Saturday, June 30, 2007
Labour Under Brown Will Take Some Beating
This dour 'Stalinist' has manufactured a set of poll results to die for after ten years in power and allowing for the natural(I'd call it unnatural actually) bias in the electoral system to Labour. And so far, it's been done without any obvious limelight hogging pirouetting of the kind associated with his predecessor. Crucially, the new list of names for the Cabinet and junior levels has been handled without hic-cup and the 'all talents' people parachuted in have gone down well. Martin Kettle perceives a return to proper cabinet government with Jacqui Smith making the announcement outside Number 10 on the terror scare and not the PM as would have likely happened under Blair.
And those poll results really are mouth watering. Not only is the overall lead up to four points-more than just before the 2005 election-but on virtually all the key policy issues Labour now enjoys healthy leads: health 9%; education 11%; Economy 19%; fight against terrorism 15%; law and order 3%. Cameron and his advisers must be biting their nails in anguish as they watch their advantage being washed away under Brown's relentless accumulation of correct judgements. I'm aware, as I'm sure all party members are, that this is only a honeymoon period, that events and squabbles are bound to intervene and that Cameron is a resourceful and talented opponent.
But Brown has shown already that any Conservative assumptions of an easy progress to victory over a disillusioned and morally defeated Labour Party can be set aside: he's going to be a tough nut to crack. Who knows, Paul Dacre, editor of the quintessentially Conservative Daily Mail, which so excoriated Tony and Cherie, might be right in (according to someone who knows Dacre and Brown), seeing the new PM as 'a genuinely special politician... who is touched by the mantle of greatness'
I don’t think his ‘serious politics’ is just a gimmick as some have suggested and I think the contrast with the last decade will be relished by the majority of Brits at least for a few years. I'm very optimistic about the fourth term...
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