Sunday, 13 April 2008

Stalin to Mr Bean: Is The Transformation Complete?

These are woeful times for Gordon Brown. The Tories' poll lead has now reached 16 points, equalling Blair's margin of victory in 1997. The press columns and the gossip blogs are full of whispers of discontent in the ranks and leadership challenges. And when it comes to the issues, from embryology bills through the Olympic torch to the 10p tax rate, everything Gordon touches at the moment is turning to shit.

The perception seems to be that the Labour party's number one problem is its Number One. As Martin Kettle in the usually Labour-friendly Guardian puts it as he describes the feeling in the Labour ranks:

"There isn't an Attlee or Roosevelt lurking inside the prime minister. There's just the same old Gordon with the same old strengths and weaknesses."

Polly Toynbee, generally about as loyal to Labour as a mainstream press commentator gets without actually being an MP, used her Friday Guardian column to question Brown's ability as PM
"The Wizard of Oz stands exposed, the emperor has no clothes, the box of secrets is empty"
and accused him of "blowing away" his progressive reputation through his abolition of the 10p tax band.

As you might expect, the right-wing press is still more cutting about the PM, Martin Ivens in the Times describes events in Lisbon as a "fiasco" and Brown as having been the "architect of his own misfortune". The column is little short of a compendium of Brown's mis-steps since the initial 'election bottling' farce last October - and it is a long one for just seven months of leadership. Brown has gone from "bottler" to "ditherer" , from a man desperate to hold on to power at the expense of gaining a true mandate to a man with no idea what the f@#k to do with his power.

As Toynbee suggests, Brown looks to have fallen victim to the Peter Principle - to have been promoted beyond his aptitude. Trouble is for New Labour, there doesn't look to be anyone waiting in the wings who is a match for David Cameron in terms of leadership, never mind a 'Roosevelt or Attlee'. Charles Clarke? David Miliband? *shudder*

Hat-tip: Chicken Yoghurt

1 comment:

TBRRob said...

I heard Ed Balls wanted the job -- shudder...