Sunday, 7 October 2007

Brown bottles it

The vocabulary of the English Language is wonderfully wide and varied and it's fascinating by using just one word or phrase it's possible to sum up a particular event or situation perfectly. I'm sure the three words (and just 14 letters) "Brown bottles it" will resonate for some time. Now I don't have an allegiance to any political party but what is obvious to me is that Gordon Brown has scored one of the most spectacular own goals ever. Not only has he made himself look totally inept and inadequate but he has spurred the Tories to get their act together and look like a reasonable alternative to this government.

Just a week ago things weren't looking good for the Conservatives and to some Gordon Brown's vision of that party being totally routed so that he could run the country with virtually no brake on his decision making looked a distinct possibility. Fortunately for democracy the Tories had such a good conference that there is now some sort of equivalence between the two main parties. Interestingly I recall Margaret Thatcher's attempt to bury socialism didn't totally work out although Tony Blair had to rebrand his party as 'New Labour' to get elected. So if we are to have Parliament run via adversarial politics (and whether that is a good idea is another question) then it is better I think for the Opposition to be reasonably strong.

Let's be absolutely clear about one thing - Brown's problem is of his own making. 100%. The media ran with the election story for sure and one would expect them to. But Brown could have stopped all this weeks ago. He has played it very badly indeed.

An interesting comparison with Blair crosses my mind. Tony Blair for all his faults is to me the ultimate 'rubber man'. What do I mean by that? Well when he made a mistake, made a poor judgment on a situation, he was able to erase it from his mind and very quickly bounce back again. One example I remember was when he was slow hand clapped by the ladies of the Womens Institute. Now I recall this and other embarrassments well enough but fortunately for Blair these aberrations were soon forgotten by most people. However Brown is a very different kettle of fish. Like Blair a control freak and a man with a very large ego. But I don't think that Brown will be able to shrug off this humiliation in the way his predecessor would have, he will brood on it.

One person who I shall watch with interest on TV this evening is Rory Bremner whose satirical programme 'Bremner, Bird and Fortune' has returned to our screens on Channel 4. Recent events are manna from heaven for his show. And how will Brown do at PMQs on Wednesday I wonder. We shall soon see.

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