James Forsyth

Why the political class is underestimating the potency of the Rawnsley revelations

Why the political class is underestimating the potency of the Rawnsley revelations
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There can’t be a journalist in Westminster who hasn’t heard tales of Gordon Brown’s temper, his foul-mouthed outbursts and the disgraceful way he lashes out at his staff. I suspect that this means we are underestimating how the voting public will view the revelations in Andrew Rawnsley’s new book.

The journalistic consensus last night was that the Mail on Sunday’s scoop of a few weeks back of what was in the book had drained it of much of its impact. But it was, oddly enough, only when I saw the Mail on Sunday front page that it sank in how damaging the Rawnsley revelations were. The headline read, ‘Brown told: You must not abuse staff’.

Journalists might have known about Brown’s rages but I suspect that it hadn’t entered into the consciousness of the public. The voter who sees that headline is going to be shocked by it. Indeed, it is quite remarkable that the Cabinet Secretary had to take Brown aside and tell him that his behaviour was not befitting of his office.

If the national conversation is focused on Brown’s behaviour and whether it is acceptable then I suspect this book will have a significant political impact.

 

Written byJames Forsyth

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

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