Monday, September 25, 2006

Gordon shows why he's the man

As the previous post makes clear, it's not my opinion that counts. Gordon Brown's campaign for the leadership of the Labour Party will stand or fall on the extent to which he can win over those people who are NOT his natural supporters.

But for what it's worth, the Chancellor's brilliant party conference speech today demonstrated to me exactly why I believe he is the man to run Britain.

It wasn't so much the stuff about social justice, constitutional reform, the "empowerment agenda," the "good society" and rebalancing the honours system - although I warmly welcome everything he said about those things.

No, it was because Brown tackled head-on the idea that political style is somehow more important than political substance - encapsulated in his phrase: "I am more interested in the future of the Arctic Circle (pictured) than the future of the Arctic Monkeys."

"If I thought the future of politics was about celebrity, I wouldn't be in politics. Some see politics as spectacle. I see politics as service," he said.

The significance of this lies in the context in which it was said - a concerted attempt by the Blairites to hang Brown out to dry by calling his "image" into question, knowing they cannot get him on his record.

The reason I hope they fail is not necessarily because I disagree with them politically - many of Alan Milburn's ideas about the "new localism" are brilliant, for example - but because I think they are cheapening politics.

Brown closed his speech by saying he would "relish" the chance to take on David Cameron, the apotheosis of style over substance. Today's speech showed why he should get it.

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Richard Bailey said...

Non-aligned blog, hey??!!

Brown just delivered the most devastating analysis of his own failure, with a batch of "new" policies which do nothing but rectify their own mistakes.

It was nothing more than a "one hand, one bounce" speech.

carol42 said...

Totally agree, only he seems to be planning to spend even more of our money on his already failed policies.

Anonymous said...


The blog is non-aligned in the sense that it is not allied to any one party, although I have always been completely upfront about the fact that it is a left-of-centre blog, as you yourself acknowledged in a recent comment on Dale's Diary.

The fact that it is not allied to a political party does not of course stop me having opinions about individual politicians. My admiration for Gordon Brown stems not from the fact that he is a member of the Labour Party but from my belief that he is a man of substance and achievement who wants to move away from this tawdry style of celebrity politics we have been forced to endure for the past decade. Although it is unlikely I would ever have voted for him in a General Election, I held much the same sort of opinion about David Davis.

Anonymous said...

Yes, Paul, the meat was there and it looked reasonably impressive. But by those all-important presentational standards it was under-cooked.

This from an agonising Brownite afterwards: "Ah still think e'll pull it off, but he still f****d it on't podium. He in't Blair."

And that nagging doubt is from a fan.


Anonymous said...

Brown just hasn't got IT. He is borderline asbergers, bites, his fingernails, has the humour of a stuffed toad, but worst of all (for him) is that his is a Scot in a scottish constituency. If he becomes leader, after the next general election he will either be in opposition or will have a small overall majority with the Conservatives having a majority of English MPs. Good old West Lothian would bite his arse so hard it would probably make sensible government almost impossible (shades of John Major). I really can't see the Labour party risking this happening, but the problem for them is that the number of English Labour MPs with true leadership quality is currently 0.

Anonymous said...

the only reason Brown doesn't d celebrity polictics is because he cant play the game. he has tried and failed. He is inconsistent. He has said before he wakes up to the Arctic Monkeys on his ipod. then says he doesn't know who they are in his speech to conference. he has failed to do style, and there wasn;t too much substance in his speech.

Anonymous said...

Good point Jimbo. The Artic Monkeys were brought into the whole debate by GB in the first place as a calculated (yet thoroughly inept) pice of spin so how this new position is supposed to be an attack on DC is beyond me. And for a politician of substance he seems to be chopping and changing his stance more rapidly than a kung fu master to keep up with the latest focus group insights on his deficiencies.

The truth is that he is utterly obsessed by image and style. He's just not very good at it.

Anonymous said...

Blair might not be able to 'get' Brown on his record, but I can't see Cameron ignoring the pensions grab, so-called stealth taxes and the public deficit alone.

Broon has done a decent job during a relatively benign economic period. But plenty of voters are still paying financial penalties of one sort or another for his policies.


Anonymous said...

The last thing Britain needs is another drama queen running the country. And Brown isn't much different to Ted Heath. Although it's probably fair to say that Brown is a thousand times more cynical and his deceit knows no bounds.

Iain Dale said...

Did you watch the same speech as I did?

Paul Linford said...

Yes, Iain, but lets face it, we come at it from slightly different political perspectives!