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The extract from Labourhome is scathing in that respect, but misses one other valid fact about Brown's hidden years plotting for the top job while trying to keep a tight control on domestic policy.
Before Labour came to power, Brown had to work hard at being an effective politician within his party and at the Despatch box. And despite the fact that many of his weaker traits were still there to see he made a reasonable good job of it.
But the moment he went into No11 he spent all his energy on maintaining his position there and controlling domestic policy through Treasury, all the while undermining and briefing against his boss and anyone he saw as a threat to his succession.
What he did not do was spend that 10 years wisely honing the skills necessary to make him an effective PM. Now that is also a rather delicious irony.

Some of the comments against the story on LabourHome are worth reading - especially one from someone called liz (Tue Apr 15, 2008 at 01:20:50 PM).

Some of the comments against the story on LabourHome are worth reading - especially one from someone called liz (Tue Apr 15, 2008 at 01:20:50 PM).

No study groups needed. He's a never-woz-has-Bean.

Personally I despair at the way British politics as become so personalised.We should be attacking policies not personalities and the government not just its leader.
One of the worst things Margaret Thatcher did was making her governments all about her. She brought Presidental politics to this country and I think we are poorer for it.

Reading Labourhome today is very instructive; the main article is quite frank about Brown's deficiencies and the comments are very good. Maybe ConHome should challenge them to a debate?

Someone makes the point that they are not afraid to criticise their leader (as we do); someone else made a better point that they should train their fire on the tories, rather than on Brown. He went on to ask if people had seen Osborne on C4 news and described his performance as "stuttering, incoherent, utterly unconvincing...".

Having seen the interview, I find it hard to dissent and I keep on thinking: "how would John Redwood, Malcolm Rifkind, William Hague or Michael Fallon etc have fared in the same situation?".

It is so important to have a real heavyweight as shadow chancellor.

I was at a friend’s party the other day. The friend, though, is a local Labour councillor. Apart from bitching about the Lib Dems, I had quite a few conversations with Labour activists about the state of the Labour Party. Every single person I spoke to though Gordon Brown is an electoral disaster/liability!

I think it is in our Party's interest that Brown stays Labour leader for as long as possible!

"It is so important to have a real heavyweight as shadow chancellor."

I find that statement utterly meaningless, Brown was regarded as a heavyweight and held the job for 10 years, what's your verdict on his tenure??

You don't like Osborne - get over it. What every journalist wants at the moment is a completely costed budget down to the last penny statement from Osborne up to two years away from a GE. It is not going to happen, why, because he wants the spotlight firmly put on Labour's economic record not what he might have done.
What the media want is a game of political ping pong with figures in the billions being bunged about between Labour and the Conservatives at this point in the cycle.
Why should we give the Labour party a desperately needed focus away from their own troubles, it's a policy that has never worked for us in the past 10 years.

Osborne did end up coming out of that interview making exactly the points he wanted and without being bullied into making silly promises. Job done.
He is the most valuable shadow cabinet member apart from Cameron, and still you underestimate him.

The Conservatives success at the polls being largely due to the perceived and actual incompetence of Gordon Brown makes him a liability indeed. He must be kept in office for ridicule and blame until Election Day. On no account can the Conservatives afford to have him replaced with someone that the electorate might give a chance to rather than have those ‘nasty Tories’ back.

I agree totally with ChrisD above. All of the tactics that many on ConHome advocate were tried by great politicians (such as William Hague) and failed miserably.

This govt has successfully sold the disingenuous line that tax cuts=service cuts. Cameron and Osborne have spent their tenure rebuilding the Conservative reputation for looking after our public services... just look at the NHS for proof. Pre-Cameron, we just were not trusted with the NHS, now we're the most trusted. It's taken discipline in front of the cameras to rebuild that trust, and I wouldn't want to see Osborne throw that away for a few seconds 'interview relief' by making a rash promise of tax cuts - even if he believed that they would be what was needed! All it would do is allow Labour to wheel out the same old 'tax cuts=service cuts" propoganda.

The polls on Conservative Home consistently say that members think George Osbourne is doing a good job. Reading the list of names suggested for Shadow Chancellor, it seems you want someone that is old not necessarily someone who is good. Osbourne will be a heavy-weight by the time of the election having been Shadow Chancellor for 5 years and knowing the position inside out. Which is more than can be said for Rifkind, Redwood, Hague or Fallon.

The left-thinking members of the Labour party are prepared to stomach electoral defeat knowing fully well that a Conservative government will be walking into an economic hornet's nest and will take most of the flak for Labour's mismanagment, just like in the early 1980s. What's more the Labour supporters that I know are literally sitting back and waiting for the Blair/Brown era to die a death. They feel cheated by the last decade and believe Blairism/Brownism has to be trashed and discredited before the Labour party can return to a social justice agenda.

For some time now I've take the trouble of asking Labour supporters that I know how they are feeling and the response is spookily consistant. They absolutely will not vote Conservative, many will not vote at all, but all are completely disillusioned with the Blair/Brown years and feel like they bought a pig in a poke. So my estimation is that Labour supporters are resigned to defeat but see it as a way to bounce back with a healthier and more natural Labour party.

I don't know why so many on here have it in for George Osborne. He should not be underestimated, not least because he played a leading role in ending the Brown Bounce and potential electoral disaster last October with his inheritance tax announcement.

On George Osbourne:

I wouldn't have chosen him, but I certainly wouldn't jettison him now. As Michael Rutherford says, by the time he becomes Chancellor, he will have been Shadow for 5 years. He has visibly grown into the job. If we enter an election campaign with most of the shadow cabinet having been in position for years our result will be much better.

On Gordon Brown, what could I possible add that hasn't been said a million times. Flawed, flawed, flawed and at the next election floored.

I wonder if our friends in the BBC and press will widely report the "grassroots" Labour dissent seen on LabourHome?

When we were down in the polls last summer, the media was full of comments from "grassroots Tories disatisfied with David Cameron" - ie from a handfull of posters here [what ever happened to idiots like 'Traditional Tory' and his trollish friends?]

When it would have been more accurate to report that "some people on the internet" were unhappy with him

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