Thursday, October 04, 2007

Election or not?

One theory is that World War One started because the German army could not halt their mobilisation process once it had started. So it may be with Brown and the Labour Party. There are very good reasons why a November election would be a huge gamble for Brown, but by letting the speculation go on for so long and by starting to make tentative preparations what may have been a wheeze to destabilise the Conservative Party has taken on a life of its own. Put simply, if Brown backs off now then he will look weak and scared, both of which are fatal to a leader's standing. The calculation may have been that the Conservatives would fracture during their conference and that Brown's stunt at Basra would divert attention from anything that they might be saying. Instead, the conference was a triumph, capped by the best performance by a British political leader for a very long time. Meanwhile, Brown's expedition to Iraq attracted nothing but scorn for the way he tried to use our army as political puppets. The latest YouGov poll has the Labour lead down to four points from eleven a week ago and suddenly Brown is in danger of having outsmarted himself. So, does he try to stop the trains carrying the infantry to the front, or does he resign himself to 'rolling the iron dice'? The last person who had that choice got it very wrong indeed.

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