James Forsyth

Brown and the voters

Brown and the voters
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Gordon Brown's interview with the Telegraph contains this revealing exchange:

Is he still missing an emotional link to voters? "Look I’ve talked about the treatment the health service gave me and my family (he means the operations to save his sight and the care of his daughter, Jennifer, who died in infancy). I’ve talked about how I was brought up, in a pretty ordinary town.

"People know what happened to me. I don’t try to make any secret of it, but I’m trying to get on with the job." The answer is almost an admission that he doesn't have that emotional link despite having talked about his life in personal terms. It was said that Stephen Carter used to fret about the lack of an emotional contract between Brown and the voters when he was at No. 10 and one wonders whether the fact that the public never picked Brown makes it impossible for that emotional bond to be formed. The public simply doesn't feel emotionally invested in Brown and so aren't inclined to give him another chance. Brown is keen in the interview to cast himself as the optimist and Cameron as a pessimist. But given their respective countenances, one can't see this strategy working.

Written byJames Forsyth

James Forsyth is Political Editor of the Spectator. He is also a columnist in The Sun.

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