Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Brown's 'got it now'

Tonight's television was definingly disastrous for Gordon Brown. I've never seen Michael Crick fillet a senior political figure so comprehensively. The high point for me (and the low point for GB) was Merthyr's Dai Havard on the national UK News, treating his party leader (and our Prime Minister) as if he was a secondhand car salesman who needed to be left over the weekend to sweat on a deal. Dai was smirking like Del Trotter, because he knows that the party leadership is too weak to discipline him. Without knowing it, he was treating Gordon Brown with total contempt. We then had Yvette Cooper on Newsnight, informing us that she had no idea what the compromises GB had made on the 10 p tax issue were going to cost, or how many of the over 5 million effected were going to benefit from them. And this after the Prime Minister had been all over our screens earlier in the day, trying to give the impression that pressure from his rebellious MPs had nothing whatsoever to do with the change in policy. No panic or caving in to pressure - just a carefully worked out strategy to help the poorest people is what he said. The mocking laughter in the House of Commons was genuine. I still can't get over it. Its almost beyond belief that Gordon Brown, who looked like a political colossus up until last October has turned out to be the weakest, most indecisive and ineffective British Prime Ministers of the modern era. His own team have no fear of him or respect for him. I just cannot see a way back for him.

10 comments:

Ordovicius said...

My money's on there being a leadership contest before we see another general elction (Actually I don't gamble, but you know what i mean)

Dr. Christopher Wood said...

Gordon Brown – Decisive?
Psychotherapist and former Labour apparatchik Derek Draper once said, "Brown is a most decisive man." I think many people, including Glyn, on this blog would agree with that comment so long as “in” is placed immediately in front of “decisive”.

Des Boot said...

I agree with Dr. Wood's elegant comment especially in light of Brown's recent dithering over the 10p tax rate. There are rumours that Brown intends to replace the 10 tax rate with 100p in the pound, with a super-tax rate of 1000p in the pound. Not possible unless you are Gordon Brown, The IMAGINATOR (no relation to The TERMINATOR).

ROMAN JONES Esq. said...

What a lot of people haven't realised is a hidden cost in the Government's new tax plan. Now that the main rate of tax has gone down to 20% (a good thing you would think) it also means that the tax free portion made up by the Inland Revenue of your pension contriubution has also reduced from 22% to 20%, causing a greater portion of one's salary having to go on pension contribution. What they give with the one hand, they take with other!

GB's right hand man said...

Just how many more tax-time-fuses has good old GB got in the works? GB's so stilly thinking no one would notice his hand in scrapping the 10p tax rate for the poorest part of our community. Like we would forget that it was in his last budget. U-Tube-Man.

Dr. Christopher Wood said...

Ordovicius> I wager you a pound of flesh.

Southpaw Grammar said...

Glyn,

The thing is this 'chortle, chortle, guffaw, guffaw' politics switches people off. Answer me these questions...

Will you reinstate the 10p band if the Tories get in next time? YES OR NO.

Is the decision to compensate the people the correct thing to do in light of the situation? Yes or No.

The problem is that you are doing the poking but none of the offering of an alternative. I saw your treasury spokesperson saying that he shouldnt have got rid of it, that they oppose but 'it isnt up to the conservatives to find the money to replace it'.

So the narrative of the tories has been- 'Brown has made a mistake- he has to rectify it', Brown rectifies it then it changes to 'This u-turn means he is a busted flush'. So which one is it? He messed up, he listened and change the policy accordingly.

Glyn Davies said...

Sanddef - I'm not puttng money on it yet, but its what will happen if this carries on til the summer.

Christopher and des - the man's a legend in his particular field. A true diddering king. Will Ordo become a modern day Antonio (please don't tell me it was someone else)

roman and gb's rhm - my post wasn't about the decision itself, but about the way he handled it. When he made ythe decision as Chancellor, he had the authority to force it through. Its the loss of authority that has so impressed me. He looks almost helpless and at the mercy of events.

southpaw - Fair question, except that its not relevent. Issue is Brown, not the Tories. If he had scrapped the 10p band and put a fair chunk of it into raising the Income Tax starting point, he would have got away with it. But he tried to spin the decision, thinking no-one would notice. What happened is that he 'messed up' and refused to listen - but was then forced by his own backbenchers to make concessions as an ill thought through panic measure to avoid public humiliation at at yesterday's PMQs. Watching Yvette Cooper last night, it was obvious that she didn't have a clue what's going on, and there is going to be a lot more humiliation over this yet because the Prime Minister can't even perform a U-turn with any grace or decisiveness.

Anonymous said...

more interesting on Newsnight last night and im not sure if its been picked up anywhere else today, was Tony Blair's former advisor Peter Hyman saying that Labour MP's are talking about a period in opposition to 'sort things out' and whether or not things under David Cameron would be that different.

You could tell it was a real bombshell by the look on Jeremy Paxman's face, Labour are more or less talking themselves in to a defeat.

Glyn Davies said...

anon - I did hear that. Just that Peter isn't Labour in an official capacity. The 'Panel of Three' have strong party links, but like to appear a bit independent - which is why they are asked. Its something I've heard others saying - but not those who would have to lose their seats to allow it to happen.