Sunday, 26 April 2009

Times Ditches Labour, Brown

It's certainly worth having a look at this Leader in the Sunday Times. There's more to it than merely the stinging, relentless criticism of Labour and Brown. Up till now it had been a rumour supported by the a series of anti-government stories, but this is the article that signals that the all-important Murdoch endorsement has definitely expired.

For me, these parts in this regard are particularly, if obliquely, significant:
The new top rate will not raise enough money to compensate for the message that it sends to ambitious and hard-working people: “the more you make, the more we take”. Forget the exodus of the rich to Switzerland, America and Monaco, important though it may be. Many of the rich reluctantly accept they should pay more tax, but only if they feel the state is using that money prudently and living within its means.
Combined with the Lawson assault in the Telegraph, this is all beginning to look terrible for Brown. But while the DT's allegiance is hard to determine, the Times has almost certainly jumped ship and is now very nearly on board the SS Cameron.
That bond has been broken, with the private sector taking almost all of the the pain of the recession. It furthermore explicitly breaks a Labour manifesto commitment that Mr Brown solemnly swore to keep four years ago.
This is devastating stuff because it sounds so personal. Someone at the Times is hopping mad and that someone is most likely its owner. One thing is certain, though, it's proof positive that Brown can now expect active campaigning for his head on a platter in at least one heavyweight paper. Murdoch is out for blood. The Times leader hammers home the point, mercilessly:

The public is beginning to see Mr Brown in a new light. The principled politician now looks unprincipled. Instead of honesty, we have had dishonesty. Instead of a moral compass, we have had an immoral and sleazy Downing Street machine. Instead of prudence, we have had an imprudence rarely seen before in British history. Commentators have begun to liken him to Richard Nixon, clever but flawed, angry and willing to use any means to stay in power.

For the people of Britain, the consequences of that imprudence will be with us for many years. It will take nearly a decade to get public borrowing to acceptable levels – if the markets allow us that long – and until the 2030s to get government debt back to the 40% “ceiling”. Whoever wins the general election, we can look forward to years of austerity and tax rises.

For 'the public' read 'this paper', and for 'this paper' read 'our boss'!

I'm convinced now that Brown can't last the year without an election because he's broken too many promises, made too many enemies and totally lost control of the news agenda.

In that election, Labour will be kicked-out.

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