The Spectator

What Gordon was up to

What Gordon was up to
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This morning’s must-read is Mary Anne Sieghart’s column in The Times about Brown’s maneuvering over the past few days. Here’s her key point:

"That this was not properly thought through inclines me to believe that Mr Brown’s approach was never really serious. He knew that he would look good whether Sir Menzies and Lord Ashdown said yes or no. Like Nicolas Sarkozy, he would be reaching magnanimously across the political divide. He would confound his critics by appearing open-minded and outward-looking. To those middle England voters who are unaware that the Lib Dems have moved to the left, he would look as if he were joining forces with a moderate, centrist party. To the more politically aware Guardian and New Statesman readers who have forsaken Labour for the Lib Dems, he would be sending a signal that Labour was back on their side. And, by using a fresh, new approach to Cabinet-making, he would be able to present himself as a real change from the Blair regime.”

Sieghart also points out that Sir Ming would have had more flexibility if he had agreed to field a joint mayoral candidate with the Tories. Do read the whole thing, her thoughts on Brown's likely next set of counter-intuitive job offers is particularly noteworthy.