Friday, December 14, 2007

Reform treaty signed by Brown, by himself

In politics you often have to do unpopular things. It really cannot be helped, even when you are doing the right thing there is often some interest group that takes against you, and sometimes everyone is unhappy, like when you put taxes up. Good politicians are very aware of public reaction and do their best to minimise the number of people annoyed by any given course of action. So, Brown's actions in signing the Reform Treaty are inexplicable, though they try here. Of course, signing the treaty was always going to go down badly with anyone of even a vaguely Euroskeptic bent, but by citing a routine appointment in parliament as an excuse for missing the main signing ceremony, Brown also managed to irritate people who actually thought he was doing the right thing. This is schoolboy politics. How can it be that no one in the Prime Minister's circle told him that he would deflect not one iota of press and public approbation by this cack-handedness, and in fact would only add to it? Does Gordon Brown not employ press officers? Or is his man-management so dire that none of them dared to tell him how foolish he would look? I agreed with almost nothing that Tony Blair and Alistair Campbell actually did, but at least they did it competently. If Brown and his cohorts were organising an evening reception at a local brewery they would probably get the day wrong.

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