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Brown presents himself as a modern-day Churchill?

Nick Robinson | 11:56 UK time, Wednesday, 10 March 2010

The prime minister didn't promise "blood, sweat, tears" or "to fight them on the beaches" but try reading this quote from the prime minister's speech this morning in a gravelly Churchillian voice and you'll see what he was up to:

"We are weathering the storm; now is no time to turn back. We will hold to our course. And we will complete this mission. We have got through this storm together but there are still substantial risks ahead. There will be bumps in the road. And I believe the only way to overcome them is by displaying the same strength and resolve as we did during the crisis. I will not let you down."

The prime minister's pursuing the strategy of presenting himself as a modern day Churchill which I first outlined last September when I wrote that:

"For months now, party strategists have believed that Gordon Brown's best chance of holding on to power is if the election is held in an atmosphere which feels more like 1944 than 1945 - in other words, that the country must feel that it cannot risk changing its economic wartime leader. Otherwise, they've warned the prime minister, the electorate may treat him as they treated Churchill, saying, in effect, 'thanks for all you did but now it's time to go'."

Thus today Gordon Brown describes himself as "a crisis leader" and a man with the courage to "take the tough decisions and stick to them" who is willing to tell people "not what they want to hear but ...what they need to know".

This argument was not helped by the head of M&S Sir Stuart Rose, who yesterday suggested that what people needed to know was that the government would cut its spending now. He told the BBC:

"Our customer, Tesco's customer, Sainsbury's customer etc are not stupid. They know that the UK economy is in a difficult situation, they know effectively we are over borrowed and they know there is medicine to be taken. I am an advocate of having that medicine earlier and more regularly because we know if we don't take the medicine now the medicine will be more painful for us to take later."

When I interviewed Mr Brown this morning and put this quote to him it was the only time he looked discomforted.

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Beyond the political positioning, this morning's speech contained three important arguments that will shape the debate running up the election:

• He claims it's necessary to keep spending now since the private sector cannot sustain recovery on its own.

• He argues that Labour, unlike the Tories will pursue an active industrial policy in which government creates the infrastructure the country needs - high speed rail and nuclear power - and partners the private sector in creating jobs in sectors such as the digital economy, biotechnology and advanced manufacturing.

• He calls for the same urgency shown by the world during the crisis to be demonstrated again so as to avoid a decade of sluggish growth and to agree a global levy on the banks.

Comments

Page 1 of 6

  • Comment number 1.

    He is NO churchill and we are not at war with an enemy , he has created a situtation where we are at war with our selfs

  • Comment number 2.

    They have dithered for 13 years over the Nuclear issue and now want to ranm it down our throats

  • Comment number 3.

    did you ask him about the labour non-doms ?

  • Comment number 4.

    did you ask him why he did not start the efficiency saving 3 years ago ?

    Did you ask him why he only wants to slow the rise in the debt but not actually put it in reverse and what interest cost his grandchildren will face as a result of this ?

  • Comment number 5.

    Did you ask him about the 22 helicopter and the new vehicle and the posturing of spending on the armed forces just because there is a run up to an election ?


    did you askhim anthing of any substance ?

  • Comment number 6.

    did you ask about his addiction to debt and spending other peoples money in a profligate fashion

    did you ask about soivitism huge areas of the country dependant on him for there well being and not there own efforts ?

  • Comment number 7.

    Did you ask him when the election was going to be held , as he is out there campianging and not date set, where is his courage to call the election then ?

  • Comment number 8.

    Yeap he is a crisis leader all right a crisis of his own making

  • Comment number 9.

    Did you push him further on the tesco qoute as this is where the debate has to be held the mountian of DEBT he has created , his legacy

    did you push him like you pushed camerson on the LA issue ?

  • Comment number 10.

    When is he going to come clean about the state of the public finances and start to tell the truth?

  • Comment number 11.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • Comment number 12.

    Didn't Churchill get voted out the election after he "saved the world"?

  • Comment number 13.

    IR35 Survivor @ 1 and 10 and all between,

    Never seen that done before! Wonder what you'll be saying? Brown has a more manly voice than either Clegg or Cameron - a deep bass to their floaty tenor - and so he's the only one of the trio who can maybe get away with a bit of a Churchill vibe. That's not saying he will get away with it, of course, or that he should even try.

  • Comment number 14.

    This is like no recession ever seen before and rich people like stuart rose can afford to say pay back more now - they've got millions/billions in the bank to pay their credit card bills. It is the rest of the country that continuously bail out large failed businesses who can't afford to see the UK sink into depression which risk our, jobs and homes.

    Yes it will cost more in the long term, but paying back when you don't know whether you have the means to pay is plain daft. For all his mainly failings at least Gordon understands this problem better than most and certainly is a safer pair of hands than that adolescent Etonian twit

  • Comment number 15.

    "There will be bumps in the road" is that the first offical indication that this will be a double dip ressesion?

  • Comment number 16.

    There is only one enemy and that is the enemy within.

    Socialists.

  • Comment number 17.

    "• He argues that Labour, unlike the Tories will pursue an active industrial policy in which government creates the infrastructure the country needs - high speed rail and nuclear power - and partners the private sector in creating jobs in sectors such as the digital economy, biotechnology and advanced manufacturing."

    His had 13years to approve new nuclear power.... The lights are going out in 2015 and we well be paying Massive fines on using DRAX from next winter.

    Again he has had 13years to approve HS2, Prescott turned down a privatly funded HS2 during his ten year transport plan review in 1998/9. Had he approved it it would be nearing completion by now.

  • Comment number 18.

    And this tells us what precisely, Nick?

    The only Churchill he bears any resemblance to is the nodding dog in the TV Insurance ads.

    And as for the Stuart Rose piece: "When I interviewed Mr Brown this morning and put this quote to him it was the only time he looked discomforted".... yeah, I bet he did.

    Stuart Rose is someone who has been at the helm of a british institution in a crisis, has shown visionary leadership, solid governance and has managed to pull the proverbial ship away from the rocks. Been there, seen it, done it, sold the T shirt.

    Brown? Erm........ her cant discredit Rose. Cant fling any jibes, any Ashcroft type guff at him, he cant answer him.

    Funny that.

  • Comment number 19.

    Nick

    party strategists have believed that Gordon Brown's best chance of holding on to power is if the election is held in an atmosphere which feels more like 1944 than 1945


    ====================================================
    This is like the War

    The problem is hes holding a piece of paper in his hand say No More Boom and Bust at the steps of the plane.

    We only have to go through the Norway debacle and he will be kicked out. Then someone with some credibility, who has been trying to get their message across for years about The Gathering Storm will come in and rescue the situation.

    That is the real parallel.

    Churchill the greatest leader of all time.
    Brown created the greatest peacetime crisis of all time.


  • Comment number 20.

    This comment has been referred for further consideration. Explain.

  • Comment number 21.

    So Brown will let public sector pay grow 3 billion less and claims he is putting the country's finances on solid footing.

    Well,

    3 billion is less than half a percent of total annual government spending of 750 billion.

    3 billion is less than the current budget deficit per week of 3.5 billion.

    PS Through linking integrity, personality with policy Mr Brown aims to taint everyone who questions his policies. It is also a trick to say that the conervatives can not know what is best for the country because some of them have not suffered any hardship given their background. This is a dangerous ploy and no one should allow Brown the leeway to get away with this.

  • Comment number 22.

    "When I interviewed Mr Brown this morning and put this quote to him it was the only time he looked discomforted."

    Says everything we need to know.

  • Comment number 23.

    Thus today Gordon Brown describes himself as "a crisis leader" and a man with the courage to "take the tough decisions and stick to them" who is willing to tell people "not what they want to hear but ...what they need to know".

    Brown is more a crisis maker than leader.

    And as to 'not telling people what they want to hear', thats ALL he ever does, then behind the scenes does whatever he wants. The man is a compulsive liar, an utter disgrace.

  • Comment number 24.

    Brown is not spending because it is the right thing to do. He is spending because it is all he knows how to do.

  • Comment number 25.

    The reason brown is saying that its right to keep spending is that it fits his agenda of buying an election.

    If he didn't say it was the right policy then he'd have no excuse to throw cash at whichever groups votes he needs to buy in a couple of months.

    The whole idea of having a budget around 6 weeks before an election is ridiculous, but of course labour need to find some way to circumvent real democracy and bribe the electorate.

  • Comment number 26.

    A Clown being reported by another - WHO cares - not me, as after Election the Tories will have got rid of one, and hopefully N.R. will follow.

    As for DEBT, publish the INTEREST REPAYMENTS of same , eye watering and mind boggling, and that is ONLY the interest, NOT the debt. Still this is NR and BBC so no hope of that.

  • Comment number 27.

    Most of the country see him as Chamberlain in May 1940
    "You have sat too long for any good you have been doing lately ... Depart, I say; and let us have done with you. In the name of God, go!"

  • Comment number 28.


    Modern-day Churchill - hmmmm, don't think so, unless you mean the dog off the insurance ads.

  • Comment number 29.

    All legitimate questions from IR35, Nick!
    I would like to ask why Ashton's post is more important than that of a labour nom-dom, also in the house of lords who sits on the PRIVY COUNCIL OF THIS COUNTRY? Yet another non-elected representative among the many ruling us at this moment. He must have far more influence on the actions of this government and the effects of their decisions on the people of this country. OK tax is tax and I for one, as a pensioner, have suffered under Mr Brown's period as chancellor but I do not remember seeing the prime minister make any pronouncements on paying tax on overseas earnings by these people until Mr Cameron said he planned to make this the case for all of them! Also - just how many non-doms contribute to NL - no-one is answering that!?
    Don't suppose you are responsible for the moderating of this message board but there seems to be an very long delay on replies by other contributers.

  • Comment number 30.

    Laugh? It is now 'the great global crisis'. It was just fortunate and thanks to El Brown that we were best placed to withstand it, if we would indeed have been affected at all.

    He is truly the Crisis Leader.

    I believe everything he says and promises - except when his lips move.

    Now if Mr Darling were to lead the party, the only front bencher with a stamp of honesty about him, my recently blue coloured eyes may have to revert.

  • Comment number 31.

    16. DAM.
    There is only one enemy and that is the enemy within (GREED).
    ALSO KNOWN AS FREE FOR ALL CAPITALISM. HASNT IT DONE WELL. JUST ASK THE BANKERS!!

  • Comment number 32.

    It's a disgrace for Brown to try and model himself as a 'modern day Churchill'. He lacks the courage, leadership and appeal; the thought of it is laughable.

  • Comment number 33.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • Comment number 34.

    Oh Dear he's gone completely delusional again.

    We're back to everything's global again and we need a new world order.

    Other countries are too busy putting their own houses in order and it's about time he started to do the same here if he has any time left.

    Outside the western world they have gained substantially and they aren't going to give up what they've got just to save us.

    A man of many faces is our Mr Brown but Churchill's is definitely not one of them

    Dream on!

  • Comment number 35.

    Ah yes, Churchill and Brown, the two great Prime Ministers of the modern era.

    Thanks Nick, I needed a good laugh to cheer me up.

  • Comment number 36.

    Of course it takes courage to borrow 3.5 billino pounds per week. And no, there are no doubts about Brown's personality (that's not stating how you view his personality).

    So then Mr Brown could pehaps answer 2 quite relevant questions:

    Why is the employment rate the lowest since the winter of 1997/97 despite the deficits since 2001 and growing public sector payrolls by 1 million?

    Why did you need 239 swiss francs for 100 pounds at the end of 1997 compared to 160 francs, 33% fewer, now?

  • Comment number 37.

    Surely the role of the interviewer is to uncover the truth not ask the expected questions. Since when have politicians been above having their logic questioned and be taken to task about their othe utterances. Brown appears to waltz through interviews never being asked question which are difficult and when he is and he obfuscates he is not brought back on task to answer. Have we or the interviewing class become subservient to the politicos?

    Even the interviewer pays the salary of the PM so how about giving him a hard time. From no more boom and burst to the storm is global and not my fault with out being asked to explain. Also how does he propose to do something, so far all I have heard are platitudes.

    What about his investments why have these words not been re-visited on him?

    Simple question how can you hold a budget without doing a full financial review. I thought that the latter must predate the former and not as Labour are proposing.

    Why was this not brought up.

    The CofE always used to announce the budget does this mean Brown is writing this one?

  • Comment number 38.

    What exactly as the point of that interview?

    That is a man who knows simultaneously that nobody is listening to him anymore and that he has nothing new to offer.

    Must be grim talking to an already committed 30% of the electorate who just want to grab hold of everyone else's money.

    Call an election.

  • Comment number 39.

    The BBC present GB as Churchill while tryign their hardest to present DC as Hilter ? say it all really

  • Comment number 40.

    Can someone please explain to me why we have a chancellor ????
    We could save a few quid by getting rid of Mr Darling (who to be fair does an OK job) because GB seems to announce everything !!!!!!

  • Comment number 41.

    #20 you can only post if you agree wit hthe BBC and Nu_labour

    so I take my previious psot back its all the fault of NU_labour and

    none of it was Lady T


    Ps NR did you ask GB about the Family Courts and the huge amiunt of public money wasted there.

    Also what about Veterans Support UK then did you ask him about that ?

    Next Time you interview GB can you step aside and let me do it, to we might at lest get the questions of relevance asked , although they will not be answered which will at least shows his lack of integrity

  • Comment number 42.

    Ahhhh. I see where Gordon Brown is going with this. Two wars down and another war to go .......

    The only problem is that where Winston Churchill was a giant, Brown has no claim to such stature.

    He is as culpable as Tony Blair for taking the United Kingdom into two wars/conflicts at the same time and he is individually responsible for signing the United Kingdom up to the Basle Banking Regulations which ultimately gave the Banks free rein to enter into the sub-Prime markets for which the British tax-payer foots the bill to pay for those massive errors of judgements that directly caused the global recession.

    Iraq is not yet-put-to-bed, Afghanistan is going to be an endless war and our childrens' children are going to have to pay for the banking regulation changes that were entirely mistakes of Gordon Brown and an excellent lesson we can all learn as to why we should not trust this man to manage a local newsagent shop let alone run our country!

  • Comment number 43.

    Nick
    "When I interviewed Mr Brown this morning and put this quote to him it was the only time he looked discomforted."

    So at a time when we have an election in weeks, are engaged in a difficult war and by his own admission are in difficult financial times the BBC's political editor can only put the Prime Minister under pressure is with someone else's comments. There are any number of issues that I would have thought might cause him to look discomforted if a journalist ever made him actually answer.

    I should point out that I am not joining the Robinson is a member of new labour brigade because he does no better with Cameron. But it is this largely sycophantic press that contributes to the lack of political interest in the country.

  • Comment number 44.

    Brown has not any credible policys just more lies and deceit "Churchill"
    is it - sorry mandy it wont work anymore just throw him in the skip!

  • Comment number 45.

    Duff as a modern day Churchill?
    Well, the country's finances are as wrecked as they were in 1945.
    And Duff can throw a bit of a strop apparently, like Churchill.
    Except Churchill did all he could to haul us out of a mess.
    But Duff has done all he could to haul us in.
    So, Duff, no cigar (unlike Churchill).

  • Comment number 46.

    SO NR you let him of the history of the last 13 years then , is that what mandy wants

  • Comment number 47.

    What a hoot! Not so much rhetoric as a mantra.

  • Comment number 48.

    Gordon Brown presides over a party that has no concept of strategic planning, so no matter how grand the vision is New Labour simply does not have the necessary organisation to achieve it.

    His concept of leadership is such that though he can think in terms of cuts, it is others who are required to the sacrifices while the MPs who created this mess are to get a rise.

    People would think a lot more of him if it was he and his colleagues who made the large sacrifices and it would bode better if MPs did so seek self-aggrandisement and desire to consider themselves above the law.

    Churchill was, after all, a man of the people but Brown is a man of the party.

    Instead of regarding the Conservatives and Lib-Dems as the opposition, he could have recognised the national emergency that faces us and worked with them to find a common course of action which all would support.

    Because he didn't we now have a situation where the ship is sinking and the crew are arguing amongst themselves about the best course of action to take, while the passengers stand by watching nervously.

    Having said that David Cameron's party seems to be no better and the only person to give me any confidence is Vince Cable, who seems to have a better grasp of the situation than Darling, Brown or Osborne put together.

    It would seem that come election time voters will have to weigh up the pros and cons of the situation very carefully as whoever is in charge is going to be in power for the next 5 years assuming the UK does not go bankrupt first.

  • Comment number 49.

    '14. At 12:51pm on 10 Mar 2010, dp wrote:
    This is like no recession ever seen before and rich people like stuart rose can afford to say pay back more now - they've got millions/billions in the bank to pay their credit card bills. It is the rest of the country that continuously bail out large failed businesses who can't afford to see the UK sink into depression which risk our, jobs and homes.

    Yes it will cost more in the long term, but paying back when you don't know whether you have the means to pay is plain daft. For all his mainly failings at least Gordon understands this problem better than most and certainly is a safer pair of hands than that adolescent Etonian twit'

    Absolutely! Stuart Rose is a fruitcake and should keep his thoughts to himself (Oh by the way, did he not personally supply Cameron's Wife with a dress for their Party conference?). Yes, sure pre-recession he returned a decent and respected store back to profit winning ways but when the CC then recession hit he was then forced to lay off over a thousand people and close over 25 stores purely because he and his team overestimated the sustainability of M&S expansion plans. Stuart Rose is no Gordon Brown he is a retailer and he should stick to what he knows. At this time there is no way that the private sector and individuals like Rose can fuel our recovery, that is a long way off, so for now Gordon Brown is doing the right thing. Keep the people in jobs, keep the people in homes it is the only way, it is the right way.

  • Comment number 50.

    Brown another Churchill?

    To paraphrase - I know what Churchill did, and Mr Brown you are NO Churchill

    I believe that Vince Cable had it right - Mr Bean ..

  • Comment number 51.

    We need more of this bloke. Staring into the mid distance with his automaton preaching " I... Will... not ... let ... you.... down..."

    Please, please, please, put him on TV more often to remind people of the utter folly of having this man in charge for another five years.

    Vote Brown for a duller, higher taxed, more interfering, more suffocating, unreformed Britain.

    You and your children will be bored. Foreigners will be so bored they return home again. Dignitas will be swamped with people form the UK desperate to escape the dullness of Britain run by this towering automaton.

    Please do lots and lots of talking heads type TV advertising campaigns imploring us not to let the recovery escape us. Please tell us over and over agian how without the overarching wisdom and ambition of the great leader we shall be cast into the gates of tory hell and baby eating.

    Please appear again and again and again and again (as if I need to ask)

    Please appear one more time the night before the election just to let us know it 'could be you' for the next five years.

    Is it me or did this man look utterly terrified about the prospect of actually having to call an election at last? Now that the decision is no longer his he knows his time is well and truly up; he knows just how loud and long the howls of opprobrium will be when the national accounts are opened up for scrutiny. How he will wince when the mess he has created is finally revealed to one and all without the customary newlabour spin.

    Call an election.

  • Comment number 52.

    This comment has been referred for further consideration. Explain.

  • Comment number 53.

    One does wonder , does'nt one , who the BBBC considers to be its audience.
    Is their audience the buttoned up the back, down the Clyde in paddle steamer?
    Or could it be a wide ranging group of folk , among whom two neurons spark?
    Either way they are failing their client group - strike that because we pay their not inconsiderable salaries - they are failing their employers.

  • Comment number 54.

    Crisis leader? He sure is that. He got us into this crisis by ignoring warnings about the economy overheating.
    Now he is using the same inflationary tricks to create the illusion of recovery.
    He is no Churchill.
    This is more Neville Chamberlain proclaiming 'peace in our time' whilst being legged over by the enemy.

  • Comment number 55.

    "Brown presents himself as a modern-day Churchill?"

    Not this wind-up title again. Please note the question mark.

    Robinson presents interview with PM as a modern day Frost/Nixon?

  • Comment number 56.

    "When I interviewed Mr Brown this morning and put this quote to him it was the only time he looked discomforted."

    Well Nick, perhaps you could stop with the soft "Spin-doctor approved" questions, and ask him some of the real tough questions that you only seem to do with the opposition (and I'm not talking the Lib Dems).

    Like Tom Bradby does on ITN - tough questions for all. That way we the viewer/reader get to understand real point of view, policy, idealogy.

  • Comment number 57.

    Nice sound bites Gordon - who is writing your speeches now - the Chuckle Brothers

    How about a one last one "I am responsible and so I resign"

  • Comment number 58.

    #31 and that was ALL brown fault back in 97 when he setup the tri-partate of triffle to monitor the bank

    just ask the Russian about communism greed, stalin and molotov etc.

    "greed" is a human nature trait that has to have the correct suppervision of, something he did not put in place.

    also it started with that other clown Clinton with the repeal of the Glass/Seagal act and the loans to people whom could not afford them, for his own social engineering purposes , and that waas not the way to solve that issue, it transferred the problem to a point where is brought the whole system down by the greed of those in power at the time clinton and bliar/brown

  • Comment number 59.

    Hi Nick,

    I'm afraid this rather nailed your blog in the head for me; this article confirms my suspicions that the content contained here is distcintly partisan.

  • Comment number 60.

    He's long been acting like a Churchill who doesn't know how to smoke a cigar properly hence hiding behing smoke screens whenever asked questions he daren't answer.

  • Comment number 61.

    Obviously we woud all like a change but change to what. Churchill or not, we should be relieved that we have had Gordon Brown in charge during the gravest economic crisis since World War 2.
    I shudder to think what would have happened if we had Cameron and Osborne (both described by Ken Clarke as, "inexperianced young men") were in charge. The recent events, Ashcroft, decline in Polls have exposed their flawed judgement and brittle resolve.

  • Comment number 62.

    Comparing this numptie to Churchill is a joke, Churchill loved his country and would never have allowed the abject surrender to the Franco/ German empire that Brown presided over. As far as oration goes, Brown's owes more to the platitudes of the presbeterian pulpit than the marvellous use of the English language that Churchill used both to silence the Labour ranks in parliament and to inspire the British people when the nation was in mortal danger. Brown would like a legacy like Churchill's but alas his legacy will be of failure, incompetence, and betrayal.

  • Comment number 63.

    This comment has been referred for further consideration. Explain.

  • Comment number 64.

    More potholes than bumps on the road to recovery. It is all a variation of :- let's pretend we have not been the government for the past 13 years and may be not too many will notice!

  • Comment number 65.

    M&S Sir Stuart Rose, who yesterday suggested that what people needed to know was that the government would cut its spending now.

    He told the BBC:

    "Our customer, Tesco's customer, Sainsbury's customer etc are not stupid."

    The English voter is not stupid and realises that there is more to shopping than M&S, Tesco's and Sainbury's.

    And hopefully follows that through by realising that there is much more to voting in England than Labour, Tories or Lib-Dems as shown here :- [Unsuitable/Broken URL removed by Moderator]/

  • Comment number 66.

    It's true, Churchill and Brown were both crisis leaders.

    Churchill's crisis was due to an entirely external threat. Brown's crisis was largely due to Brown. Quite an important distinction, really.

  • Comment number 67.

    Ynys @ 29,

    "I would like to ask why Ashton's post is more important than that of a labour nom dom"

    Well because it just is, isn't it? Hey, I thought you were "Fairly Open Mind" the other day (because of "rediculous") but now I'm having second thoughts. Lord Ashton eh? I reckon I really DO know who you are now, but why don't you tell me so I can see if I'm right? Sorry (!) I know this is trivia but the Nick Robinson politics blog is pretty much my whole life and I can't help it.

  • Comment number 68.

    39 IR35_SURVIVOR
    'The BBC present GB as Churchill while tryign their hardest to present DC as Hilter ? say it all really'

    He's right, you know. I don't like the way the BBC present Nick Clegg as the Emperor Elagabalus.

  • Comment number 69.

    '51. At 2:19pm on 10 Mar 2010, rockRobin7 wrote:

    Is it me or did this man look utterly terrified about the prospect of actually having to call an election at last?'

    No. On the contrary the Prime Minister is looking far more confident now that at any time in the past year. Cameron on the other hand is looking like a man who has peaked to soon, and I believe he has. His lack of policy and attention of will be telling when the election is called e.g. I cannot remember when he last talked in any great depth on the Economy, the single most important issue to the residents of these Isles. I am looking forward to the three 'Presidential' debates where this lack of detail will hurt him no end.


  • Comment number 70.

    There are many reasons why Brown could never emulate Churchill however the mains ones are. Churchill though he suffered from bouts of what he called 'the Black Dog' another name for his depression, was a man of great wit, this Brown is not. Churchill was also able to unite Britain to face war, Brown has set out to divide Britain by class and envy. Churchill inspired great loyalty amoungst those who worked with him, they may have not liked him, but they respected his judgement and ability. Those that work with Brown have no loyalty or respect for him, proved by the number of times those around him have tried to unseat him. Churchill was brave in the face of all difficulties coming out to speak and rally the public when the war was going badly. Brown merely hides when times get tough. Churchill surrounded himself with people of talent whether he liked them or not. Brown surrounds himself with cronies who do his bidding. Churchill was a man of great intellect, Brown is not. There are more reasons but these will do.

    I dont believe that Brown is trying to be Churchill actually, I think it is wrong to think this. Brown has taken most of his recent actions directly from the Obama campaign. I watched PMQ and was intrigued by the subtle change of tactic that was taking place. Brown is now trying to portray himself as calm in the face of onslaught from opposition, in the sense of allow them to blow off steam and not him, by frustrating them with less than adequate answers. Pretend to be a uniter whilst throwing in answers designed to divide. Place key words or phrases that will be remembered whether true or not. Keep using the empathy message towards others in society, making the opposition seem harsh and uncaring. This is exactly the methods Obama used to get elected.

    It could work, however like America in no time at all the electorate will regret being duped.

  • Comment number 71.

    Brown sounds more like Captain Ahab than Winston Churchill

  • Comment number 72.

    GoBetween wrote:
    "..At this time there is no way that the private sector and individuals like Rose can fuel our recovery, that is a long way off, so for now Gordon Brown is doing the right thing. Keep the people in jobs, keep the people in homes it is the only way, it is the right way."

    Perhaps Brown would have a bit more credence if he had not borrowed & spent like a drunk between 2001 & 2008 when he had record tax receipts coming in at the top of the economy in a GLOBAL (there's that word again) boom; and not run up untold £bns more in off balance sheet PPP/PFI schemes to be paid back by our children & theirs. If he had run public finances properly he would now be able to 'keep the people in homes' etc with a bit more leg room. Rather than acting as he is, in the hope that bond market operators & £stg shorters don't come looking for some fun. You say Rose is no Brown. Well, Brown is certainly no economist. He is no leader either, Churchill or otherwise.

  • Comment number 73.

    RE: 36. Econoce

    "Why did you need 239 swiss francs for 100 pounds at the end of 1997 compared to 160 francs, 33% fewer, now?"

    Can I have a go at that one? Is it because ...

    “A weak currency arises from a weak economy which in turn is the result of a weak Government”?

    I think that's a quote from Neville Chamberlain. Or someone like that anyway.

  • Comment number 74.

    I've always thought it's quite amusing that despite all this extremely righteous scorn directed at Gordon Brown and his party of idiots, liars and UK-haters, Labour is gaining in the polls.

    Could this mean that the most hated Government in modern times is being re-elected to see the country off into oblivion.

    With all due respect Mr Brown (and that's not a lot) you couldn't run an economy any more than you could run a 100m sprint. Get out of here.

  • Comment number 75.

    I heard Nick Robinson spouting this drivel on The Daily Politics earlier.

    It is a shame that it has been repeated here. It's genuinely insulting to compare Churchill with Brown, and I assure you I don't say this as a party political point. For instance, to switch it round, I don't think it would be appropriate to compare Duncan-Smith with Attlee.

    Churchill was a man of substance. Churchill is one of few, indeed very few when it comes to politics, who can truly be described as 'great' or a 'hero'. The world looks back and will continue to do so, being profoundly grateful for Churchill.

    There was a man who might just have got away with saying 'we saved the world'. Brown, by comparison, is a man who has underfunded the military (according to military staff, whose views shouldn't simply be disregarded because of whatever political allegiances they may have).

    Now tell me, honestly, is the comparison appropriate? I doubt I'm alone in being genuinely offended by it.

  • Comment number 76.

    49. GoBetween

    'Stuart Rose is no Gordon Brown'

    I'm not sure what Rose has done to deserve such a ringing endorsement.

  • Comment number 77.

    Nilesh wrote:
    ".. Churchill or not, we should be relieved that we have had Gordon Brown in charge during the gravest economic crisis since World War 2."

    This 'saviour of the world' schtick always amuses me. You want to try it on some of the finance ministers around the world. See the G20 meeting last December; they were queueing up to slap him down. Best comment was from the Russian finance minister: 'We know all about Gordon Brown, his answer to everything is to increase taxes'. Not the due reverence you would expect to see heaped on our great 'saviour'. The only thing Brown is interested in is being the saviour of his own back side. Anything else counts for nothing.

  • Comment number 78.

    58. ir35.
    i was going to argue your first sentence...and the i read this bit....
    "greed is a human nature trait that has to have the correct suppervision of"

    well..... i have some suggestions on how to go about this but what are yours????

  • Comment number 79.

    Today is a good day to start warning things may not be as good as we said they were going to be. And when that actually happens we can then say we told you so.

    In any other forum this would not be acceptable. I if you tried to do this in any other organisation you would have been shown the door. However our honorable friends do play on a different field from the rest of us. When is claiming expenses that you are not entitled to OK, when you are an MP. When can you fail to deliver on any of your objectives and expect to carry on as you know the problems best. What reason is that? This is just not acceptable!

  • Comment number 80.

    Seems that saga is onl ymaking a small defence of the "dear leader",
    He is much more like Kim il-sung than Churchill,

    Anyway at this rat ethe blog will be such , so saga come defend the indefencable please, this is helping me do my work with a smile

  • Comment number 81.

    Dear Nick,

    As a journalist, why have you allowed Brown to invert the truth without challenge?

    For example, at 5min into your film, our PM claims that the Tories want to give £200,000 in inheritance tax to the top 3,000 people in the country. This is clearly not the case.

    1.Nobody except the exchequer will receive £200,000, or any other sum in inheritance tax. Rather, some estates will pay less, or be absolved from inheritance tax payments altogether. Furthermore, the beneficiaries of this change will be the bereaved and not the deceased (who presumably would rather avoid being the beneficiary of this particular revenue change).
    2.The 3,000 figure is also clearly disingenuous. Just ask yourself, how many homes in London and the South East are worth £1 Million or more? For Brown to be correct, the figure must be less than 3,000. Now I realise that our PM is doing his best to crash the property market, but even this calamitous government hasn't managed to deflate the property market to this degree….. I'd wager that the real number of potential beneficiaries is well over 100,000. So why allow Brown to claim 3,000?

    Mandelson is even worse. With a straight face he recently told a room full of journalist's (including you Nick) that he had no knowledge of Brown's bullying temper. This would be the same Lord Mandelson who used to regale such stories to the media. Why didn't anybody challenge him? Is the maintence of the lobby system more important to you than the truth?

  • Comment number 82.

    It would be nice if the governments admitted that they had the opportunity to prevent the crisis but because of their ties to banking lobbyists did nothing and individuals lost considerable personal wealth because of the corruption of government. Honesty, that might be the best way to start. Apparently the people will be given the choice of two dead horses to ride to the finish. They died because the banks stold all the feed grain. Stable boys running the track and giving access and information to the gamblers. Nothing has changed.

  • Comment number 83.

    Nick

    is this why he claims to have saved the World because he thinks he's Churchill?

    Churchill

    "NEVER IN THE FIELD OF HUMAN CONFLICT HAS SO MUCH BEEN OWED BY SO MANY TOO SO FEW"


    Brown

    "NEVER IN THE FIELD OF HUMAN DEBT HAS SO MUCH BEEN OWED BY SO FEW TOO SO MANY"

  • Comment number 84.

    The first 10 responses to this post were from IR35 survivor. I have nothing against his well-established personal agenda, but this is a little too much add to which, he says nothing of note.

  • Comment number 85.


    'He is truly the Crisis Leader.'

    Yes - he led us into this crisis

  • Comment number 86.

    The comparison with Churchill is irrelevant,it is one made by other people,not Mr.Brown,also irrelevant is the noise made in ridiculing it.

    However,in making your electoral calculus between Brown and Cameron, both have pluses and minuses.

    Brown`s Keynesian counter-cyclical policies have been broadly correct and have avoided catastrophe.Prior to the recession the IMF praised Britain as a strong economy,levels of debt and deficit here were around trhe European average, with higher growth rates and lower unemployment than Europe.At the same time there was a major expansion of public spending in health,education and welfare.Financial supervision could have been stronger, but all parties,all governments were in favour of freeing up markets.Stuart Rose is perfectly entitled to an opinion,others are free to reject it,like a lot of businessmen he may not be well informed.

    During Brown`s stewardship Britain has moved to a more equal society according to the latest OECD report on social inequality across Europe.This is due to tax credits going to children and pensioners,the minimum wage,EMA so kids stay in education beyond 16,and winter fuel payments.Social mobility is now increasing for the poorest fifth of children,a 70% rise in university entrants from 2000-2005.

    The minuses: He lacks natural empathy and unlike Cameron is not a people`s person.Defence spending? the jury is out.There has undoubtedly been a mismatch between the bureaucracy and a rapidly changing front line where new tactics demand different resources,especially the change from frontal to assymetric warfare.All long wars face the problem of adapting weapons and tactics to changing needs.But as Kruschev said at Stalingrad, "Time is blood" as the Red Army struggled to retain its small area west of the Volga while divisions rushed from Siberia for the counter attack which destroyed the German 6th army.

    Cameron is more of an unknown quantity,necessarily so because he is not in a position to effect policy with consequences which can be judged.He`s empathic,quick on his feet although sometimes he sounds facile,and with a real passion to change and improve this country.So he cannot be faulted on intentions.

    Until recently he seems to have lacked a settled view on the economy,perhaps as a result of the conflicting advice he receives.He now appears to concur with Osborne`s instinct which is to make substantial cuts in public spending this year.This is contentious,the difficulty is that revenues may fall quicker than deficits as the economy contracts,at present this is the majority opinion about what will happen.So the conflict is not if to cut spending but when? and this is a question of judgement.

    If Brown lacks empathy,Cameron seems to have shown rather too much about the tax affairs of his friend. Given he was frequently questioned about this,why didn`t he just ask? Was it opportunism,the man is too useful,or weakness? Not strong enough to confront him? He wants to reach out but the more he holds Ashcroft to his bosom "With hoops of steel" the more cliquey he looks.This leads to another question,can he choose people who will carry his programme forward? Brown has not been particularly adept at this,but Osborne as putative chancellor is surely a mistake.Perfectly decent chap, but isn`t he "Tory Boy", in out of his depth.It`s OK to promote a pal if he or she is a wiz,but in the campaign Osborne has receded to the point of invisibility.It`s OK to shed people down the road, but to have these doubts now shows a lack of judgement.

    A final point on judgement. The alliance with the Ulster Unionists is unwise.They may sit as conservatives but he has no control over them as the vote yesterday showed.The conservative party is now a factor in Ulster politics,the British state taking sides.As a matter of honour he should come out of it before it returns to haunt him.




  • Comment number 87.

    '70. At 2:58pm on 10 Mar 2010, Susan-Croft wrote:
    There are many reasons why Brown could never emulate Churchill however the mains ones are. Churchill though he suffered from bouts of what he called 'the Black Dog' another name for his depression, was a man of great wit, this Brown is not. Churchill was also able to unite Britain to face war, Brown has set out to divide Britain by class and envy. Churchill inspired great loyalty amoungst those who worked with him, they may have not liked him, but they respected his judgement and ability. Those that work with Brown have no loyalty or respect for him, proved by the number of times those around him have tried to unseat him. Churchill was brave in the face of all difficulties coming out to speak and rally the public when the war was going badly. Brown merely hides when times get tough. Churchill surrounded himself with people of talent whether he liked them or not. Brown surrounds himself with cronies who do his bidding. Churchill was a man of great intellect, Brown is not. There are more reasons but these will do.

    I dont believe that Brown is trying to be Churchill actually, I think it is wrong to think this. Brown has taken most of his recent actions directly from the Obama campaign. I watched PMQ and was intrigued by the subtle change of tactic that was taking place. Brown is now trying to portray himself as calm in the face of onslaught from opposition, in the sense of allow them to blow off steam and not him, by frustrating them with less than adequate answers. Pretend to be a uniter whilst throwing in answers designed to divide. Place key words or phrases that will be remembered whether true or not. Keep using the empathy message towards others in society, making the opposition seem harsh and uncaring. This is exactly the methods Obama used to get elected.

    It could work, however like America in no time at all the electorate will regret being duped.'

    Of course GB never said in the interview he compared himself to Churchill that is Nick Robinson playing fisherman in order to reel people like you in. You are of course wrong too say that GB has inspired division in the country. Initially in his tenure GB wanted a more cross party politics, and is on record as saying so, but of course due to the gossip and hysterical nature of Tory politics that hope soon fell away. Historically, though it is the Tory Party who have always maintained the notion 'rule by division' and their present campaign shows no deviance from that policy. As to the divisions that led to the 'Blairite' faction challenging his position that is a normal course of action and was somewhat expected due to the Blair/Brown relationship. But at least there is a democratic process within the Labour Party if members want to change their leader, unlike the Tory party who drop a leader as soon as they smell a potential defeat, ala Thatcher. It begs the question how long Cameron will remain leader if he fails to bring the 'dispossessed', the 'poor' and the 'neglected' the expected Victory? As to your comment on President Obama and GB's use of his tactics may I just remind you that Cameron himself is being trained up for the forthcoming 'Presidential' debates by two former advisors to President Obama. Also your comment on Obama duping the American people I find highly offensive and way off the mark.

  • Comment number 88.

    Gordon as Churchill?

    I always thought he was more like that 'Go Compare' guy myself.

    Equally irritating once he gets in your head too.

  • Comment number 89.

    But - He didn't present himself as a latter-day Churchill - that was entirely your suggestion! Neither did he read his speech in a 'gravelly, Churchillian voice'. That was your suggestion.

    You are saying 'Wouldn't it have been pretrentious if he'd pretended to be Churchill!!!' And, yes, it would - but he didn't.

    Quite clever of you to plant the seed though. Great journalism. By tomorrow everyone will swear he was smoking a cigar.

  • Comment number 90.

    So after a flurry of postings on previous blogs where posters have asked Nick Robinson to look into certain dealings in all parties in regard to a ongoing "story", Nick then decides to ignore those all together and paint Gordon Brown in a wholly positive light, save the fact that "he looked uncomfortable".

    Nick I don't normally buy into the arguments about where your loyalties lie, I think you are mostly leaning to the left and I have no problem with that as obviously noones completely down the middle when it comes to their reporting. But this is ridiculous, the countrys in one of the worst states financially in recent times, and there are no serious pressing questions on how our leader is going to solve this?

  • Comment number 91.

    51. At 2:19pm on 10 Mar 2010, rockRobin7 wrote:

    Is it me or did this man look utterly terrified about the prospect of actually having to call an election at last?'


    He didn't look in the least bit 'terrified', so it's you.

  • Comment number 92.

    What a deluded man Brown is. A modern day Churchill indeed. We are in this mess because of Brown's incompetence and hubris.

    Oh he argues that this is a global problem, and to an extent it is, well a Western problem anyway. But if it is this way then all countries should be equally affected. Why then does the UK have the third highest GDP to debt ratio in the world behind Greece (just) and Iceland. And why has the pound fallen more than in the ERM crisis? (the ERM was backed by all parties don't forget).

    Then again look at how his own core vote has been let down. More wage inequality, less opportunity and life on the dole as a career option it would seem. Blaming Thatcher et al is no defence after 13 years in power, the problem is getting worse not better.

    No he is quick to take credit for growth, when all other countries were growing too, but when we move into deep schtum it's someone else's fault. Yes stand up for personal responsibility Mr Brown cos you pass the buck at any opportunity when it suits you.

    Voting for Brown at the next general election is like asking the man who chopped your arm off with an axe to sew it on again. I'm not expecting Cameron to be perfect and he will make mistakes but as with the bankers we cannot reward failure. Its time for someone else at No10. Labour tried three times to get rid of Brown. We the voters, like Churchill, should not be so timid.

  • Comment number 93.

    One small step for Democracy in England is the ability to see that you have many more choices than the three mainstream parties.

    Try http://www.democracyengland.org/ to see the possibilities that are available to you.

    "There is a forgotten, nay almost forbidden word, which means more to me than any other. That word is England."

    Winston Churchill.

  • Comment number 94.

    Churchil did not get re elected I hope this is the likness you see

  • Comment number 95.

    The War on Tourism must be won. They shall have their souvenirs confiscated. They will be subject to Tourist Boarding. There is no place in the civilised world for people who travel abroad and visit places, with their guide books, their funny accents, and interest in our country.

    We will throw them off the beaches, we will frisk them in the landing grounds, we will stop and search them on the streets, we will arrest them at the airport, we will hassle them at every opportunity, we shall never surrender!

    One day we will look back and say, this was our finest hour!

    Sorry folks - was just wondering what would happen if we spliced GWB and GB together!! Must get myself checked out....

    Frightening......

  • Comment number 96.

    72. At 3:05pm on 10 Mar 2010, zzgrark wrote:
    'GoBetween wrote:
    "..At this time there is no way that the private sector and individuals like Rose can fuel our recovery, that is a long way off, so for now Gordon Brown is doing the right thing. Keep the people in jobs, keep the people in homes it is the only way, it is the right way."

    Perhaps Brown would have a bit more credence if he had not borrowed & spent like a drunk between 2001 & 2008 when he had record tax receipts coming in at the top of the economy in a GLOBAL (there's that word again) boom; and not run up untold £bns more in off balance sheet PPP/PFI schemes to be paid back by our children & theirs. If he had run public finances properly he would now be able to 'keep the people in homes' etc with a bit more leg room. Rather than acting as he is, in the hope that bond market operators & £stg shorters don't come looking for some fun. You say Rose is no Brown. Well, Brown is certainly no economist. He is no leader either, Churchill or otherwise.'

    GB is certainly doing a vastly better job of keeping people in their homes than the Tories did during their 1980s and 1990s fiascos. As for Rose he just did not like the fact the GB started criticising huge excessive executive payments, to Rose this was a slur on his work ethic and self importance. Hence he struck back by firstly claiming that the VAT cut was not working, a claim incidentally which proved to be stupidly wrong, in the end Business was actually pleading with the Government to keep the VAT cut. And by secondly installing a large M&S stand at the Tory Party conference which of demonstrated his political allegiance and oh lets not forget that dress. And isn't Rose planned for a Tory peerage if DC makes No 10?


  • Comment number 97.

    Mr Bean more like, what a load of drivel,Nick 99% of the comments think Brown is rubbish..how true.

  • Comment number 98.

    "When I interviewed Mr Brown this morning and put this quote to him it was the only time he looked discomforted."

    How did he look when you pressed him on the question of non-doms donating to the Labour party and holding the rank of privy councillor in the Government?

    How did he react Nick?

    Or didn't you ask the question?

  • Comment number 99.

    '76. At 3:20pm on 10 Mar 2010, One_Lars_Melvang wrote:
    49. GoBetween

    'Stuart Rose is no Gordon Brown'

    I'm not sure what Rose has done to deserve such a ringing endorsement.'

    Yes you are very much like David Cameron i.e. he is also quick to create hollow catch phrases but it is far more difficult for him to show true substance.

  • Comment number 100.

    This comment has been referred for further consideration. Explain.

 

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