Wednesday, October 03, 2007

Brown, Blackpool & Basra...

The fairly meek reaction in Labour circles to the Tory charge of electioneering over yesterday's troop announcement in Iraq tells you the charge has some weight. I don't think any of the main commentators or leader columns have attempted to defend him and on the basis of a quick glance around the main Labour blogs the silence is deafening.

This was a mistake and evidence that Brown's deep contempt for the Tories and desire to score cheap points may actually be something that works to their rather than his advantage. In basic terms he went back on a clear and unambiguous promise - to make any significant announcements on troop movements to parliament first. OK - it wasn't announced on Richard & Judy but it still contradicted the high standards he set himself and will be seen to do so by most people, supporters of otherwise. What's more - it seems 200 of the 1,000 referred to actually arrived home at the weekend and 500 were part of a previous announcement anyway. An understandable desire to mess with heads in Blackpool has essentially backfired and tarnished the statesman-like, consensual image he's been trying to cultivate since taking office.


At 10:27 PM , Jeremy Jacobs said...

Brown statesman-like? Certainly better than the narcissist before him.

Once the pension scandal finally hits the press, Labour will be out for two decades.

At 10:59 PM , Cassilis said...

Thanks Jeremy.

As for the pensions scandal - I agree his £5bn raid was pretty shameless but in purely political terms he's managed to get away with it. It was almost a decade ago and although it raises it's head every now and then it seems to have little purchase with the electorate and soon disappears again. There are no mass demonstrations on this and shameful though it was it's not a 'poll tax' type issue.

Galling and unfair I know but that's the reality Tories have to deal with so they shouldn't be crossing their fingers in the hope that a dead issue will breathe again.


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