Monday, April 14, 2008


Gordon's Running out of Time while his Problems Multiply

I'm not sure about the Sun's claim that Brown's

rating fell from PLUS 48 last August to MINUS 37 – a bigger drop than Neville Chamberlain after he tried to appease Hitler in the 1930s.

To my knowledge-though I could be wrong- the polling industry was in its infancy back then and anyway, polls on such specific questions were not run. However the current poll in the FT which forms the basis for The Sun's piece contains enough doomy news for Gordon even without the historical comparison. Further to my Saturday post when I quoted ther likes of Toynbee(he's chasing fickle popularity and failing badly) and Kettle(he's possible finished and should be replaced) there have been yet more blows landed since:

1. 68% of respondents in the FT poll said they had 'no confidence' in Brown to solve the nation's economic problems.

2. Ed Balls has had to deny waging a covert campaign to become leader; I think he'd be a disastrous choice but ther fact that there is even talk of such a thing, reflects the gravity of the situation.

3. Andrew Rawnsley yesterday in his piece quoted a former Cabinet minister:

'No one knows what Gordon's core purpose is. I've lost count of the number of colleagues who have said to me, "At least you knew where you were with Tony."' Talk to any minister and they don't know where the government is supposed to be going.'

4. Rawnsley draws a distinction between 'fatalists'(not a small group) who think defeat is inevitable and 'never-say-dies' who think there is still a chance of nicking a victory next time around.

5. The Cabinet and the PLP are badly split over:
i) the decision to abolish the 10p income tax bracket thus leaving some 5 million lower paid people worse off.
ii) the foolish idea of extending the detetnion without trial period to 42 days from the present 28, despite the oppostion of a phalanx of experts, the former Attorney General, Jack Straw and the Muslim community.

6. The housing bubble has burst with prices now plunging, and the credit crunch is beginning to impinge on everyday life as prices, especially for food begin to rise.

Oh Lor! And I haven't even mentioned Iraq, the ongoing worries about public services, the drift of thre public finances into excessive debt and the distinct possibility that Labour's 'Red Ken' will be beaten by ther Tory 'Blond Boris' on 1st May.

I conclude this(for Labour) gloomy prognosis by quoting a current PM admiring Cabinet member cited in Rawnsley's article:

'It's not all over. But there's only so long that we can say that we need time to turn things around before people say you've had enough time. We have to be clear about where we are going in a way which we are not being.'

Note: I was wrong re the ratings; I learn from Justion Fisher at Brunel Univeristy that they began in 1938.

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