This is not the first time his speech writers have recycled an anecdote repeatedly. Yesterday Guido joked with his broker that if Jonah Brown was speaking to Google maybe it was time to short GOOG stock. “Don’t be silly” said the broker “GOOG is enjoying a mega bull run”. GOOG stock closed down $2.55 on the day cursed by Jonah Brown…
“Look, Gordon. You know I’m a regular sort of guy. You know how much I want you to succeed. Why don’t you try…” [He presses the mute button because Cherie is giggling too loudly]).
Tony made him do it. The “clunking fist” was his image idea after all….
UPDATE :The awfully posh harriet Harman has cancelled visiting the constituency tomorrow – possibly to avoid being questioned about her remarks on the weekend that the campaign was “not very positive”.
UPDATE II : Tamsin has finally given an answer to the BBC on the Gordon asset/liability question: “Gordon is an asset as Prime Minister, but I am fighting on local issues.”
This campaign strategy has been implicitly and publicly disowned by Harriet Harman, Ed & David Miliband, Jon Cruddas and according to rumour, Stephen Carter. This is not a strategy to maximise votes, it is a strategy to hold on to core votes. This is not reaching out to the middle classes or the common ground, the ground that wins elections. It is a strategy only to ensure that Labour does not come third.
Gordon is supposed to have personally authorised the campaign and condoned the tactics. The message being sent out from Labour’s campaign is that the Tory candidate is soft on foreigners, criminals and is an effete posh, multi-millionaire. Having tried the “Boris is a racist, right-wing toff” they are trying the “Timpson is a foreigner-loving, nanmby-pampby toff” tactic to see if that nuanced version of it will work. No positive message is being sent, it is an entirely negative campaign. Gordon has thrown £2.7 billion at this by-election. If it doesn’t work in this Labour heartland seat, it won’t work anywhere. Where then for Gordon?
UPDATE : Tamsin, grand-daughter of Baroness Norah Philips and Morgan Philips, a Labour former General Secretary, daughter of Labour MP Gwyneth, has just told Sky’s live-chat that “I was selected on ability, experience and my fundamental political beliefs”. She also admitted to living on a six acre plot in Wales that she is redeveloping. She will have plenty of time to finish it.
Asked repeatedly during the live-chat she again refused to answer the question(s) as to if Gordon is an asset or a liability, nor would she say if she would vote for 42-days detention.
When New Labour were first elected Tony Blair risked campaigning during the Uxbridge by-election in May 1997. Blair led from the front even though the Tories were sure to hold the seat. Gordon, author of two books on courage, has ordered 80 ministers and SpAds to go to Crewe and Nantwich this weekend to campaign. He however plans to stay well away chewing his nails.
Gordon avoids elections wherever possible, he chickened out of a contest with Blair for the leadership in 1994, he engineered a coronation unopposed for the party leadership in July 2007 and he bottled holding a mandate producing election in October 2007. Nobody has cast a single vote for him to lead his party or his country.
Gordon is a truly pathetic figure, on Friday morning Labour will have to face up to their mistake. If they can’t win Crewe, where they are testing to destruction the “don’t vote for a toff” approach – “tough on toffs, tough on the causes of toffs” - backed-up by illiberal knuckle dragging dog-whistle policies, they can’t win nationally with Brown. Crewe is 165th on the list of Tory target seats… that should concentrate the minds of 164 Labour MPs…
UPDATE : Blair also visited the tightly fought Eddisbury by-election to campaign in August 1999. Before he stood down Blair told the Labour Party in his final speech to their conference that “there are no rules in politics.” Quite.
Janet Daley’s stunning insights into the character of Gordon Brown in her Daily Telegraph column last year caused disquiet with many on the right because she is seen to be of the right. She firmly bought into Gordon’s project, thinking that he would be intellectually firm in the face of the shallow flim-flammery of Cameron.
She wrote immediately after the Glasgow terror attack:
Mr Brown made a terse and perfectly judged statement. For all its brevity, it conveyed the essential message of calm resolution and national unity: “I know that the British people will stand together, united, resolute and strong.” This was High Seriousness delivered in the old-fashioned way, with spare wartime urgency and without sentimentality.
He even became to her a great, non-neurotic TV performer:
Again, yesterday, in his interview with Andrew Marr, Mr Brown did not put a foot wrong … Interestingly, these were the first television appearances I have seen in which there was no sign of his peculiar nervous mannerism of rolling his tongue inside his mouth that is so beloved by satirists. Has he been trained out of it, or has he been transformed by his role and the state of national emergency? Either way, its absence helps to remove the impression of neuroticism that would not have inspired public confidence.
So no more laughing at Gordon the Great. The next month in August 2007 she contrasted Brown’s biblical strength to the effete Dave. Gordon had, in Janet’s view, the strength to withstand the trials of power:
First the terror attacks, then the floods, now the pestilence. Gordon Brown seems to be undergoing the trials of Job. But in this case, it is not so much his faith that is being tested as the country’s in him. And, my goodness, isn’t he rising to the challenge?
Once again he has appeared on our television screens within hours of terrible news, not just to assure us that he personally is taking charge of the foot and mouth crisis but to thank the authorities in affected communities for their cooperation and competence – to make it clear, in other words, that he is in command but also deeply respectful of people on the ground who must deal with the problems over which they have singular expertise.
Wow! Will this guy ever put a foot wrong?
Reality struck Janet hard in September :
Can Gordon pull it back? This week is the true beginning of the Brown era, as opposed to the fag end of the previous one. With the Queen’s Speech and the first Brownite legislative programme we should get the answer to the political question of the moment: was the New Brown a figment of our imagination, the most transitory illusion ever to capture the imagination of the Commentariat, or was there really something there worth grasping?
Almost a redemptive mea culpa.
The Commentariat collectively, Janet in particular, wrote in the summer of 2007 with all the considered judgement of a herd of sheep. They however would have you believe that they possess valuable insights and good judgement based on their intellect and access to the key players. They have opinions just like everyone, no better, no worse. They merely express them better than most. More often than not their access and close proximity to the subjects they write about clouds their judgement. Mostly their opinions are not worth the chip-wrapping they are written on…
Inside an Islamist Takeover Plot School | Newsnight
Ed Heads to Scotland | Sun
Assad’s New Chemical Weapon Attacks | National Review
Jason Groves New Mail Deputy Pol Ed | MediaGuido
Cocaine Conservatives | Standard
Jezza Browne Responds to LibDem Haters | LibDem Voice
Why Britain Needs to Leave the EU | Douglas Carswell
Who Tells Ed When He’s Wrong? | Speccie
Hands Off Our Cojones, Mr Clegg | Laura Perrins
London Live Averaging Just 2,400 Viewers | Forbes
Ed’s Constitutional Failure | ConHome
Dan Hodges on Team Miliband:
“‘Poisonous’, was the picture painted by one former senior advisor. ‘Dysfunctional,’ said one shadow cabinet member. ‘A bunch of medieval courtiers, not an office,’ said another. The most positive description I could get was ‘It’s a work in progress. They’re learning. Slowly. But they are learning.’”