David Blackburn

No way to lead a nation

No way to lead a nation
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It's been terrible a morning for Gordon Brown in the editorials and on the front pages. And David Cameron, scenting blood, has condemned Gordon Brown’s leadership over the al-Megrahi affair. These pieces share the same basic analysis: Brown’s calculated caution is the cause of his problems. John Rentoul, admittedly no fan of the PM, writes in today’s Independent:

‘This has everything to do with a pattern of behaviour, an inbuilt caution that served Brown well enough on the road to No 10, but which is disastrous in anyone actually holding the top job.’

Brown’s leadership style has been unremittingly disastrous because it is not leadership; it is the political equivalent of covering one’s eyes and pretending no one can see what you are or are not doing.

There’s no doubt that Brown personally is the major factor in Labour’s freefall over the last 18 months. Despite all the impediments, it beats me why he hasn’t been ditched, and I suspect their last chance has now been and gone. Rentoul argues it’s ‘too late for Gordon Brown’; but, by failing to unseat the PM when it had the chance (multiple chances), it’s now too late for Labour to be the master of its electoral fate.