Alex Massie Alex Massie

Gordon Brown Should Just Abandon Hope

From Andrew Rawnsley’s (must-read) column yesterday:

A member of the no contrition tendency in the cabinet says: “Gordon apologise? Bugger that. No way. People don’t want to see him wringing his hands. They don’t want him to get into this psycho-babble. They want him to get the job done.”

Is this actually true? I mean, do people actually want Gordon to “get the job done”? I’m not convinced they do. Isn’t it possible that the electorate is enjoying this? The sourness and vindictiveness of the public mood at present seems unlikely to be much impressed by anything the Prime Minister could propose, let alone achieve. You might expect Tory voters to be rooting for the government to fail, but I suspect that swing-voters also take a certain grim enjoyment from kicking the government when it’s down. Voters can be a cruel, callous bunch. Just ask John Major. I rather think voters like not liking Gordon Brown. They’d be disappointed if he got the job done; that’s not the role the public has assigned him.

Not for the first time, Brown’s ministry resembles Major’s. What good did it do Major to hold on until May 1997? Precious little. No wonder the idea of a snap election is back on the agenda. Well, why not? The idea must be to lose – and get rid of Gordon – now, rather than face certain death in 2010 when, with no recovery in sight, voters have had an extra year in which to stockpile and stoke their fury.

Rawnsley reports on how Labour might try to frame the argument:

“It is important for us to say that we didn’t get it all right about financial regulation,” says one member of the cabinet whose identity may surprise you.

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