Wednesday, September 24, 2008


Brown Keeps Wolves at Bay- For Now

Well, it might not quite have been the speech of his life but it was the best I've ever heard him deliver. For one, it was not boring in the way he usually is. Some have said, quite rightly, that this was the speech he should have given last year instead of that load of old cliches and vacuous rhetoric we actually got.

I reckoned three of the narratives he introduced as having some resonance and credibility:

1. His 'reintroduction' of himself as a 'serious' person in serious times, seemed to make sense: as the economic situation has deteriorated, his gloomy demeanour has seemed increasingly appropriate.

2. Also connected with the crisis, his insistence he was best qualified to deal with the complexities of repairing the internatinal economy(and, by ijmplication not 'novices' like Cameron and Miliband) also seemed to fit the facts and the mood.

3. I liked the rebuttal of Tory claims that he had squandered the good times. By mentioning injections of cash into health and education, he was able to claim Labour had 'mended the roof while the sun shone': a good line.

But has anything fundamentally changed? We won't know until the post conference polls. There may be a slight bounce but will it last until Glenrothes? I rather doubt it. Will it stop the muttering and the plotting? I rather doubt it. Cameron will have some bullets to fire next week and we can be sure some of them will hit their target. Having his wife introduce him after he had attacked Cameron's political use of his family might have suited the conference spirit and helped his cause, but in retrospect it might appear a bit desperate. I predict Gordon has scared off the wolves for a few weeks but once the next disaster strikes(probably north of the border), they'll be back howling at his door.

"The next disaster" - is it the Kelly affair? Mere hours after his speech, and surely an indication of something rotten in the heart of the Brown team? I agree with your analysis of his speech though.
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