Monday, 25 September 2006

A happy Jock is a whingeing Jock

Point by point, phrase by phrase, I could pull Mr Brown and his awesome speech apart. But I have better things to do.

Brown's speech was remarkable for many reasons. Foremost among them was his devastating analysis of his own failure. Every one of his manifesto policies (for that is exactly what they were) do nothing but rectify his own mistakes. Hardly surprising I suppose. The defining feature of this Government has always been its tactic of causing a mess and then demanding pocket money for cleaning it up.

No matter how hard he tries to pretend that he has had nothing to do with the last ten years, he remains its most prominent author. You would have thought that he'd have realised that with everyone of the heartfelt mentions of today's social ills, he ploughed another bullet into his foot.

To everyone who was listening, he revealed the true Brown - the one who vastly prefers the pleasure of complaining, the endless battle of opposition and the pulpit frisson of "fighting the good fight" to the harsh realities of government and actually solving the problems. It was a "one hand, one bounce" speech. It was the premeditated squawk of a small child pleading not to be given out first ball.

It was a speech worthy of the Labour Party Conference in 1996. Trouble is that after ten years in office, a decade to make a difference, this hour long speech was devoted to mourning his own failure.

The other aspect missed by all others was Mr Brown's very obvious firing of the starting gun in the impending leadership race. Everyone hails a speech by a future Prime Minister, even though apparently no such vacancy exists. The speech was treacherous and should have sparked all manner of in fighting. It would be serious if it weren't for the fact that Mr Brown simultaneously fired the gun and staged a false start. If you were one of Gordon's adversary's tonight, you'd be pretty naffed off.

By all accounts, the next General Election is going to be a bit heavy on the relish!

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