Friday, May 15, 2009

Polly no longer thinks Gordon is the savior

Polly has obviously lost all hope in Gordon Brown now

Even after that calamity, at Tuesday's political cabinet, with blood already on the highway, the prime minister's indecision was terminal and fatal. I am told a leading cabinet minister gave him a strong and detailed expenses reform plan, with a script for presenting it. But it sat on his desk for many days. He couldn't make up his mind, he was "reflecting" on it. Since nothing is proposed to cabinet without Brown's prior support, the plan was never presented, the discussion was diffuse and nothing was resolved. But when Cameron announced his press conference for a few hours later, it was plain he had a plan of his own. So Harriet Harman was sent out in a hurry to present a plan the cabinet hadn't discussed. Cameron triumphed: it hardly mattered what he said or if his plan made sense – it too may unravel – when he showed himself forcefully decisive in a crisis and his words answered the wrathful spirit of the times: "Politicians have done things that are unethical and wrong. I don't care if they were within the rules – they were wrong." Compare and contrast that with Gordon Brown days later: "Where there is irregularity it has to be dealt with." For two weeks Chief Whip Nick Brown – and therefore Gordon Brown – knew what Elliot Morley had done because he told them, but no action was taken. That's what happens in a bunker under siege where dwindling trusted advisers lose touch with the daylight world outside.

Only Alan Johnson can prevent Labour catastrophe | Polly Toynbee | Comment is free | The Guardian

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