Saturday, September 06, 2008

Did you miss the Relaunch?

Was that it? This was supposedly the week where Gordon Brown fought back, releasing a series of eye-catching policies that put the government back onto the political offensive and started to rebuild trust and support among the electorate. Except he didn't. The Stamp Duty freeze was pitched only at the low end of the market and adds up to trivial money against the size of the housing market. The increased fuel allowance never happened. And, er.., that's it. In the middle of this of course Charles Clarke unleashed his broadside and, tellingly, Gordon Brown was only defended by a backbencher, a couple of junior ministers and Ed Balls, a man who would be standing next to the Prime Minister against the bullet-scarred wall if it all were to come to an end. The Cabinet kept quiet. No senior minister rallied to the boss. Not one. Meanwhile the polls stay awful and another Scottish by-election is coming up with even worse prospects than Glasgow East. Then there is Labour party conference where it is already being said that Gordon has to give the speech of his life. Huh? Most people don't watch party conference speeches and even if Gordon Brown makes a good speech it does nothing to change the dynamics of the situation. The reality is that the government is dysfunctional, and everyone knows it. Labour keep giving Gordon brown another month, then another month, to do what? If he could do something then he would have done it by now, unless he is some sort of political masochist.

The question is if the Labour party are political masochists.

UPDATE: After I had posted this I came across and article that puts me in the uncomfortable position of agreeing with Polly Toynbee. Or maybe it puts her in the uncomfortable position of agreeing with me...

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