Peter Hoskin

The curtain starts to fall on Gordon Brown

The curtain starts to fall on Gordon Brown
Text settings

There's a strange fin de siècle air about Labour this weekend: a new appreciation that the forthcoming election marks either the end of their reign, or – at best – is the start of a different, diluted kind of power.  There are still a few signs of life and struggle, sure.  I mean, Gordon Brown's interview with Jeremy Paxman last night was fairly proficient by his standards, if typically disingenuous.  But, even then, the PM is struggling to move the conversation on from Gillian Duffy.  In interview with the Telegraph today, he admits that he has "paid [a] heavy price" for his gaffe. That line forms the headline of the article.

Even Tony Blair can't inject much joy into Labour's campaign.  He should have been campaigning for the party two weeks ago, but was delayed by the ash cloud – so now it looks as though he's returned to sift through the wreckage of his successor's premiership.  He slaps on a defiant face in interview with the Times today, but two non-denials stand out from the text.  First, he doesn't deny that he likes Michael Gove's school reform plans, and, second, he doesn't deny that "he would have liked to do more as Prime Minister, but felt held back by his Chancellor".  So, the spotlight has long since faded on Blair's dream, and now it's set to do likewise for Brown.  Exeunt omnes.