Tuesday, June 03, 2008

Gordon the Brave?

Brown has recently been getting a lot of advice - most recently from Andrew Rawnsley - that he should "be bold" and take firm stands on the issues he believes in. No more "neither one thing nor the other" (as over the signing of the Lisbon Treaty), no more u-turns, no more indecisive dithering. A new, clear-sighted Gordon the voters can respect. Trouble is, he appears to have decided to nail his flag to the mast over, er, the 42 days, as shabby a piece of triangulation as any, with no purpose so far as I can see except to make Brown look "tough" - and, crucially, tougher than the Tories - on security. (Meanwhile - as Brown "hangs tough" - behind the scenes Geoff Hoon and Jack Straw, and also Jacqui Smith, are offering concessions hand-over-fist in a desperate attempt to win over backbench rebels, apparently with some success. Backbenchers are probably also unwillling to inflict a defeat on the Government given Labour's catastrophic poll ratings and the continuing speculation about the leadership). Brown presumably thinks that if he wins next week's vote that will be a great triumph (given the expectation that he would lose) and if he loses, well, at least he is seen to be standing firm for what he believes, standing up for the national interest against those bleeding-heart Tories (this is how Blair played the 90 days). Perhaps he has also factored in a more grim calculation. If - God forbid - there is another suicide bombing then Brown can say "I told you so" even if the 42 days would not have prevented it, as it would not have prevented the last suicide bombing. In any case it won't work. Whether Brown wins or loses the vote on the 42 days it looks like what it is: Brown posturing, super-Brown with his underpants outside his trousers. Short-term tactics again.


Blogger skipper said...

Given the concessions being cobbled together, I don't think the 42 days thing is worth a spit anyway. And even a victory will be the thinnest and most empty of ones. But on the 'I told you so' question, we are approaching the time of the year when we had two bombings a short time ago....

3:39 pm  

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