Tuesday, April 29, 2008


Have Tony and Gordon Kissed and Made Up?

When Gordon is doing so badly(sorry about that picture- couldn't resist it) it's easy to look back a while to when Blair was in charge and think of their sometimes visceral rivalry. Today Anthony Seldon, Blair's brilliant biographer, suggests Brown would have been better doing his stint first- as a serious introvert politician he would have set about doing things right away while Blair would have been better later on when his rhetorical gifts and inherent optimisdm would have lifted the party as it went through bad times.

I wonder if this can possibly be true when Seldon later on goes on to state:

No prime minister since Eden more than 50 years ago had more time to prepare for office. No prime minister has come to No 10 more ill-prepared for power.

How could he have succeeded earlier on when he was so useless at preparing for power when he had so much time?

He goes on to tell us that Levy's disclosures about Blair's views on Gordon come not from the inner circle but very much the outer. Most surprisingly to me the Guardian leader suggests that the relationship is now far from toxic:

But the big thing about the Blair-Brown relationship is its resilience as well as its recriminations. Mr Brown is said to be leaning heavily on Mr Blair again these days, talking regularly about strategy, sending him speeches to vet. There is talk (or maybe spin) of a new love-in rather than the old TB-GBs.

Again, I don't really believe this and I'm sure Cherie would banish any such thoughts of a new entente cordiale between the two.

Perhaps the best preparation for a prospective reform-minded prime minister is no preparation. Thatcher didn't have much cabinet experience, and Blair had none. Government experience seems to breed conservatism: see Major, Eden, and maybe even Atlee.
Maybe you're right Sam; it's a good point, though Attlee embraced one of the biggest reform programmes in the history of UK government and, on the other side, Thatcher did serve in Heath's Cabinet.
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