Saturday, 26 July 2008

Who's Off-Message?

Polly Toynbee:

Two hundred Labour stalwarts gathered at the national policy forum yesterday after the shock of the byelection. They were briefed that Gordon Brown would have no text, and would walk and talk hands free; he needed to show that he can in extremis speak human and express feelings to an audience willing him to be the leader they yearn for. A loyal audience gave a dutiful ovation, but it was a dismally mechanical performance. If this was Gordon does Dave, the comparison was excruciating.

He could do it without notes because it was an autopilot compilation of the dullest parts of every speech he has made, mantra after clunking mantra, pacing up and down to the same old tropes. With oil and food prices rising by the day, his party in ruins, his future in jeopardy and the country about to fall to the Tories, out came the same old figures...He bypassed the by-election as if it simply hadn't happened.

or Steve Richards:

For all the speculation about his future, Brown made a powerful start in addressing this daunting challenge in his speech yesterday to the party's policy forum in Warwick. It was the best he has delivered since becoming Prime Minister, delivered without notes, carefully structured, beginning and ending with accessible stories about people whose lives had been transformed through recent policies.

He spoke well in the darkest of contexts. At the moment there is only subdued panic in Labour's ranks. Many anxious, partially scheming ministers and MPs are on holiday already. But this autumn will be tempestuous with Labour's conference the most highly charged for decades.


1 comment:

TBRRob said...

There's always two sides to an argument.