Thoughts on politics and life from a liberal perspective

Sunday 4 October 2009

This is why people dislike politicians

There is a revealing snippet on Iain Martin's Wall Street Journal blog today. It highlights how the decision to drop the agreement to a TV debate from Gordon Brown's speech was taken and the consequences of that decision. An exasperated Labour aide said:

Do you know when the decision was finally taken by Gordon to drop the commitment to debate Cameron from the speech? At 1:30 in the morning on the day of his speech, that’s when he decided. At that point there’s panic. Quick, who has some substance we can use to fill the hole in the speech? That’s when they quickly re-heat the stuff about putting single mothers in state-care homes, and chuck it in. At… 1… 30… in the morning of the speech.

So the "bring back the poorhouse" stuff was thrown in at the last minute. No wonder it did not sit well with the rest of the speech and had so many holes in it.

I expect that in the end this idea will be quietly dropped but not before Brown has forced his ministerial colleagues and other underlings to go out on the media and make fools of themselves trying to defend this re-heated and ill-thought through nonsense.

And all so that he could save his announcement about the TV debate until the day before the Tory conference in order to try and cut into their news cycle. This was a rubbish idea anyway as his very belated acceptance of the gauntlet thrown down by Sky News and already picked up by his two main opponents reflects quite poorly on him. It was pretty obvious he was going to accept given all the briefing so its effect was minimal. Also Brown has clearly learned nothing from the debacle a couple of years ago when he flew to Iraq during the Tory conference to announce troop withdrawal. That rebounded on him and made it look like he was playing politics with the war. It was was one of the reasons why he bottled the election. Why does he insist on these risible tactics?

It is exactly this sort of thing that makes people dislike politicians so much. The politicians think they are being oh so clever but people are not stupid and can see through it.


Jim Jepps said...

I really think we need to go back to the old way of doing prime ministers - where they get enough sleep, not bogged down by detail the whole time and they really can't be a slave to all the paper work they're being given by the civil service.

I don't mind ministers in charge of departments working like dogs but I want the Prime Minister to be a firm hand at the tiller and that means being calm, well rested and measured.

Kalvis Jansons said...

So that is how it happened!

Hywel said...

Sounds scarily like a plot from "The Thick Of It"

Cardinal Richelieu's mole said...

"Why does he insist on these risible tactics?" - because he is the same man who sanctioned the in-house Damian McBride Downing Street smear unit.

He does it as his values and sense of what is right and decent and appropriate to political conduct allow him to. So much for the trumpeted “Presbyterian values”. Long past is the time some authoritative Scottish cleric ought to repudiate Brown and state that Presbyterianism is not some squalid, mean little creed that justifies or condones Brown-type behaviour.