Monday, October 08, 2007

Brown in a hole over cancelled election, keeps digging

Gordon Brown had a strategy on taking over as Prime Minister. He would announce the end of spin, say that parliament would now be the first to hear about matters of import, and he would rise above petty party politics, bringing Tories and LibDems into his big statesmanlike tent. It was a total contrast to Tony Blair and it was pretty popular. The British people liked it and so did some Conservatives, particularly Quentin Davies. It was working almost too well, because success tempted him into a run at an early election, with all the attendant partisan politics, which was particularly marked by a return to Labour spin. A successful narrative, of Brown the strong, honest leader was ditched for Brown the man who crushes all opposition. It didn't go down nearly so well with the country, especially as David Cameron and the Conservatives did what people usually do when you back them into a corner; they came out fighting. So far, so bad, with the election called off and a weekend of absolutely awful media. Now Labour is trying to claim that the slipping opinion polls had nothing to do with the decision not to have an election. This after the critical meeting of Brown and his team, whose main feature was a presentation by a pollster, was widely reported in the Sunday papers. Lying is bad. Lying when everyone knows you are lying is moronic. It destroys credibility and reputation and it risks turning a short-term fiasco into permanent damage. No-one is buying it, certainly not the media as anyone who saw Adam Boulton from Sky New's demolition of Home Secretary Jacqui Smith when she tried to stick to this story would attest. Still, that is the line that Brown has been peddling today.

David Cameron has accused Brown of not being 'straight with the public'. Everyone else just thinks Brown is lying.

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