What does Gordon normally do when facing an obstacle? He bullies, undermines and sulks. None of which will stimulate growth to get us out of a recession.
UPDATE : Didn’t Gordon say that this was not a time for “cheap political gimmicks” last week? So, errm, what is this? Good governance? Getting on with the job? A gimmick?
Brown has the same problem. This year he needs to up his game badly. He is searching (we are told) for speechwriters, his delivery is Brezhnevian. Gordon’s speech has to save his career, enthuse the party activists, an increasingly cynical and unsettled PLP, deflect a coup attempt and mollify the public.
The last is possibly unachievable. The public has decided that Gordon is a disaster. He can veer to the left to enthuse the party but that will be a renouncement of everything New Labour stood for and will be seen as the last roll of the dice for survival by the media and voters. If he sticks to the course he is on the party activists will despair.
So what themes should his speech contain? Rabble rousing, Tory bashing or apologising and promising to do better? Begging? Tough call, not a speech Guido would like to have to write… what would you put in the speech?
So the technology stock crash in 2000/1 was not worldwide? Didn’t the 1997/8 Asian economic crisis and LTCM collapse have global repercussions, the ERM crisis in 1992 had currency volatility everywhere, Black Monday in 1987 was scary, the Latin American debt crisis in 80s… we have had them all the way back to 1929. All were global financial crises.
Gordon says the economy has “underlying strength”, which must be why August saw the lowest new car sales since Bobby Charlton lifted the World Cup. Oh, almost forgot: the Prime Mentalist is getting on with the job and making long term decisions as well.
UPDATE : Based on Halifax figures the last 12 months have seen the biggest house price falls ever – the previous biggest 12 month fall was 8.5% in October 1992. House prices have fallen 12.7% year to date. It took four years from May 1989 to February 1993 for house prices to fall 12.97% that far last time.
As various commentators consider Labour’s prospects, the term “Blairite” is being deployed to characterise the policies and personalities of some who question the party’s current direction and urge Labour to face the future. Like “Thatcherite”, the word is not used kindly. “Blairite” (even “über-Blairite”) is a lazy and inaccurate shorthand. It is intended not to illuminate but to diminish, marginalise and insult. It was, for example, the stock phrase used by the Brown political briefing team to traduce David Miliband’s Guardian article in early August.
Moreover, this misleading language damages the vital need for Labour to move on to new, post-Blair ground. Those journalists and politicians who use it are fighting the last political struggle, the War of the Tony Blair Succession, in a way that owes rather more to Just William and the Hubert Laneites than to the challenges of modern British politics.
In the newspapers this summer, I have read about “eye-wateringly ‘Blairite’ gospels”; about “Blairites” “thumbing their noses” at progressive politics; about “Blair privatisers” and how “Blairites” are the “business wing” who “play the markets against the ‘progressive wing’ of the party”. Some argue David Cameron is now more progressive than new Labour and that Labour under Blair became a party of the centre-right.
This deceitful nonsense has to end. Everyone in Labour needs to stop obsessing about the past and to start obsessing about the future…. Similarly, there is no Blairite plot, despite rumours and persistent newspaper reports. There is, however, a deep and widely shared concern – which does not derive from ideology – that Labour is destined to disaster if we go on as we are, combined with a determination that we will not permit that to happen.
See also Clarke’s September 2006 article on Brown: He Lacks Courage and Vision, He’s Delusional and a Control Freak. That turned out to be completely on the money.
Mrs Fawkes Do you really need to go?Guido Well you know, important to keep in touch with the base, gain intelligence, schmooze contacts, gossip doesn’t just write itself…
Mrs Fawkes For 4 days and nights?
Guido Well, have been invited to speak at a few events on issues that are important, seems rude not to give back something.
Mrs Fawkes Try not to get arrested this time.
Bizarrely tickets are going well…
“I will not allow house prices to get out of control and put at risk the sustainability of the recovery.”Gordon Brown, 1997 Budget Statement.
The economic cycle is back, the benevolent economic circumstances not of his making have gone and we are, according to the OECD, the worst positioned Western industrialised nation to weather the tough times. Inflation is rising and unemployment is hitting Thatcherite levels, your economic plans have crashed, Gordon.
It does seem odd to have a Trotskyite sympathiser as the business reporter on the BBC’s flagship news and current affairs show. It is all very well him briefing his comrades tonight on “The Recession – What does it mean for us?” (Suspect it will mean that capitalism is in terminal crisis since it has always been according to the Trots who sell newspapers).
Guido just wishes Comrade Mason would concentrate less on supporting the workers revolution and more on making sure that Newsnight manages to reliably report whether the FTSE is up or down on the day. How hard can that be?