Peter Hoskin

Divide and be conquered

This anecdote in Rachel Sylvester’s column really does say a lot about our Dear Leader:

“[Gordon Brown] makes gestures to different factions rather than leading from the front. A few weeks ago, he set up a weekly strategy meeting involving Peter Mandelson, Alastair Campbell and Philip Gould – the Blairites refused to go when they discovered that he was planning a separate session the following day with Ed Balls and the old ‘Brownite’ cabal. After a standoff, the two sessions were eventually merged. As one Cabinet minister puts it: ‘Gordon has got to the top by fixing the Labour Party machine, but you can’t fix the electorate. They want a vision.'”

Brown’s reliance on dividing line politics is hardly news, but some of the ways it manifests itself are still pretty astonishing.  He does seem to have reached the point where he creates splits by default.  And all to the detriment of his own premiership.

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