Supporting Gordon Brown for now


by Sunny
21st May, 2007 at 9:46 am    

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.


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  1. Leon — on 21st May, 2007 at 10:25 am  

    Whatever you say about him though he is a very good politician.

    Hmmm not sure what that means, Tony Blair can be said to be a very good politician too….

  2. Ex-Labour — on 21st May, 2007 at 10:57 am  

    You’re very optimistic. But although I don’t share your enthusiasm, I hope that you are right.

  3. Rumbold — on 21st May, 2007 at 11:30 am  

    If he fires Patricia Hewitt his popularity rating will double overnight.

  4. fiz — on 21st May, 2007 at 11:56 am  

    too early to tell.

  5. justforfun — on 21st May, 2007 at 12:13 pm  

    Nothing urgently wrong with the country then? – take your time Gordon. No need to hurry you, we have plenty of things to be getting on with while you get your ducks in row. Simple things – like earning a living , paying tax, putting the rubbish out – you know, the mundane sort of stuff.

    In fact on reflection – Gordon – take the next couple years off, because the less this current Parliment does the better – anything you and your mates in New Labour touch just gets fucked up – How much can we pay you ALL to just go away and leave us alone. It will be worth every penny. Name your price?

    Justforfun

  6. ChrisC — on 21st May, 2007 at 12:37 pm  

    “Anyway, I’m firmly in the Gordon Brown camp for now.”

    Is there another camp?

    And why “firmly”? Nothing you said supports “firmly”!!

    “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.”

    So his “listening” exercise is a sham. He’s already made his mind up.

    I think most people are sick and tired of “tornadoes” of “new and interesting” policies, don’t you?

  7. Kismet Hardy — on 21st May, 2007 at 12:37 pm  

    I wish he’d stop doing that throaty toady pause for breath after every sentence, like he’s gasping for air and saying a mantra to the devil at the same time. It’s extremely unnerving

  8. ChrisC — on 21st May, 2007 at 12:43 pm  

    Separate him from Tony Blair?
    Yeah, right.

    George Galloway (while loathsome) does come up with some great catchphrases, in the case: Tony Blair and Gordon Brown are two cheeks of the same arse.

    Difficult to disagree.

  9. neva4get84 — on 21st May, 2007 at 1:01 pm  

    Hopefully with time and campaigning the public will be able to see that Cameron can only offer a poorer mock version of Blair and spin culture (not real change but the appearence of it). Brown seems to have real substance and a vision for the country, while Cameron just wants to get into Govt and then take revert back to the old school tory style.

    Whatever Brown’s drawbacks, it’s got to be better than Cameron.

  10. Kismet Hardy — on 21st May, 2007 at 1:11 pm  

    Caneron is like Westlife and Charlatans to Blair’s Boyzone and Stone Roses, a poorer imitation of a formula. The whole young, handsome and down with it appeal is no longer appealing. It’s weird that Labour is pushing the sober, conservative older man, but he’ll be more trusted for a while because of it. Until the Lib Dems counter-attack by voting in David Jason as new leader

  11. ZinZin — on 21st May, 2007 at 1:14 pm  

    ChrisC
    You heard that on Starkeys Last word, Right?

    He also said that Brown would have the Jim Callaghan role in serving the remainder of Blairs term and losing the next election. Although Cameron is no Thatcher.

    Don’t be too harsh on Sunny he has sensibly left himself room for manoeurve when Brown disappoints him.

  12. sonia — on 21st May, 2007 at 1:19 pm  

    i daresay he is a good example of the plodding person who wins at the end of a long what – decade?

    just shows you the state of politics when frankly it’s impossible to tell till we are under his yoke what sort of a dictator he will turn out to be. then possibly we will all fume and say gosh he’s WORSE than blair how’s that possible and wait to boot him out. and then do the same with david cameron. and then..

  13. Leon — on 21st May, 2007 at 1:44 pm  

    *idle speculation*

    Brown ruled the money with an iron fist, no other department could do anything without his say so and constraint.

    Blair started his war addiction in part due to his frustration with the slow pace of domestic change (he effectively ceded domestic affairs to Brown), which was in part due to Brown and his control freakary (anyone see where I’m going with this?).

    Maybe if Brown hadn’t been there or a control freak Blair would have had more control over domestic affairs and not found his calling in foreign affairs?

  14. neva4get84 — on 21st May, 2007 at 1:47 pm  

    Making the Bank of England independent, introducing the minimum wage and a forming a strong economy…..hmm hardly plodding through the decade.

  15. sonia — on 21st May, 2007 at 1:53 pm  

    yes it is if we are considering his career in the context of reaching the apex – the Prime Ministerial post. Now of course I would say that it is silly to have such a figurehead post in the first place – why should one person be such a figurehead anyway? + plus it is worrying that here we are saying oh now how will things change because the figurehead is changing. the fact that one person is given so much power- symbolic or otherwise – or credited with making the ‘change’ which effectively is the work of many – is silly.

  16. sonia — on 21st May, 2007 at 1:55 pm  

    and sorry – the Minimum wage isn’t good enough – we need the concept of the the Living wage to spread and for it to go up from £7 i think it is in London. and who do you think campaigns for these things? politicians are the people who say ‘all right you can have that – yes there you go – good boy, ill grant you this, ill grant you that. it is an outrageous system of top-down hierarchy which has the balls to call itself ‘rule of the people by the people’

  17. Muhamad — on 21st May, 2007 at 2:04 pm  

    Excuse me please.
    I have come not long ago from “the Indian subcontinent”.
    I know not much of British politics and not much of Gordon Brown (I would like to very much). What is Gordon Brown’s weltanschaung? I know he do a lot for our lebensraum (livingroom?) in Iraq, Afghanistan, and hopefull of Iran. I know he spoke of our Volksgemeinschaft (common good before the good of the individual) but I am not sure if he has more of a leiterprincip than Blair.
    I too firmly believe he is lesser of the two Bose[ich habe eine problem using the umlaut hier].

  18. Katy — on 21st May, 2007 at 2:28 pm  

    Tony Blair and Gordon Brown are two cheeks of the same arse.

    That is funny.

    I still hate George Galloway. But that is funny.

  19. Chairwoman — on 21st May, 2007 at 2:34 pm  

    Sonia @ 12 – He he (but it’s not actually that funny is it?)

  20. soru — on 21st May, 2007 at 2:42 pm  

    Using the word ‘arse’ is never not at least a little bit funny.

  21. neva4get84 — on 21st May, 2007 at 2:44 pm  

    Sonia- Do you have another suggestion to democracy? In regards to the figurehead issue-funnily enough I’m basing my MSc dissertation on identifying leadership potential. Think you would be surprised as to the impact of leaders, not to say that the rest of the Govt are not accountable of course.

    Completely agree about the minimum wage-more should be done to reduce the gap between the rich and poor, but it’s a good start (and the tories were opposed to it) plus I didn’t see any other party actively doing anything.

    Finally how is it a top-down hierarchy, who elects the Govt? Who is the Govt accountable too? Who has the choice to change the Govt?

  22. Kismet Hardy — on 21st May, 2007 at 2:44 pm  

    Muhamad, you’re funny.

    Soru, arse has been funny ever since stavros pledged his love for arsenal

  23. sonia — on 21st May, 2007 at 2:54 pm  

    neva why call something it is not? since we have top-down hierarchical rule why cant we call a spade a spade?

  24. sonia — on 21st May, 2007 at 2:56 pm  

    “Do you have another suggestion to democracy?”

    it’s about trying to get to a better model of democracy isn’t it. we’re hardly at the ‘apex’ of ‘progress’

  25. Sunny — on 21st May, 2007 at 2:56 pm  

    Lol, don’t ask Sonia for suggestions about democracy, you’ll get anarchy :P

    And why “firmly”? Nothing you said supports “firmly”!!

    Ok let me elaborate on this. I’m firmly in the Labour camp… but I’m somewhat tentatively supporting Gordon Brown.

  26. sonia — on 21st May, 2007 at 3:10 pm  

    ha ha sunny

  27. ChrisC — on 21st May, 2007 at 3:24 pm  

    Sunny – well you haven’t got much choice, have you??!

  28. neva4get84 — on 21st May, 2007 at 3:36 pm  

    Sonia- I think I get your ideology however realistically in order to make positive changes to the country we need to do it via gradual social change not a staunch marxist style of delivery.

    Why?

    Basically cos you have to have all people on board, otherwise you would never get elected in the first place.

    Plus most aren’t interested in the precise model of democracy as long as practical policies (capable of being introduced in the real world) are delivered.

  29. sonia — on 21st May, 2007 at 3:47 pm  

    heh.

    neva i don’t think you get my ‘ideology’ and nowhere did i say i was not in favour of social change slowly – if you were a regular you’d know that – quite the opposite my dear friend..

    but in any case – from what i said – advocating a more ‘democratic’ form of democracy – there were no suggestions of ‘anarchic activity’ per se or marxist style revolutions.

    it does tickle me when people think that!

  30. neva4get84 — on 21st May, 2007 at 3:49 pm  

    Naxal 1849 Returns-
    Glad to hear your oh so positive outlook on life!

    One thing that really grates me is that if you truly believe that labour, lib dems and tories are the same form your own party then…. no seriously stand as an independent. Give people an option if you think there isn’t one. That’s how the Labour party was formed.

    From what you have said it is your own apathy that is getting in the way of democracy. We all have choices and actions in life- take them.

  31. sonia — on 21st May, 2007 at 3:51 pm  

    if people were satisfied with the ‘democracy’ we have here, well i don’t think we’d have that much talk about PR, or the political apathy we see today. Please explain to me why there is so much political apathy if everything were so perfect.

    Now ‘revolution’ is the last thing I expect would do anyone good – it always has to be evolution. i quite fail to see why my cynicism at this talk of ‘who’s going to be the PM and do what’ is so surprising to you – and why you assume that i must be a Red foaming at the mouth for revolution…

    In any case, I daresay it is similar to people wanting to believe the best about their current lot. Much like religious people wanting to think religion is a Good thing – sure it is comforting, isn’t it.

  32. sonia — on 21st May, 2007 at 3:52 pm  

    Frankly, i’m on one of my doom and gloom days. Revolution my foot, we humans clearly haven’t evolved enough. we can’t even see the misery of our current lot.

  33. Jagdeep — on 21st May, 2007 at 4:11 pm  

    Frankly, i’m on one of my doom and gloom days. Revolution my foot, we humans clearly haven’t evolved enough. we can’t even see the misery of our current lot.

    And I thought I was in a bad mood because I stubbed my toe on the bedroom doorframe this morning! Cheer up Sonia, summer is here, the season of love, flowers, sunshine and race riots. Be happy!

  34. justforfun — on 21st May, 2007 at 4:13 pm  

    Sunny – Paid up member of the Labour Party?

    Justforfun

  35. neva4get84 — on 21st May, 2007 at 4:22 pm  

    Easy there! I’m just a realist (tinged with a chunk of optimisim), no the political state of the country is not amazing at present. But can you imagine what the tories would have done if they were in power for ten years (flashback to the 80′s) the Labour Govt has done a great deal. No it isn’t perfect. But listen to what you and Naxal are saying;
    No I’m not happy with the current state of affairs
    No I can’t relate to any political party

    So I’ll just sit at the sidelines and let you know how peeved I am.

    I felt the same for a while and when I actually looked at my options I opted for centre left, joined my local labour party and started making changes and voicing my views in the system. Yeh ok so I’m not going to change the world but at least I can have an impact on my local area.

    What I’m trying to say is get involved in it (the political process); people like you clearly have a lot to say and would make a valuable contribution.

  36. William — on 21st May, 2007 at 6:37 pm  

    On tele recently Brown actually acknowledged that there was a housing crisis and this needs to be addresed. At last someone up there has done this.
    Private housing prices are ridiculous and public housing has decreased over the past couple of decades with increased demand and all this of course hits the poorer sections of society. Brown has made a pledge to sort it. This is a must! Mr Brown do not turn!

    Shelter are setting up stalls in various cities etc to gather signatures for a petition they were in Brum last week.

    http://england.shelter.org.uk/home/index.cfm

  37. William — on 21st May, 2007 at 10:53 pm  

    As mentioned on another thread. Brown it seems recognises that there is a housing crisis and has made a pledge.

    http://england.shelter.org.uk/home/index.cfm

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