Is Brown "hopeless"?
A very interesting letter by Nick Matthews in yesterday's Guardian arguing that "the best stuff we implemented after the 1997 victory was nothing to do with Blair or Brown; it was the legacy of John Smith - minimum wage, trade union recognition, social chapter...", etc. He also argues that the real surprise is "how hopeless he (Brown) is as a politician". It is a surprise to me also, although perhaps it ought not to have been. Meanwhile poll ratings reach new depths - 27% in the Guardian ICM poll. Matthews wants Brown replaced quickly or "...we go into oblivion with Brown". I think it unlikely. Tomorrow is Crewe and Nantwich. Prepare for the worst.