If people are telling you, Dominic, that the Government is dysfunctional on the basis of their tiny perspective... well, there may well be concerns that people have got. I do think that making decisions quickly and executing them is essential to good government, and I've learnt that over the past 10 years."This was a genuinely revealing interview with a politician who knows what has to be done but can't quite bring herself to say (or do) what we all know she is thinking. I remember all the speeches an interviews given by the likes of Michael Heseltine, Peter Walker, et al. They were pored over by Westminster Kremlinologists, who were searching for any sign of disloyalty to the leader. Yesterday it was Hazel Blears's turn. Today it will be David Miliband's.
An overt reference to Brown's dithering and lack of decision making ability?
Some people are saying that he's a decent man, we're sick of all these attacks, pulling someone apart, we don't like it. But then there are concerns from people: do they really know him? I think there is a responsibility to try and connect more with people... If you're not careful, people think you're out of touch and you don't understand them, and I think that's a very bad place for politicians to be."
Which is where, by implication, she thinks Gordon is.
When people think about Gordon, it might be that he's a bit serious and dour – but experienced... People make their political decisions not just rationally, but emotionally as well, and I think that our government needs to be more emotionally intelligent, and the bit that Cameron has got is a language...
So Gordon lacks emotional intelligence.
So I asked Blears: is it your position that Gordon Brown remains the only person who can lead the country at this time? "My position is that, at a time of economic global turbulence, I think that the Labour Party needs to get on with the job of trying to protect ordinary people as they go about their lives." You will observe that Blears chose not to answer a simple question with the simple answer: yes.
She's not the only one.
I genuinely think at the moment that if we have a big bloodbath in the Labour Party... I would rather we didn't get into that sort of internecine warfare. And if the party can find another way through and face its challenges, then I think it will be in a better place."
Those words raise many more questions than they answer.
Monday, September 22, 2008
Decoding Mrs Blears
On the face of it, Dominic Lawson got a corker of an interview in yesterday's Independent on Sunday - with none other than that picture of permanent chirpiness, Hazel Blears. Jane Merrick thinks it spells big trouble for one G Brown. Let's give her words a light 'fisk'... (my comments in blue italics)...