Alex Massie

Gordon Reinvents Himself as Captain Change

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Give Gordon Brown credit for chutzpah at least. Then again, what else if left to the poor man? It's tough to be the incumbent and run a campaign based on the promise of Change. But this seems to be what El Gordo is attempting. Good luck with that.

Labour appear to have accepted that they've lost the Change vs Experience battle and so they've opted, rather brazenly you might say, to present themselves and their platform as "Real Change". The Tories, on the other hand, presumably offer phoney Change. It's a risky business, this Change stuff and you have to be very careful you don't buy the wrong type of Change. 

This leads us to the curious situation in which the sitting government argues that replacing them with the opposition would be to maintain the same-old same-old everyone is heartily sick of. No, the only way to have real Change is not to Change the government. Once elected, you see, a Labour government will embark upon a whole series of big, shiny, radical Changes whereas the Tories would be no Change at all.

It's almost as if Labour are trying to persuade you that they're the opposition and the Tories the incumbents. Rum stuff indeed but this at least helps explain why they're droning on about Change all of a sudden. Again, if I understand them correctly, it boils down to this: If you're fed-up and scunnered and really unhappy vote for the party that's run the country for the past 13 years because, we warn you, voting for the opposition is voting for more of the same and no Change at all.

This all seems unecessarily complicated. Voters might think it simpler just to vote for the other mob.

Anyway, perhaps Labour are right to concede the Change vs Experience battle. But the problem with their new message is that it simply reinforces the idea that Change is a good thing and common-sense demands that we treat this notion that Gordon is Captain Change with the derision it merits.

Written byAlex Massie

Alex Massie is Scotland Editor of The Spectator. He also writes a column for The Times and is a regular contributor to the Scottish Daily Mail, The Scotsman and other publications.

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