Monday, 16 November 2009

Sealing the Deal

Obviously I'm in total agreement with the great William Rees-Mogg, who gave us a terrific, clear-headed and wise article in the Times this morning, when he says that Brown should not cling on to power. It's definitely worth reading, not least because his assessment of the several possible outcomes of the next election, according to polling evidence, all point only to one conclusion (as far as I can discern): Brown is such an unpopular and divisive figure, tainted by his dirty politics and spectacular failures, that he would find it incredibly difficult, if not impossible, to form a government even if Labour did win the most seats in a hung parliament, which all evidence to date suggests is the least worst possible outcome for them. Short of a miracle, Brown is sunk. As the author concludes, logically:

Most people do want the next general election to produce a definite result; they do not want to wait for a second election, as in 1974. The voters feel that it is time for a change. The Prime Minister has lost the confidence of the public.

There is also a pressing need to clear up the budget deficit. It is now so large that Government expenditure will have to be cut, and taxes will have to be raised by any government that may be elected.

We shall need a decisive prime minister, and, in comparison with Gordon Brown, David Cameron does seem to be a man who can make up his mind. Gordon Brown should have asked for a new mandate on the day that he become Prime Minister. I suspect that public reaction to his indecision and delay will produce a decisive election result in five months’ time.

Couldn't agree more, but that will not stop Brown from embarking upon the longest, most bitter, ugly and damaging campaign in British political history. It will start with the Queen's Speech but it will end in bloody election defeat for Labour. The most significant polling news yet that supports this view, and adds further weight to the arguments of William Rees-Mogg, can be found in this report in the Guardian about their latest ICM poll (hat tip: John Ward).
The Tory leader is now regarded as tougher, more decisive and more internationally respected than Gordon Brown, who has reaped little benefit from his stewardship of the response to the banking crisis.

Labour can draw some comfort from a narrowing of the gap between the two parties at national level – the Conservatives are on 42% to Labour's 29% – but that would still be enough to give the Tories a clear majority at the next election.

Equally worrying for ministers, Cameron appears to be cementing his reputation with voters on key issues of character – suggesting that voting Tory isn't just about being fed up with Labour, but is now being seen as a positive move.

Cameron is, after all, sealing the deal. Try as he might - and make no mistake now (as I have done in the past), he will most definitely try - there is nothing that Brown can do to halt the building momentum that is propelling Cameron to Downing Street - and the toughest job he could ever have wished for: clearing up the disastrous mess left behind by his unelected, worse than useless predecessor. I don't envy him that for one minute, but I will say this about Cameron: the fact that he wants to try certainly means he has courage.


  1. Courage...I'm sure someone wrote a book on that, followed by it's bestselling successor, Irony.


Any thoughts?