pushing the agenda, the electoral rewards should follow.

How can Brown use as an argument, a petition on the Downing St website, that no-one has heard about?

I have just signed it. I hope, more will sign, to show what a fool he is.


Cameron was excellent. One question to ask, maybe next week, is why Brown didn't "steal" Cameron's commitment to restore the lost pensions of the 125,000, in line with the parliamentary ombudsman's instructions.

Cameron's commitment to fix this iniquity within 3 months of winning an election was, in my view, a very moral promise by a genuine conviction politician, since there were few votes to be gained by the promise. He simply saw an injustice and wanted to correct it.

The only conclusion the public can draw, once they are reminded that Brown hasn't also stolen this promise, is that he has no interest in the suffering of the people, and he has cynically decided that restoring their pensions will not attract enough votes.

If it doesn't benefit Brown, it doesn't happen.

There are as many lessons to be learned from the commitments that Brown didn't steal as there are from those that he did.

"They are always 'polite' to their Labour opposite number who proceeds to shout them down as soon as they speak."

Man in shed, yes that was the case this morning on the Today program, where the presenters got into Osborne’s face demanding to know what the Conservatives would do to get the country’s finances into order, yet they never roughed up Darling on the issue, even though its this Labour Government who have got us into this mess.

It appears the BBC thinks it their job to hold Conservative politicians accountable for a Labour Government mess.

Brown didn't show much dignity when he used servicemen in Basra for spin,


Oscar Miller, its worth noting the lack of shame of Labour ministers, Yvette Cooper was prepared to sit there in the Politics show and lie her head off, in the knowledge that anyone who saw her knew she was lying about the EU Constitution/Treaty. Worse having the bloody cheek to turn to Alan Duncan and accuse him of engendering cynicism of politics and politicians.

If anything else that should be a warning to all Conservative MP's that to remove this lying, cheating, deceitful, spinning, manipulative and amoral Labour Government from power is not going to be easy.

There are now 764 signatures on the election petition on the no 10 website.....


This has huge potential to embarrass Brown if we can help the site go viral and get the message out........

(chuckles quietly)

Just thinking about it again, that statement in PMQs about the on-line petition is even more non-sensical.

Gordon Brown said only 26 people have signed a petition calling for an election on the Downing St website - "and not one of them are on the Conservative front bench".

Does he actually expect the Conservative front bench to communicate with him through the medium of the e-petitions of the Downing St website?

And is that the best his speechwriter's could come with?

'Brown responds by saying that only 26 people had signed a Downing Street petition calling for an Election.'

Looking at the following quote on the petition website, this may be backfiring?

"Because there are so many signatories, only the most recent 500 are shown on this page."


It did my heart good to see Cameron show some real anger.He knocked Brown all over the chamber.It makes me wonder just were we would have been had we majoredon a tax cutting agenda earlier!!

I hope the reference to "Brown" as you was deliberate.This would rightly indicate the contempt and loathing the man has earned.He wanted to destroy Conservatism but has suceeded only in uniting us.All his character flaws pointed out by Charles Clarke,Alan Milburn and both the Blairs are now on display.They will do for him.The Conservative Party needs only to worry about itself.Let us continue driving the agenda forward.Well done DC!!

"The smack back that should hurt is the jibe about "punch and judy politics"

On the contrary. Such a comment only works if the PM is on top of things, and batting back questions with aplomb.

In Brown's case, coming from a man getting rather duffed up, it comes across as a whine almost on par with his infamous 'I've only been PM for a bit.'

Interesting that the increasingly absurd BBC is describing David Cameron as "directing a string of abuse" at Brown during PMQs.

As I said before, Marr and his cronies cannot come to terms with their hero having feet of clay.

I have just signed my name to the Downing Street Election Petition - glad Gordon gave us the tip about it. I see it is over a 1000 in less than three hours.

PMQ's brilliant

"a well-educated Old Etonian and scholar of Oxford -- BNC, no less... "

Since when did *Brasenose* of all places have some kind of pole position for manners and learning within Oxford? Dull college with a nice view of the Radcliffe Camera, surely.

Also, is it true that Gordon was turned down by Oxford as a wee lad, and hence his hatred of Oxf Univ ?

Iain, I think there are two types of Labour MP, there are the Hillary Benn types who are quite reasonable as people and who will try to have a proper debate. Then there are the Yvette Cooper types, those that are completely unfit for parliamentary life and are all about blag, the latter type are very scant intellectually and are more like jumped up councillors than MPs. I think Yvette Cooper is a good fighter and defends her corner well, but when that comes at the expense of telling the truth then its hard to have anything but disfavor for her fish-market brand of politics.

Just noticed something about Harriet Harman, it is the piece when David Cameron asked if we can believe the Prime Minister, and Harriet is shaking her head in the "NO" fashion

By the way, the petition Brown referred to is now up to 1,024.

He really dug his own hole with that comment.......

Driving along, I heard BBC R2 News reporting that David Cameron had called Gordon Brown "phoney". I am all for attacks of failed policies and unethical behaviour, but I am not sure about going deep into name-calling that might ultimately be counter-productive.

Any views on how to fashion attacks without boomerang effects?


Yep I've signed up also - time for a bigger push from Cosnervative home on this one I think.

Its over 1200 sigs now ( from 26 at PMQs)

Yes, I've signed up to Gordon's 2007 Election....pledge?!!

Join the queue here folks - http://petitions.pm.gov.uk/Election-year/

A strong performance from DC, but I feel he needs to dampen down the personal abuse of Brown. It demeans the successes we have enjoyed in the last week. Making debate at PMQs abusive does us no favours. Brown will begin to respond with points that hurt us and resonate with the public (hug-a-hoodie, DC's drugtaking/dealing at E&OU, etc etc). Dc should focus purely on policy

Petition has reached 1448 . Brown will wish he hadn`t made that sneering remark about only 26 signatures.

Oscar Miller 13:48
The Scotsman has and they have been slating him for it.

Petition now 1445 signatures........


Quite a few of us are uneasy about the personal attacks on Gordon Brown that border on being abusive.

It is a good thing to be intellectually pulverising, but it is quite unbecoming and unparliamentarian to be persistently using low-level vocabulary.

Maybe a quiet word then to Team Cameron?

Sorry HF, 12.33 but Spicer's question on the floods was part of the lead item on the Regional News tonight. Flood defences and the Government action will be a major issue here in the Midlands if they fail to get it right.

Teck, I know what you mean, not sure if I agree or not though. It's a question I ask myself a lot (because of the antibodies which Brown generates in me). When I felt betrayed by Blair (or more correctly, when I felt he had betrayed the integrity of his office) I was angry because I felt he'd let me down, I felt there was some stain of decency within him that he was letting down. With Brown it is different. I feel a personal animus against the horror of his plans for the country that can quite easily spill over into abuse. I think the man is detestable. I cannot imagine spending 5 minutes in his company. Do you know what I mean?

So you're right, we have to be careful. Hammer him for his barefaced deceit, but don't get personal about it or we'll have three years of hard luck stories and onion-induced tears. He may be more suppresio vero than suggestio falso but that doesn't make him any more pleasant.

Personally - i.e. who cares - I find the 'bottler' adjective a bit silly. I like very much Dave C's carefully controlled fury .

I don't think that Mr. Brown will be inclined to call David Cameron 'soft' or 'namby pamby' ANY MORE, (as he reportedly used to do!)

Just watched it now. KO for DC. Brown is over.

In spite of the comments about David Cameron's savage attack on Gordon Brown being over-the-top I think David's approach was completely justified after the way Gordon Brown led our country a merry dance over an autumn election. Brown fully deserved his chastisement and I'm sure most people in the country will be glad to see him getting his just deserts. I'm all for constructive debate but Gordon Brown's underhand way of conducting politics does not warrant decorum, but instead invites a volley of anger and Mr Cameron certainly gave gordon Brown what he deserved today.

I've just watched it, and I've got to say the partisan comments here really didn't reflect the coverage I saw. Only delusional Cameroons can seriously believe that Brown was ko'd today.

Really, is Bob Neill proud of that childish comment?

Objectively (if you can), you've got to say that the way Labour have framed their IHT policy, creating a difference (700k vs 1m) with the Tories where Labour give the difference to the NHS and the tories give to the richest in Society was actually quite clever and will clearly help to reinforce the old 'Tories for the rich' Labour line.

And you sense, as warned here that Gid's policy of penny-for-penny offsetting will be slowly, and clinically unpicked to ensure that no-one is unaware of the Tories failure to do their sums, causing max damage to Tory credibility.

So where will Cameron and Osborne go now? They can hardly remain angry longer than the policy was actually theirs anyway (about a week) as that would be over egging their pique somewhat.

With both parties fighting over tax cuts, without doubt, tax cutting is the new centre ground issue in Britain today, nothing else has come close to dominating the news like they have.

Let's see more of the same from Team Cameron.

Saw it on 6 o'clock news. Very powerful indeed. Superb and pitched just right,


Keep signing the petition!!

2557 at the last count...

Brown easily had it coming. There's having a political contest and there's threatening to 'grind the Tory bastards into the dust'.

One is a battle of wills, the other is battle for parliamentary democracy.

Using our parliamentary system, using our troops for political ends, shameless lying over his reason for bottling it, the shameless theft of Tory policy. The cynicism, the spinning, the evasion, the disrespect for Parliament, the broken promises.

A line has to be drawn.

To voters, they want to believe in something, they want hope and optimism. Not ban this, ban that, more police powers, ID Cards, broken referenda promises.

David 'Rocky' Cameron drew a line in the sand. I watched it, it was pugilistic, not pretty but wholly neccessary.

Brown had a vivid lesson that he will not be allowed to get away with it any longer.

He will brood and smart over it and with any luck it will fuel the infighting rumoured in the Labour Party further.

Graeme Archer: Just watched it now. KO for DC. Brown is over.

Graeme - I don't think it does to discount Brown - but having looked back over the last couple of days I do think his conduct reeks of culling popularity rather than showing substance.

I think it was right today that we led on Brown's failures to show leadership and his tendency to prevaricate on a political basis - if you can't agree internally whether you need to get a fresh mandate then you can't show genuine leadership to our country. The jibes of "lost your bottle, Prime Minister?", which I have to say I joined in with, are excellent political theatre and help get our messages their five seconds on the news but we need to go deeper.

I remember at Conference you shouting at the the large-screen BBC coverage "what about social justice?" while we were waiting for DC's speech! DC's great advantage at PMQs is that he does have more than one register to draw on. Carefully-controlled and justified anger this week at Gordon Brown's toying with the people he's supposed to be representing was right. Next week, a statesman's focus on policy perhaps would be a good counterpoint - and more importantly the right thing to do. (Yes, I did go to that CSJ fringe meeting on gun crime and heard some very powerful and compelling thoughts on what I'm about to say.)

My humbly offered suggestion: "Mr Speaker. Can I ask the Prime Minister to meet with me in an urgent summit on some of the problems in our inner cities? A generation of young people in some of our communities are almost being eaten alive by guns, gangs, drugs, poverty, and failures in our educational system. I'd like to invite the Prime Minister to meet with me in Downing Street with some of the voluntary groups who have been doing so much good work in this area".

This is one crucial area from our Conference that got little coverage in the MSM but much floor time and useful debate, and is too important to be left alone until the next General Election.

Chad Noble: Only delusional Cameroons can seriously believe that Brown was ko'd today.

Also, only the likes of you can not notice that the unified team we've put on display from top to bottom in the last couple of weeks has paid dividends. Never mind...

Hi Graeme [Oct 10, 2007 at 18:52] and Tony [Oct 10, 2007 at 20:11], I couldn't get back early enough from work to watch the television, but wow, what a cracking performance by David Cameron! My earlier anxieties based on radio snippets melted; still have to maintain some balance, but great stuff for a long time! Keep raining them, I say!

David [Oct 10, 2007 at 21:06] - big hello! I'm trying to get as many frustrated and let-down members of the public know where to sign the petition! |

Chad Noble has got it all wrong. The difference on IHT is not £700k versus £1m, it is £300k versus £1m. The £600k, rising to £700k in 3 years time, was already available to anyone who cared to make a will. Incidently, one thing that the Government should encourage is for all people to make a will. Failure to do so can cause immense problems for any dependents.

More importantly, Inheritance Tax is nothing at all about giving to the rich - a phrase also used by Brown. It is all about taking. It is about taking by force from people when they can no longer defend what was theirs and which has already been subject to tax. The Government will find that as with all confiscatory taxes, the take will fall in the long term as people find ways of avoidance, an easy way being emigration.

It could be argued that a large part of an estate is the capital gain on the main house which has not been taxed, although all the taxation rules do allow this. Even if this were a valid argument, there is then another major problem with IHT. The Government has just changed the Capital Gains rules such that all gains over the personal allowance are to be taxed at 18%, whereas the IHT rate is 40%.

The problems with Inheritance Tax have not been solved by Brown / Darling. I am certain that this will become blindingly obvious as time goes on.

Don Giovanni at 15.48. One has to attend a Summer school at Brasenose to appreciate its quirkyness. Forget pole position. It is an old, small college with hidden surprises.
Go into the dining hall, and gaze up at the Lion and the Unicorn, high up over the top table. Take a longer look at the Unicorn - particularly rampant he is!
En passant, I was cheering DC on this morning. Spectacular peformance. Onwards and upwards as the Unicorn might say!!

3,491 signatures at 06:40 this morning.....

I do detest it when MP's fail to use the parliamentary conventions like failing to adress their questions to the speaker. It's especially nauseating when it comes someone who clearly should know better. Let's have less of it.

I think DC needs to belittle Gordon Brown now more than harangue him. The most damaging thing I've heard him say in the past few days has been the 'unnacceptable for a PM to behave' comment. He also needs to realise that whilst it is a morale boost for the troops, elections are not won at the ballot box. No point in busting his balls and potentially providing an unattractive clip for the evening news.

"Chad Noble has got it all wrong"
Not possible, surely. ;-)

Richard - that wasn't my point. We all know Labour is taking away more than it is giving, but in terms of framing the issue for the public (ie the diff from Lab goes to NHS, the diff from Tories goes to the richest), I thought their tactic was quite a clever wheeze that will play well with the public who won't spend time analysing the small print.

Osborne briefly caught Labour out, but I can't help but think that they gave away a trump card too soon and should have waited until the election. So I guess they felt they had to do so to prevent the election and keep Cameron in his job.

"Osborne briefly caught Labour out, but I can't help but think that they gave away a trump card too soon and should have waited until the election."

Did they??
Osborne got the headlines and the credit for the policy, while Labour got the bad headlines for implementing their pale imitation.
More importantly, it has allowed the Conservatives to grab the media narrative that they are the party with the idea's and Labour under Brown is not *the change needed*. It also paints the government as being tired, bankrupt and bereft of any new ideas to deal with the problems we face.

We have managed to finally turn a corner in a political landscape dominated by Labour for 12 years.
People are at saturation point on taxation and they are angry at the wasted money and opportunity missed by Labour. The old argument that the Tory tax policy sums don't add up have been replaced by a Chancellor who has had to add to an almost eye watering debt because his sums don't add up.

Two things, Robert Neill isnt Labour, as the Daily Politics bit showed at the start of PMQs feed. Obviously hes Tory. We all remember THAT by-election....

Second, did anyone else notice when Cameron said about getting rid of the past and moving onto the future, both Hazel Blears and Tessa Jowell (I think-a few seats to the left of Hazel) immediately looked at David Miliband?

Scotty, I enjoyed watching PMQ's yesterday as much as any Conservative. I've also been struck by how the Labour Party both at their conference and with the pre budget report seem bereft of ideas for the future of our country.
But I also remember the the words of William Hague at our conference when he said Brown is a 'calculating politician' (surely the truest words of any of the many insults aimed at Brown). The Conservative Party have underestimated Brown once ,we shouldn't do so again.It's been a very good week for us but we'll need many more before we can truly claim to 'have turned a corner'.

Brown had a good stab early on in his PMship, to look like a grown up. His first real mistake for me was not mentioning Cameron in his Conference Speech. Trying to give the impression it was beneath him to do so merely heightened my suspicions of his deep underlying sense of inferiority. Yesterday's smugness and smirking during Alistair Darling's speech confirmed that suspicion, and reminded me that he really is that grudge bearing, petty minded man we all knew he was, focussing mainly on playing a little game of point scoring, (not realising he's the only one who's playing.) Still, it's more fun than hearing him say he's 'getting on with the job' every time he's asked a question about anything. At least we now know for sure;- he isn't.

Not so sure on this one. Yesterday probably was a plus for the Tories in the Commons overall, because it got the message out that Brown is vulnerable.

But be careful.

I have a feeling the knock about could backfire on us - the public really don't like that kind of thing much - if we don't move the agenda on a bit.

I think we did well during and after the Conference because hopefully people could see a measured, wide ranging, but more sharpened up set of domestic policies was being produced, with several people who came across as trustworthy. If we continue in that vain, we will continue to gain support.

Too much clever calculation and not enough passion Chad

In the great boxing match that is politics when an opponent makes a mistake of that size they pay with pain via a two fisted attack. You appear to want to wait for the next edition of the ABA newsletter and a technical analysis!!

Brown screwed up massively and he paid the price; as for Bob Neill, he beautifully unsettled Brown who was then off balance for the next 30 minutes.

It isn't just about about the poicies - it's about getting inside their heads and messing with them, making Brown dread PMQ's and react badly is part of that.

Malcolm, I never underestimated Brown's ability to behave in the way he did over the last week. But I have never bought into the political myth that has been spun about his political acumen. He is a short term tactician of the street fighting genre, he will throw a punch below the belt before the bell has rung.

The political tipping point came this week on Brown's character and ability to be a statesman worthy of the position of PM, he failed, and I am not surprised. Watching events unfold has not been a pleasurable experience, and the only moment I allowed myself a little gloat was when I heard he had called the GE off.
What we have witnessed over the last 10 days, in fact throughout Brown's reign at No10, has been the most cynical and distasteful abuse of government office. We have so often seen flashes of it from this government, but never so blatantly displayed that the media have no choice but to be as scathing as they have been. It harms politics in the most damaging way for everyone whatever your personal politics.
Just look at the way the editorial teams in the Telegraph and the Mail are imploding just now, that is because the journalists cannot stomach defending Brown's behaviour no matter how friendly he is with certain people higher the food chain.

As for the Conservatives, as I pointed out in my earlier post, they have a fair wind behind them now and a good springboard to launch their long term campaign for the next GE. Only time will tell if it is enough to give them a majority and their own mandate to govern, that is the task facing them. Last week's conference did an important job of uniting the party, it also gave us a hunger and passion for power so sadly missing in recent years.
The real work starts now, governments lose elections, but Cameron and his team have still to prove that they are a credible alternative.

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