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Bottling it

Betsan Powys | 17:05 UK time, Saturday, 6 October 2007

Well at least Mrs Peter Rogers will be happy.

And she won't be alone. You didn't want an election. Only two Tory candidates I spoke to last week wanted an election and even they weren't that convinced. They needed more time. Now they've got it in spades, as well as a leader who's gone from zero to hero in the space of week, if not an hour and eight minutes on a Blackpool stage.

They've also got tax plans - Paul Flynn's acerbic 'taking from billionaires to give to millionaires' - and a strategy, borne out of necessity maybe and not convincing as far as the maths goes but it's more than they had a week ago and you know what they say about necessity. The mother of invention seems to have fended off the mother of all snap elections.

Sensible Lib Dems would have run a mile from a November election. Plaid Cymru will enjoy this scenario far more. Labour, after all, are still the enemy outside Cardiff Bay and Plaid Cymru are good at Schadenfreude.

As for Welsh Labour: if an internal report one week rips your last campaign to shreds, finding basic fault with your strategy, policies, organisation, campaigning and communication capabilities, do you really want to go into battle again the following week? Different game, different campaign, different players certainly but the players I spoke to think Mr Brown has done the right thing.

The question they're now asking is how he got himself into a situation where doing the right thing turned out to be bottling it?

Comments   Post your comment

  • 1.
  • At 10:59 PM on 06 Oct 2007,
  • Foucault wrote:

Betsan- I have to say that Gordon Brown has just lost all credibility in my eyes!! I will no longer use the signifer 'leader' as he no longer deserves it. Just how weak, feeble, and lacking in courgage, self-belief, and integrity can one be in public office these days?

Gordon do Labour a hugh favour and do the right thing for once- fall on your sword, and get somebody with some vision, tenacity and drive the opportunity. Your 'spin' is costing us- dearly!

  • 2.
  • At 09:18 AM on 07 Oct 2007,
  • Daran wrote:

Your lasr question is spot on. I think the honeymoon is over.

  • 3.
  • At 09:24 AM on 08 Oct 2007,
  • Trefor Jones wrote:

Brown has either dithered,which is the most accepted view, or he has performed a most brilliant political move.
a)The Tories have hurriedly revealed their plans and ditched ( largely) their greed credentials in the process.
b) Menzies Campbell will be nearly seventy by the time of the next election in 2009 and will be even more unpopular with his followers and unelectable in this agist era.
c)He has softened up the electorate that the next few years are not likely to be easy economically.
d) The press will soon move on.

I wonder?

  • 4.
  • At 10:24 AM on 08 Oct 2007,
  • Helen wrote:

Personally, I think Gordon Brown has done the right thing in not calling an election for the time being, not only because of the volatile nature of the electorate, many of whom seemingly switch allegiance after the conferences of the different parties, but also, and more importantly, because of two overriding factors, namely 1) the current postal strikes, which would make communications and postal voting a nightmare, and 2) GMT. Indeed, it seems that people are becoming increasingly paranoid about going out in the dark, so that many would be deterred from casting their votes after coming home from work. Gone are the days when most people could be counted on to cast their votes, so if you couple that apathy with some people’s irrational fear of venturing out, a low turnout is inevitable.

However, Brown should not make the mistake which Callaghan made in the 70s, by not seeking a mandate in his own right before he had to. Indeed, the situation in which Brown finds himself could be compared fairly with that of Callaghan in 1976, when he took over from Wilson. Callaghan might well have won a mandate had he gone to the country in 1978 but, by stalling, he was overcome by unfortunate domestic circumstances so that, by 1979, the electorate voted his government out, and we all know what followed!

  • 5.
  • At 02:57 PM on 08 Oct 2007,
  • Arfon Jones wrote:

Betsan - Sent tou several comments over the last few days get an ERROR message, is there a problem with the BBC server?

Arfon: I'll find out. Thanks for letting me know.



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