Sunday, October 07, 2007

Brown/Cameron on the Marr Show

Odd old game politics. This morning on the Marr show we saw the two party Leaders lying through their teeth. Brown said that the latest opinion polls had no bearing on his decision not to call an election and denied that Labour had over the previous fortnight been stoking election fever to try to destailise the Tories. Cameron said he would have welcomed an election and that this has consistently been his view since Brown became Prime Minister. He made it sound as if, a fortnight ago, he would have been overjoyed by an election. The audience for Marr is, I should think, politically literate, so no one watching this believed any of it. I don't suppose either Brown or Cameron expected anyone to believe it. We know, and they know, and we know that they know, and they know that we know that they know, and... But that is how the game is played. When you think about it, it is very odd.

Having said that Cameron came off best this morning. Brown looked shifty. He also sounded arrogant: we would have won an election, we will win an election. This is always a mistake, I think. It's better to take the "well, it's up to the British people to decide, and we take nothing for granted, but..." line. It is also thoroughly disingenuous to say that he didn't want an election "on competence" but wanted to be judged on the changes he will make. Cameron carried off his fibbing with greater aplomb (he is an Old Etonian after all); his charge that Brown is treating the electorate "as if they are fools" is a damaging line of attack. He also has the advantage that he has actually been saying that he wants an election, even if a fortnight ago he didn't mean it.

A lot of Brown's reputation depends on his being different from Blair, not obsessed with spin, thinking long-term instead of in terms of tomorrow's headlines, free of gimmicks and publicity stunts. This image has taken a bit of a battering over the last week. But there is still time to put things back on an even keel.


Blogger skipper said...

Hope you're right. It's true they were both fibbing like mad but if they had been honest they would have both been crucified don't you think? Some avoidance of the truth or manipulation is unavoidable at times. Also, Jackie Ashley thinks Brown would have won an election had he kept his bottle intact. Not sure I agree with that though but at least respected columnists are agreeing with some of what GB said.

6:03 pm  
Blogger Politaholic said...

Yes, he would have been crucified. That's my point. We sort of expect them to lie to us. The "politics game" has strange rules.

5:56 am  

Post a Comment

<< Home