Saturday, April 26, 2008

Gordon Brown's Tipping Point

I'm sat in a queue for the Blackwall tunnel on my way to West Ham. While we wait for the traffic to move I have just read Matthew Parris's stunning analysis of Gordon Brown's precarious position in today's Times. Read it HERE.

His analysis of the Conservative Party's readiness to take power does not make happy reading, but he believes it could happen sooner than most of us think. He also says the Tories have more to lose than gain in this Thursday's elections.

In short, Matthew Parris demonstrates yet again why he is Britain's undisputed Number One political commentator.


Anonymous said...

Yes, Parris is an outstanding political commentator. The best by far. But his column left me with a sense of disquiet.

We'll be rid of Gordon shortly, but the man who will step into his shoes is Labour-Lite Lite - a limousine socialist in his soul with absolutely no sense of connection with the ordinary people of Britain. Not because he's an OE,who usually seem to connect outstandingly well, but because he has a socialist mindset. He has never run anything but a PR department, briefly.

This is all happening too fast, before we have someone in place who has deep beliefs and therefore no need for practising public relations gesture politics - like firing Patrick Mercer for no reason except he thought it looked macho to fire a soldier. On his mobile because he couldn't do it in person.

I have contempt for this individual. I even hate his unlined, character free vapid little face, but I know they won't sack him this close to an election. And I know that when he gets in, he will take us further down the path to national destruction.

Graeme Archer said...

I thought it was another masterpiece too. Matthew Parris, more than anyone else, saw through Brown a long, long time ago. He (Mr Parris) is also such a patently decent and kindly man that his ferocious disdain for Brown is even more telling. And, of course, he just writes beautifully.

About a hundred years ago, before the web, when I was a teenager, I wrote a letter to him at the Times, to say how much I loved his writing, that he had the most amazing ability to put into words the thoughts which remained inchoate and muddled in my head. A typical teenage fan letter, in other words. He sent me a thank you note, hand written, back. A real gentleman and, still, a hero of mine.

In the medium term Brown may recover a little in the polls, and you can be sure that the media pack which is jumping on his bloodied prone body at the moment will switch back to lecturing us about what a fantastically strong leader he is. Not Mr Parris. Thank God for Matthew Parris.

Mr Eugenides said...

Using a mobile device while driving, Iain? A brave admission... ;-)

Anonymous said...

Mr Eugenides - Did Iain say he was driving, or did he say he was sitting in a car?

Graeme - Indeed a decent and kindly man. And a keeper of llamas. What more could one want?

Anonymous said...

I disagree that Parris writes beautifully. His style is dreadful and pompous.

However, he is the only writer describing the Great Helmsman as "mad", which is something that needs to be said.

Blairites predicted Brown would be the first PM to be dragged out of No. 10 in a straitjacket and as Parris says, he ain't gonna go quietly.

Meanwhile the Tories need to be reminded by Dale Boy that their job is to oppose.

This would be as easy as putting on a suit and smiling, but they prefer abject inaction.

And Dale Boy wonders why we hate all politicians.

Anonymous said...

Verity, Parris will have left with you with disquiet because you are coming to realise what he writes about your sort of thinking is true - too shrill, too unthinking, bad for Britain.

Parris labels you and the ContinuityIDS fruitloops "right-wing nutters, xenophobes, reactionaries and over-simplifiers" - and you only have a sense of disquiet? How about recognising you are wrong, and contributing to the upholding of the Labour Government?

Oscar Miller said...

I think there is a real danger of an anti-Tory backlash after 1st May. I sense the liberal establishment is incensed by the utterly unpredicted collaspe of their hero, the Gargantuan Gordon, and the equally unpredicted teflon resiliance of a man they regard as a 'PR empty head' - David Cameron. (about whom you are wrong Verity). If Boris fails to get elected and if the conservatives don't make big gains on Thursday - there will be a bonanza of crowing and triumphalism from Labour and their media cronies. At the last two local elections Tories made signficiant gains but were subjected to endless baracking in BBC interviews and news headlines announcing they hadn't made any significant breakthrough. This time around it could be very bruising indeed. Matthew Parris's article is very perceptive on all kinds of levels. Piecing together the full Conservative jigsaw and making it visible for everyone to see will be vital.

Anonymous said...

Yes, a most insightful piece from Matthew Parris. Unfortunately the part-completed jigsaw analogy is all too accurate. If Brown remains standing until 2010 there is still time for Cameron and his team to complete the jigsaw. But what would happen if Brown is ousted in a leadership challenge and an election is called sooner rather than later? In my view the Conservative position will continue to improve the longer that Brown remains in power. It's less clear what that position would be if Brown were to go within a matter of a few months.

Anonymous said...

Verity probably thinks she (?) sounds clever but in fact is just smug and pompous.

No PM ever has had 'experience'. No one has had enough 'experience' of running a country before election. That does not mitigate against them.

So trying to work out if he might make a good PM by the (apparent) lack of lines on his face is a stupidity of monumental though award winningly original proportions.

Cameron is simply a fairly straight forward mainstream conservative. To the left of me but then most people are.

Anonymous said...

I remember hearing him on radio, making the point that Dave would only get a narrow majority. So if he was wrong then what's to say he is right now?

He can no more predict the future than you or I.

Anonymous said...

2:10 - I couldn't understand your confused post, but you sound batty.

Oscar Miller - It's too soon for an election. We haven't reached the tipping point yet. And I have no reason to place your opinion of Cameron above my own.

Mike H - Absolutely!

Daniel said...

Red Ken has done well to become independent of Nu Labour, so it will be difficult for Boris to beat or stick the 10p Tax to Ken.

To be honest the race for mayor is not that important to the United Kingdom.

However, more concerning for Labour, is the potential wipe out on the London Assembly itself. Labour could lose all current AM's. That would be a bigger blow.

Alex said...

Well said the anonymong @ 2:10.

Parris' analysis of the decline of the last Conservative government was spot on. The election in 1997 was not won by Labour so much as thrown away by the behaviour of the Gormanite wing of the party. Cameron is doing a good job winning back the vote of those who agree with broad Conservative principles, but who were frightened off by the shrill behaviour of right wingers in the party, probably over-represented in the blogosphere.

Scipio said...

It's a great article, and I agree with almost every word.

except his analysis of the right in the Tory party. I think that a lot of people are ready to listen to what the economic right have to say on matters of taxing and spending.

I don;t think however that the public is ready for a period of authoritarian right wing posturing. They have had their fill of an authoritarian left wing Government for over ten years.

What the Tories need to do is show they will stabilise thiings quickly, then begin a slow process of reform which will (a) reduce state interference in things where the state shouldn't be interfeering, (b) review taxes - and reduce them and (c) begin a discussion on some of the wider issues which no party has dared really challenge for 20 years - immigration, the Union, Europe.

Anonymous said...

Yes, the party needs to give the lie to those that say the choice currently is between Blue Labour and Red Labour.

Baldwin said...

I agree that Matthew Parris is perhaps the best political writer of all and his Saturday column is a weekly highlight.

He not always right but he's not too proud to change his mind (see today's article).

Like Matthew, I've never had time for Brown who has been over-rated by so many people who should have known better.

I disagree with Verity's dislike of Cameron. He has his faults as we all do and he was a bit quick to sack Mercer. Bear in mind a few months ago most Tories were scared of their own shadows. Overall though Cameron is bright and doing a good job.

Brian said...

Surely Gordon Brown's Tipping Point is that "There is now no need for tipping since this government introduced the minimum wage, tax credits, increased child benefits, reduced unemployment, increased employment... etc, etc". I bet his steak gets kicked round the kitchen and everyone spits in the soup. Don't touch the orage juice, Mr Brown.

Andrew Allison said...

Matthew Parris has for a long time been my favourite. His analysis is spot on. All Tories need to take heed of his words.

An analogy I would use is that at the moment Conservative Party policies are rather like an impressionist painting. We sort of understand what we stand for, but it is rather hazy. More detail is definately needed.

Oscar Miller said...

And I have no reason to place your opinion of Cameron above my own.

Fair enough Verity!

Anonymous said...

Adrian Yalland @ 4.13pm is spot on in his observations and comment, especially his last paragraph.
Don't for one moment think that when DC gets in and becomes PM all will be sweetness and light. There are NO instant solutions but a long slog ahead to right the wrongs of the last 11+ years.

Anonymous said...


You don't mitigate against something.

Anonymous said...

TrevorH said...
"mitigate against him"

Anonymous said...

verity said...
"2:10 - I couldn't understand your confused post"

Everyone else did.

"...but you sound batty"

It takes one to know one.

Anonymous said...

Iain lpease confirm you were reading whilst driving a car. For the tape please.

Anonymous said...

verity said...

"And I know that when [Cameron] gets in, he will take us further down the path to national destruction."

True, but that's a good thing. It's going to happen anyway as things are too far gone to reverse. So the sooner it happens the better.

Before last Summer it appeared that, as part of this now unavoidable and needed process, the tory party would die. Since then nulab have proved that they are seriously intent on suicide are will, it now appears, beat the tories to extinction.

It doesn't really matter which goes first. Before any possible renewal there must first be far more destruction. Go Dave.

CROWN said...

My favourite - an interview with the PM