Today is a bad day for Labour in the spin wars. The papers have settled for a generally mocking tone about the G20 and Gordon Brown’s effort to save the world. Note how The Times in its pre-summit write up points out how 'the ExCeL’s next big event is the British Pest Control
Association conference.' (Personally, I’m more amused by the summit goody-bag containing a tea-towel
). While The Times have got George Soros talking about whether or not Britain will need to be bailed out by the IMF
, a discussion that is hardly likely to prompt confidence in the Prime Minister’s economic judgment.
Worryingly for Brown, the press also seems ready to embark on another set of speculation about a leadership challenge to Brown this side of the election. Martin Kettle cautiously floated the possibility yesterday and Peter Oborne does so today in his Mail column (which also contains a fascinating revelation about the Bank of England pension fund).
It is easy to see how if the G20 summit is perceived to have been a dud this chatter could take off. I still think it is highly unlikely that Brown will go before the next election. But speculation would weaken his position still further.