Thursday, 10 December 2009

Retreating To The Bunker

The Plan, such as it was (it barely deserves that capital letter) was one which was only ever going to make sense if you reside in the Downing Street bunker. Gordon honestly believed that his Queen's Speech and PBR would rescue him and his party and that, even after 12 years of growing accustomed to his deceit, trickery and dishonesty on such occasions, the press and public would not see past the words and look at the detail. Only someone with Brown's level of denial could have included the phrase position of strength in yesterday's speech. I refuse to believe that that was Alistair Darling's idea. I almost cringed for him when he said it.

And today, in the press, Brown/Darling get what was coming to them. It's a near unanimous thumbs down, the only exception being the Mirror which, as ever, buys the spin.

Brown refuses to change his ways, still believes in his dividing lines and cannot bring himself to govern for the good of the country rather than his party. Had yesterday's report been honest about the problems, set out a path to address the debt problems and revealed a vision for growth in the medium term they might actually have been rewarded for their integrity and statemanlike honesty. But Brown showed he is incapable of this. His pride prevents him from acknowledging mistakes and he lacks the imagination to try a different approach. His usual spin operation has even meant that some bankers, forewarned about coming taxes, paid out their bonuses early so as to avoid those taxes.

Labour had lately been making some progress in the polls. That will now come to a juddering halt. Brown saw his foot, aimed and pulled the trigger. In his defence he thought he was shooting at the Tories. This is his central delusion. He refuses to learn lessons of the past and cannot imagine how his old tricks no longer work. He is stuck in the past, the rest of us have moved on. No doubt he will come up with some new wheeze, some new game changer to win at the last minute but it will amount to the same old tricks and deceit and nothing will change. Slowly he is being forced to retreat into the bunker as harsh political reality is closing in and surrounding him.


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