Thursday, 1 October 2009

Sarah Brown gimmick - once was enough

The 2008 Labour Party Conference saw Sarah Brown do a warm up act prior to her husband coming on stage to deliver his keynote speech. It was a departure from anything seen before and yes she is generally well liked and yes it was something that worked on that occasion. As I understand things she is switched on from a media point of view - unlike Gordon of course. But it is a gimmick that you can't keep repeating and I thought she might be savvy enough not to try it again. However at the conference just finished she did introduce him once more and although I've only seen a bit of her speech it was pretty awful - I don't really want to be reminded about her undying love for Gordon, nor do most of the general public surely. Having said that perhaps most of her listeners actually in the hall do lap it up!

The first time it was fresh and original and she used the opportunity to thank party activists for the way they had responded to her as the Prime Minister's spouse. But it should have been a one-off. Imagine for a moment that Brown wins the General Election next year - she would then be on the treadmill of having to introduce him for every year he is PM because now having done it twice in succession there is no way the process can be stopped. Admittedly this is hypothetical because Labour won't form the next government but it seems now that she was a prop that her husband needed and I don't think it has done him any favours.

Ben Macintyre in The Times - you can read it here - doesn't pull any punches. His rant aligns with my viewpoint that the spouse of the Prime Minister should have a very low profile so far as politics is concerned. Sarah Brown is now getting too involved, I can understand that she might wish to present her husband as a more natural and likable person than he is usually perceived. But this just demonstrated the weakness and flaws in his character to my mind. So in my opinion the 'Sarah Show' was a flop this year. Some tricks you can perform once but not twice. I was certainly amazed that she thought that it was an idea worth repeating.

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