Gordon Brown has promised a spin-free administration. Sounds good – ‘cept it’s bollocks though.
This piece by Tim Hames has either been penned by someone hopelessly out of the loop, or it is in itself a plausible piece of spin from a Brown-friendly source. I was wrestling these possibilities until I reached the second last paragraph, which confirmed the former was more likely to be true.
Tim wrote: ‘The idea that a morning radio news programme had somehow displaced Parliament in importance is absurd.’
Not in practice. Those words were published on July 9. By July 11 the Sartre-esque absurdist Gordon Brown appeared on Radio 4 to give a preview of his own Queen’s speech preview speech. You just can’t keep a lid on him – that jaunty Scots exuberance boils over again.
In fact, on July 10 – just 24 hours after Tim Hames wrote about how in the dark he was – Colin Brown was able to reveal how close to the big bright lights of No 10 he was. So, within the space of 48 hours, Labour gave a preview of the preview of the Queen’s speech preview.
[I suspect Brown’s advisors ran with Colin Brown as a form of apology for this. For its part, the Independent’s hardest-hitting response came from its readers. We know Brown is into listening and learning, so maybe he reads the Indie letters page as well.]
In the end, Brown’s speech to the Commons was well received. It was a day to skewer tradition and seem modern. The whole episode on Wednesday was hyped (spun?) as breaking with centuries of stuffy tradition.
But from the day he awkwardly strode into No 10, Brown had pledged to change things. And in particular to put Parliament ahead of the media when it comes to announcements (another ‘tradition’ skewered, but this time within hours of its creation).
Such Presbyterian temperance in matters media can’t work and, so far, I doubt very much whether it’s actually been in operation. Clearly, GB is as much a Blairite as TB himself. Labour was dominated by the influence of the TB-GBs. In spite of everything, so it continues.
An accomplished hack-bariste when dispensing the frothy cynicism, Anne Applebaum thinks that should GB continue in the same mode, it won’t be such a bad thing for him.
Whereas if David Cameron continues to plough the same furrow, then she foresees a series of very bad events ahead for the whole project. I’m not so sure.
But one thing is clear – the Lib Dems aren’t even on the map… t’ra Ming.