James Forsyth

Is Brown finished?

Is Brown finished?
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“I think Brown’s character, specifically the lack of charisma or warmth will prevent him being able to bring it back. When problems hit Brown will never be able get away with a winning smile and a “I’m a pretty straight sort of guy” or “well, John is John”, he can’t charm he was out of problems, can’t convince people that, whatever has gone wrong, he is fundamentally a decent chap doing his best. Neither has he yet shown any ability to project a vision or purpose for his government that the public can relate to, perhaps in other circumstances that wouldn’t matter, competence would be enough, but to differentiate himself from Blair he needs to. He also doesn’t seem to have the knack of keeping the press onside - from having Fleet Street at his feet he seems to have alienated them rapidly, without a turnaround in press attitude it will be difficult for Brown to turnaround the government’s position. 

So putting my cards on the table, I think Brown is finished.”Anthony Wells’s assessment of Brown’s difficulties is well worth reading in full. Although, as Wells makes clear he doesn’t expect Brown to be challenged for the labour leadership. 

Brown’s problems and how difficult it will be for him to get round them suggest that the obvious thing for him to do is to try and drive up David Cameron’s negatives. Over at Three Line Whip, Iain predicts that we’re soon going to see a class-based assault on Cameron.

Written byJames Forsyth

James Forsyth is Political Editor of the Spectator. He is also a columnist in The Sun.

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