For some inexplicable reason I’ve always had a soft spot for Gordon Brown despite signs and warnings by others that he is more Blairite than Blair himself. Whatever you say about him though he is a very good politician. As Daniel Finkelstein pointed out recently:
Thirteen years ago Gordon Brown was passed over for the leadership because he wasn’t as suitable for the office as one of his rivals. Now he will take the post after all. To do this he had to remain a credible contender for thirteen years, retain the respect of party and media for that entire period, build a group of supporters who would stick with him, deter any potentially popular rival from standing against him and both seduce and frighten the leader into leaving him at the Treasury. He then had to push out the incumbent earlier than he wanted to go, while still keeping him onside in the forthcoming leadership campaign.
Yup, quite an achievement regardless of all the jibes thrown at him. In my eyes his worst sin so far is his close relationship with the Daily Mail. Yesterday Tim Worstall took apart their appalling hatchet job on blogger Owen Barder, demonstrating once again why they are “a bunch of f*cking tw@ts“. Anyway, I digress.
My feeling is that Brown hasn’t really expanded on any of his policies because he wants to make sure no one will steal them from him. He is clever enough to know that in his first 100 days he has to unleash a tornado of new and interesting policies so people not only seperate him from Tony Blair, but want go give him the chance to carry them through at the next General Election. And he isn’t likely to let anyone steal the thunder on those ideas. The Conservatives will not know what hit them.
The only question is: will he go far enough? Is he willing to push the boat out on what people want: more government transparency; accountability; rolling back the attack on our civil liberties; distancing himself from the neo-cons and attaching himself to the ascending Democrats. That is in addition to sorting out the NHS, housing, crime and immigration mess. But to sort that he’ll have to shoot half the cabinet. He could fire them I guess but I’d prefer the first option. Especially for John Reid. I jest. Somewhat. Anyway, I’m firmly in the Gordon Brown camp for now.
|Post to del.icio.us|
Filed in: Party politics