Sunday, September 17, 2006

A "touchy-feely" Brown?

Saturday's Guardian has an article on the recent efforts to make Brown more "touchy-feely". Last week, he apparently wept during an interview on Sky News when recalling the death of his baby daughter. Earlier this year in an interview with the New Woman magazine he said he watched Pop Idol and Fame Academy on TV and woke up to the Arctic Monkeys on his IPod. There is a pattern. Decca Aitkenhead says it is part of a "calculated PR offensive" guided by his wife (Sarah nee Macauley - is she related to the Macauley?) who used to run a PR company, and his adviser, Sue Nye. It is a dreadful mistake. When I have seen Brown trying to be "touchy-feely" it has always looked cringingly embarrassing. It isn't that you can't fake sincerity. Blair does it very well (think of that dreadful "People's Princess" speech and his little choke of emotion); and Cameron (who is quite ruthless in exploiting his disabled child) also does it well. Everyone says that in private Brown is more laid-back; but in public charm is not his forte. It is probable that he does not possess the insincerity needed to convincingly fake sincerity. But so what? Brown should play to his own strengths. After Blair voters may be tired of public school charm and affected estuary English. They may want - and respect - something more substantial. They might value competence over charm. In any case, this is not a field in which Brown is able to compete successfully: it looks to me that he is getting some very bad advice indeed.


Blogger beethoven writes said...

God help us if Brown becomes PM. I cannot stand him AND he is Scottish!

2:37 pm  

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