David Blackburn

Flattery gets you nowhere Gordon

Flattery gets you nowhere Gordon
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As Lance Price wrote yesterday, venerating your opponent is an odd campaign strategy. But Gordon Brown is an inveterate flirt, and he’s at it again this morning, fluttering his eyelashes at Nick Clegg across the pages of the Independent:

‘We have to show people we are in the business of the new politics and we have a plan for that as well as the economy. I don't think people have yet focused on that. We're serious about change. That is my mission…There is some common ground on the constitutional issues. It is up to the Liberals to respond.’

Labour has responded to Cleggmania by intensifying its Lib Dem love-bombing. The similarities between the Liberals and Labour are plain enough, but so to the differences. This is crucial because Clegg’s sudden success rests on the conceit that he isn’t just another politician, that he and he alone represents change – as Brown opposed reform personally for 13 years it’s a straightforward case. Labour’s overtures are repaid with scorn.

I can’t see why Brown persists with a strategy that does not work. All Brown achieves is to sustain Clegg’s anti-politics schtick: Clegg has lambasted Brown as ‘desperate’ twice already this morning. It’s perplexing, but if you’ve read the Labour manifesto you’ll see that Clegg has a point. Bereft of new ideas and polling lower than Michael Foot did, Brown is desperate.