Alex Massie

Gordon’s Asset Management

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Jackie Ashley argues that Gordon Brown deserves the extra time she thinks he bought with his speech yesterday, even though she concedes it won't be nearly enough to save him in the long run. But I was also struck by this:

His wife Sarah's appearance was touching and starry: she is truly his greatest asset.

Iron rule of politics: anytime hacks start referring to the leader's spouse as his/her "greatest asset" it's time for sentient folk to head for the lifeboats. cf,  Laura Bush. A good wife (or husband) is not enough. Sarah Brown's appearance introducing the Prime Minister was a) obviously borrowed from American politica and, more importantly, b) a sign of weakness not strength. She was there as a sort of human shield to protect Gordon from the nasties who want to do him in.

Theoretically Brown could recover from all this. But it still seems exceedingly unlikely. The public may not be entirely sold on Cameron's Tories but they know they don't want a fourth Labour term. His line about how "we did fix the roof while the sun was shining" is going to leave a lot of people asking: well, why are we wet then? Equally, I'm unpersuaded that the electorate will buy a Labour campaign based upon the promise: Fret not, my bairns, I know I got you into this mess but I'm the only person who knows how to lead you out. Stay with Nurse, for fear of worse!

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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