Monday, June 02, 2008
Can Gordon Survive the Summer?
A week ago Michael Portillo smirked at how the whole country was splashing in schadenfreude at poor old Gordon's multiplying woes. Yesterday he varied the theme a bit but kicked off in the same vein by pointing out delightedly Gordon's rating by only 17% of voters as the best party leader to be prime minister, one point below Michael Foot around 1982. But he does include some valid points within his smirks:
Voters were tired of ideology in 1990 and of spin in 2007. It is not enough, though, to be different from the old regime. In Brown’s case it was ludicrous anyway, since he was more addicted to spin even than Blair.
The irony is that he is so much worse than his predecessor: with the 2p fuel tax increase and the big hiles in vehicle excise duty(VED) he is providing a tax hike strewn progress for David Cameron. He is also on the money regarding comparisons with Blair who reached the end ofg his string with voters in June 2007 but somehow to retain their regard:
People miss Blair’s charm and his speedy decision-making. He was unpopular at the end, but his poll ratings never sank close to those of Brown today. Iraq was a political catastrophe but, nonetheless, in the following election Blair held the Tories to fewer than 200 parliamentary seats. Remembering, too, that Major won reelection after the debacle of the poll tax, it seems that the electorate is more forgiving of disaster than of prolonged ineptitude.
And there we have it: this colossus of huge brain and political wunderkind, has proved so much worse than the two men he followed into Number 10. How this will hurt this historically minded intellectual. I note John Harris dismisses talk of a putch to get rid of Gordon but John Rentoul on Today, this morning and Ian Martin of the Telegraph, both saw things 'rapidly running away from' Brown who will be very lucky to survive the end of ther summer session.