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All about Gordon

Nick Robinson | 18:10 UK time, Tuesday, 23 September 2008

"This job" - the prime minister declared today - "is not about me. It is about you". His speech, however, was all about him. It was an invitation to both party and country to look at him again.

Gordon BrownA man normally so awkward talking about himself did just that - trying to turn weaknesses into strengths. Just as Tony Blair claimed he was the man to deal with the world post 9/11, he presented himself as the man to deal with the world that had, he claimed, just spun on its axis.

The conference reacted with joy and relief at seeing a Gordon Brown that some had never seen before. He restored some of their faith in him and themselves. It is, though, the public's verdict that will decide whether the party will keep him as their leader.

Today Gordon Brown was, in effect, reapplying for his own job - well sometimes you have to in difficult times.


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  • Comment number 1.

    Well I'm a member of the public and I wasn't convinced. He set out many laudable objectives, but didn't seem to have any ideas as to how to achieve them. And he didn't even apologise for the 10p fiasco - all he said was:
    "So what happened with 10p, it stung me because it really hurt that suddenly people felt I wasn't on the side of people on middle and modest incomes - because on the side of hard-working families is the only place I've ever wanted to be."
    That is not an apology - he was hurt because of our reaction.
    What arrogance.

  • Comment number 2.

    Taxi for Gordon...

  • Comment number 3.

    Brown tells us this is "no time for a novice".

    Well, he would say that, wouldn't he!

    Broken promises, nanny state, surveillance Britain, ID cards, HIPs, constitutional mess, soaring taxes, runaway borrowing, etc etc.

    It's time for a change.

  • Comment number 4.

    Gordon has the courage of his own convictions. At this crucial stage of his political career, he needs to assert himself and be more forceful. Everyone loves a committed leader not a vaillating one. At long last Gordon has decided to show his fighting instincts and not allow sly politicians to put him in a corner. This will improve his image and the Labour faithful should rally to his cause!

  • Comment number 5.

    Gordon has the courage of his own convictions. At this crucial stage of his political career, he needs to assert himself and be more forceful. Everyone loves a committed leader not a vacillating one. At long last Gordon has decided to show his fighting instincts and not allow sly politicians to put him in a corner. This will improve his image and the Labour faithful should rally to his cause!

  • Comment number 6.

    The way to (re)apply for his job would be to offer himself to the electorate in a General Election

    Only then could he achieve the necessary authority to govern.

    Not going to hold my breath on that one

  • Comment number 7.

    Brown says in his speech:

    "My children aren't props; they're people"

    Yet, what is this in the Daily Mail I see?

    For once in your life Nick, can you be a little objective and actually say Brown seems to forget what he has done in the past and much of what he says is selective.

    Why do the BBC protect this wretched Prime minister and why are you his unoficial spokesman? You seem to regurgetate cart-banche what ever you are fed?

  • Comment number 8.

    Did he really shake hands with his own wife?

    As for the job application, I'd prefer a novice to reappointing the man who took us into war and ran such a loose economy that we are now all paying for it. The giveaways will all cost US money, did he imagine we didn't know that?

  • Comment number 9.

    This is all well and good - it is make or break time.

    I said he won’t go previously and it appears that was right.

    But feel he has manoeuvred himself into a corner ‘I am the man to lead the country do you agree is more or less the sense i got from his speech’.

    I sense depending on how well the Tories do next week and result in the upcoming by election, these will decide his political future one way or another.

  • Comment number 10.


    how many billions has the country spent on labour trying to save gordons job so far?

    do we have to keep digging deep just for one mans vanity?

    goodbye gordon.

  • Comment number 11.


    isn't that the point as to why this speech failed. It was just so demeaning, so lacking in dignity.

    The man was looking to keep his job, just like we have to do in the real world with our annual staff appraisals.

    Please let me keep my job, I am so deserving.

    When he atlked about banking let's see what he said :-

    Transparency, yeah like we are going to look at your trades and positions

    Sound Banking, yeah like sound banking, not quite sure we can have sound banking without sound banks and sound bankers

    Responsibility, yeah like we are seeing what is happening with Lehman staff and the Nomura bonus payments

    Integrity, yeah like a banker with integrity

    Why are these guys getting bonuses when the banks collapse. This is unreal, a promise of a bonus of £11 million. I mean how much.

    So, we have Gordon, we will do something about these people, these bankers and what actually do they do!

    The Americans are meant to bale these bankers out, the American people will not stand for it, they will be most unhappy and why should they bale us out. Let them sink, without a trace, Gordon is letting them walk away with their millions. Talk of stable doors...As Mr Darling would say, I think the taxpayer will be 'pissed off' when they see what is really happening.

    You're too late Gordon, it is time to go.

  • Comment number 12.

    He can stand on a stage and talk to a large audience - no one doubted that...


    Spend, spend, spend.

    He is going to take money from me and use it to make prescriptions free for cancer patients - thats if NICE decide that the drugs will be available at all (and don't you dare try to 'top up').

    He is going to take money from me and spend it on internet access and computers for the poor (hope they can afford the electricity, and keep their fingers warm enough to type).

    He is going to take money from me and spend it on very young children to go to nursery (what are their mums going to do? surf the web all day, or work and hand the money over to gordon in taxes).

    Now, if he had abolished university fees so we didn't have an entire generation thinking that debt and loans are a basic part of life - then it might have had some substance.

    But as it is - just bribes to those who are most likely to vote labour.

    And if the state have all kids under their control from age 2 to 18 - maybe they can be taught to be 'good sheep' and do what their masters tell them with out complaint.

  • Comment number 13.

    That speech changes nothing.

    The very best he can hope for is to stay leader of the Labour party and even that is doubtful.

    After the next election, no matter when it may occur, he will no longer be prime minister. That's a racing certainty.

    Fortunately it's the electorate that pick the PM's party - not the party lap dogs.

    Nice try Gordon but somebody better tell him, you've gotta be in it to win it and unless he joins the Cons. he ain't going to be in it.

  • Comment number 14.


    what a coincidence, Gordon mentions new nuclear power in his speech and then EDF announce take-over of British Energy. Weird or what.

  • Comment number 15.

    A solid fortress of a speech. With a little luck and some bold thinking, Gordon Brown can take back the initiative. There is a distaste with celebrity politics and whilst there is a difference between good leadership and good government, Gordon can restore the public's faith in an exceptional and talented politician, and perhaps the next 9 months will show him to be a leader.

  • Comment number 16.

    Not a bad speech.
    Didn't try too many funnies, which didn't come off, but then this is Gordy.

    It really does look like this financial crisis has helped him out no end (no, it's not his fault) after all Cameron has been rather conspicous by his absence recently.

    I reckon a good cabinet reshuffle, bring back some heavyweights from the backbenches, to balance out the "just out of short trousers" feel of the Miliband boys, Balls and Purnell, and he can play the "experience vs novice" card from here til the Spring 2009 election.

    Gordy you might just have pulled this one off my son :)

  • Comment number 17.

    Poor old fox...the cons won't shoot him as he is their best weapon, but they will pin the blame on him, for relaxing the banking rules - in 2004 especially - and for boasting of a boom fuelled by false accounting.

    No point in him trying to shift the blame-he is a dead man walking.

  • Comment number 18.

    Well done on your speech Gordon but I think the next election will be about the future and not the past or present and a change in leadership will be required for Labour to secure a fourth term.

    A real star of the Labour Conference has been Ed Milliband and together with the talent of his brother David the future of the Labour Party is in safe hands and a change in power is inevitable in mid to late 2009.

  • Comment number 19.

    He's " looked after the health service", why cant I get a NHS dentist? " Cared for old folk " yet they have to sell their house to pay for care. " No job for a novice", this from the man who has run up the largest debt this country has had since Attlee. A degree in Politics is hardly qualification to put right the world financial crisis. This was not a speech , it was a sermon, delivered with all the aplomb of the average clergyman which is a job much more suited to Brown's talent. Does he honestly think that promises of the unattainable and downright untruths will impress the electorate? After the Glenrothes by election, at which the people of Scotland are going to crucify his party, the nodding dogs of the Labour conference will turn back into the baying jackals they are and pick over his carcase.

  • Comment number 20.

    Nothing he has said has changed my opinion-Merely reinforced it. He is not capable as PM- He has neither the ability nor aptitude

  • Comment number 21.

    is that it nick? a bit more detail might be good but i guess you're doing live link ups on the news right now.

    bottom line i think is most people don't really hates labour - they're just annoyed about their house prices - i also think the general feeling on brown is he's a bit dull after blair. most of the anti-gordon stuff is just hype - there is not the real hatred of philosophies and individuals that there was against the tories in '97

    i think gordon could do well to tell the british people to grow up/get a grip and stop believing the stupid media editiorials and he'd be respected for it.

  • Comment number 22.

    He restored my faith in him as probably the most mendacious Prime Minister ever to have passed through the doors of No.10.

    Lies, lies and more lies piled haphazardly, one on top of the other.

    Will no one rid us of this creature?

  • Comment number 23.

    "No time for a novice" says Gordon Brown.
    He hasn't covered himself in glory since deposing Tony Blair in an evil smelling coup.
    I agree: go now.

  • Comment number 24.

    An impressive speech. He gave some impressively aggressive attacks on the Tories, showed combativeness and talked about why Labour are a much better prospect than the Tories because they believe in economic prosperity and social justice. Labour have proven they believe in free market economics through the difficult times in the 1980s and 1990s and they have a long and deep tradition of fairness and equality. The Tories on the other hand still want to leave too much of society to the market, whilst undergoing a very shallow and unconvincing conversion to social responsibility. The Tories policies are still those of the 1980s, which are completely inappropriate for the current economic climate.

  • Comment number 25.

    Yet more spin.

  • Comment number 26.

    (TAG) - just reverting to our discussion on the previous page, I now have to give some ground to you on the question of submarines/dreadnoughts. A bit of background reading has revealed (to me) that the RN was indeed paranoid about subs during WW1, after losing three armoured cruisers to a single u-boat on one day (which would be enough to make anyone paranoid I guess). Further, if you define 'dreadnought' narrowly, it could be argued that that perceived threat led to the later designs of super-dreadnought and WW2 battleships, with anti-torpedo armoured belts designed in, and thus to the relatively rapid demise of the original designs.

    I still think your argument went too far, but I think you deserve at least a draw.

  • Comment number 27.

    Obviously nothing the man says is going to be good enough for some but I thought that was a pretty decent performance all in all. He comes across a lot more sincere than Blair ever did and a lot more sincere than Mr Cameron, without a doubt.

    We've basically just got to let him get on with the job now and hopefully, with his wealth of experience, he can steer us in the right direction. Frankly, there isn't anyone better equipped for the job at this moment in time.

    A question for the Brown-haters on this blog (I hear there are one or two out there): Do you really think Gordon wakes up every morning saying to himself "how can I wreck havoc on the UK today?" He's doing an impossible job!

  • Comment number 28.

    He is the cause and the problem NOT the solution!

    Jack Straw said 'we elected him 15 months ago'. NO we flaming well didn't and we want an election now to get rid of him!

    Taking a while to moderate the comments tonight ? - maybe they're all derogatory ones about Buffoon Brown!

  • Comment number 29.

    Nothing a Nu Labour politician be it Brown Milliband straw ever says is really worth listening to anymore.

    They lost the ability to tell the difference between truth and convenient lies years ago. and they lie flagrantly on a regular basis. Only last week it was claimed short selling had been banned, yet the FSA had heard nothing about it

    The speak in some foreign language designed for each other which means nothing to anyone else,

    They live high on the hog at tax payers expense so have no idea about life for ordinary people

    they are corrupt incompetent and facist on a monumental scale

    Their statistics are rigged Their spending announcements are made 3 times over the laws they make are at best designed to generate newspaper headlines at worse to take our freedoms or to allow Brown and his Cabal to enrich themselves or cover up failure.

    Their incompetence at ever doing anything that actually helps people is well documented

    The things that are interesting are the laws they try and pass unoticed

    For example Local Authorities are being relieved of their 130 year legal obligation to take away waste-- In england not scotland of course- so the man does not give a damn about public health

    Jaqui Smith is introducing a new class of Accreditied persons alledgedly to deal with low level crime but who in practice will function almost exclusively as fine gatherers (who will keep part of the proceeds)

    1 council is actuallly fining people for leaving their car engines on in traffic jams under laws passed last year

    Road pricing is being introduced by stealth

    From last month you can actually go to jail for the heinous crime of using your mobile while driving - even where no accident has occured.

    So really anyone interested in what they are really about should pay attention to the laws they pass on the quiet they are designed to take your money bully you take your freedom

    The only things these people really beleive is they have right to do what they like to any of us and we have a god given duty to obey them.

  • Comment number 30.

    Moderators are on strike again!

  • Comment number 31.

    "Today Gordon Brown was, in effect, reapplying for his own job - well sometimes you have to in difficult times."

    What does he want another coronation by Thursday?

  • Comment number 32.

    Everybody I speak to (and that is a lot of people) say Brown is finished. Not even sitting duck - dead duck. He is so stubborn he just won't accept it.

  • Comment number 33.

    Gordon preached to a desperate choir for an hour and suddenly they're jubilant and think their troubles are over.

    From the electorates point of view, nothing has changed except that they're even more smug, complacent and completely detached from reality than they were before.

    They've had another chance to change their fortunes and decided to throw it away ...again!

    It seems, if you're a Labour MP lessons simply don't come easy no matter how many times they're repeated.

    Bring on Glenrothes.

  • Comment number 34.

    Before casting stones, Gordon should remind himself that in 1997 he was a novice at running the economy. Look what a fantastic job he made of it! So much so that he says he is now going to wisely spend taxpayers money. Makes you wonder what he was doing before, doesn't it?

    I suppose presiding over 11 years of spend and tax must count for something, but acting as an example to the rest of the world? Surely not!

  • Comment number 35.

    I'm a hard-working single person. I'm self-employed, I pay my taxes and I make no demands whatever on the education system and very few if any, touch wood, on the health service. Since all Brown ever does is bang on about "families", he obviously doesn't care about my vote. Which is just as well, because he isn't getting it.

  • Comment number 36.

    i know 'reapplying' is Nick's phrase - but surely there's only one way to do that and that is to call a general election and stop all this madness

    or else it shows the arrogance of Brown that he regards it purely as a matter for his party to pick the leader of the country - it's not good for democracy and it's not good for government

    (yes the party, not the leader, is elected - this party was elected on the grounds that its leader would serve a full third term)

  • Comment number 37.

    15. thundertiktok..."perhaps the next 9 months will show him to be a leader."

    What's he been doing for the last year or more - his novice training?

  • Comment number 38.

    George 'silver spoon' Osbourne claims that Brown has 'retreated to the left to save his job'. Good: that is exactly what the country needs. The thing that has been strangling Brown has been the Blair legacy. Brown has made a start, but he needs to knock ID cards and the wars on the head. That is where our money is going. It can be better spent. The next three months will be crucial for whether he will fight the General Election or not.

  • Comment number 39.

    21 uptownavondale

    bottom line i think is most people don't really hates labour - they're just annoyed about their house prices - i also think the general feeling on brown is he's a bit dull after blair. most of the anti-gordon stuff is just hype - there is not the real hatred of philosophies and individuals that there was against the tories in '97


    i'll provide you with an example of someone who disagrees with their philosophies and individuals

    ID cards, 42 days, cannabis, positive discrimination, tax credits, scrapping of the 10p rate - and i personally don't care either way about the smoking ban, but plenty of ppl would add it to my list

    i only say this because i'm fed up of the basic defence of brown being that "he's brilliant, he just can't speak well" - there are plenty of policies to fundamentally disagree with, if i trusted Brown to enact some policies that i agreed with i could easily vote for him, but i don't, he's a threat and speaking as a non-tory, but a realist, i would prefer to see them in over labour, something i wouldn't have said 3 years ago

  • Comment number 40.

    What about the continued occupation of Iraq, he'll probably wait for the Conservative conference to make an announcement.

    What about Afghanistan, where were the names of the heoes, just a two second mention, the man is a disgrace. We are going to do something really stupid, reinforce defeat.

    What about Pakistan, or have they given up on trying to get the Muslim vote. Its alright for American incursions, but not alright for insurgents.

    What about the labour party finances, loans, cash for honours, Manuel Brown, I knew nothing.

    What about reform of the House of Lords. I want to know what he will do if the Queen dies, remember Stanley Baldwin and the abdication crisis. You think that nobody is thinking about what happens next.

    Nothing about 42 days, nothing about abortion, what about identity cards.

    Why mention the BNP, what have they done to deserve a mention. I wish he would clarify that he means Britain not Scotland. As for his Palin moment, the reference to the establishment. Surprised he didn't mention David, pigs and lipstick!

  • Comment number 41.

    The big problem with this speech is that it did not even begin to address the big issues facing the country today. It should have been about the tough choices ahead on tax and spend in particular, but was found wanting!

  • Comment number 42.

    Gordon Brown's blown it already, so speeches - good or bad - are not want the country needs now. Gordon Brown is the principal architect of the UK's lamentable economic preparedness for tough times; we are in a dreadful state. He sold gold at the bottom of the market (nice one Gordon); we're in debt up to our eyeballs (nice one Gordon); we're taxed half to death (nice one Gordon); the official inflation rate is an equally official lie - who really believes it's less than 5%? (nice one Gordon); our public sector is terminally obese (nice one Gordon); we've got a budget deficit close to the size that triggered IMF intervention in the 70s (nice one Gordon); our population is exploding and our public services are shot (nice one Gordon); his cabinet colleagues hate his guts (nice one Gordon); and in terms of leadership qualities, patently he couldn't run a bath ... shall I go on? And this man expects me to vote him back in to power to save my bacon? Go on, pull the other one Gordon.

  • Comment number 43.

    All promise, promise everything Gordon.

    Promise to let us vote on the EU,

    He refused to stand by that promise.

    Who on earth would believe a word he says now.

    His speech was to try and keep his job, the party applauded. (clap your hands if you want to hang on to your job)

    Labour a waste of time and money.

  • Comment number 44.

    38 - so you're glad that he's retreated to the left, yet want him to scrap ID cards? - a left-wing policy...right...

  • Comment number 45.

    the thing is with gordon brown is without notcing his shot himself in the foot he says his kids not for show then 5 mintues earlier gets his wife to do a bit of pleading for him cos gordon lost his brown bottle hehe

    then the oh poor me stories all i gotta say is anyone for a bucket i wanna be sick. the public dont wanna know about gordon personel life no need for it unless your desprate for stay prime minister which he is

    as for policy ain't we heard it all before even the new stuff if we can call it that, where does the money come from?

  • Comment number 46.


    no wonder he is letting these bankers get their bonuses, do they not pay tax and national insurance. The Treasury is so desperate for money, shame on them, shame on them all.

  • Comment number 47.

    I was unsure about GB before his speech, but he has convinced me of his values and direction. I thought he came over as firm, fair and genuine. I believe he has much more to offer than Cameron and i'm convinced he really wants to improve life for all of us. As he pointed out, it was the Tories that encouraged the City to behave in the obscene manner that brought about the credit crunch. I look forward to hearing about more policies like free medicine for Cancer patients, well done Gordon.

  • Comment number 48.

    Tories Tories and more Tories.
    Almost every bleedin' post.
    Either that or you're all too young, forgetful or just plain stupid to remember the last time we had a Tory government.

    "Time for a change", shut the hell up.

    Change to what? Tory Blair, Mr I-won't-tell-you-any-of-my-policies-because-then-you'll-realise-actually-I'm-just-as-much-a-part-of-the-old-nasty-party-as-I-ever-and-not-vote-for-me-Cameron!

    I'm with Nick Clegg on this one (never thought I'd hear myself say that!)!

    Cameron's only aim was to make the Conservatives inoffensive. Problem is, once you strip out the offensive parts of the Conservative party, there isn't much left

    A new Prime Minister/Labour leader, might have mattered once, but I'm not so sure now.

  • Comment number 49.

    When the economy was going well it was all as a result of his policies, now it's all gone to pot, it is all the fault of the world outside and we are really well placed because Labour have managed the finances so well? Not a hope, better an apprentice than a failure who will not even admit his mistakes.
    However all we have heard from Labour ministers and MPs is there is no one else who comes close to his skills in the party; it doesn't say much for succession planning or the strength of the rest of his cabinet does it. Of course there is no strength in depth because he is terrified of ability and keeps it out of his cabinet, which probably explains the economic situation we find ourselves in.

  • Comment number 50.

    We should all take Party Conferences with a pinch of salt.

    Brown says the country isn't ready for a novice - the Tories used that example in the mid-1990s when there hadn't been a Labour Government for nearly 20 years. Didn't work well.

    Iain Duncan-Smith said in 2003 at his Party Conference 'That the quiet man is here to stay and he's turning up the volume.' He was ousted after a matter of weeks.

    The trick at this party conference has been to place the focus on Brown and not everything else. Labour is in trouble - and I don't mean in terms of it's poll figures. The party is now torn between the 'Old' Left and the more progressive wing of the party. What has been very interesting at this conference has been the marked contrast between Union demands and those of the Cabinet. For example, one demand was to re-nationalise or tax out of existence utility companies that made excessive profits yet this pledge was mainly ignored by Darling.

    Some comments here suggest Labour would be wise to retreat to the left. Comments such as demands for excessive taxes on industry, renationalisation drives, etc will put the party out of office quicker than Cameron et al ever could. It is clear that there is a real tension between the differing ideologies of the party and Brown is not strong enough to hold the fragile unity together. Blair's modernisation of the party was to banish the unacceptable (and unelectable elements) of the party such as the extreme union views. He was popular enough to ensure that he could get this - look at the money that flowed into New Labour during his leadership.

    You take away Blair and the whole thing collapses. This has been an OK conference for Brown personally, but he has taken his eye of the greater problem - the demand to return Labour to the ideological position of the 1970s-1980s. Comments here suggest that the Tories are still fighting the battles of the 1980s, it is clear that a faction of the Labour party still want the same thing for their party. If that happens (Brown's leadership is weak on this and Labour is bankrupt) then Labour might as well confirm itself to opposition for many years. Blair detoxified Labour to the electorate a return to the leftist policies of the 1970s would be a disaster.

  • Comment number 51.

    Brown says "And so let's hear no more from the Conservatives - we did fix the roof while the sun was shining. "

    but doesn't add
    "Unfortunately we still owe the money we borrowed to pay for the job."

  • Comment number 52.

    In his speech Brown was saying: -Will a novice like boy Dave manage the country any better?

    I am an ordinary member of the public and I am not convinced, so as an ex Tory I'll stick to Labour.

    I will never ever, ever trust boy Dave to run the country as some of my friends and I, ALL ex Tories, remember the days when we lost our jobs in the City and some even lost their house, all thanks to the incompetent advisor that Lamont had in 1992.

    So Nick, how many Banks around the world were going bust in 1992?

  • Comment number 53.

    As conference speeches go, it was a fairly good one, and for Gordon one of his better ones. But then again it needed to be. Let's remember that he wasn't elected into the job, neither was he the Party's choice, or the electorates choice as PM. He was "put" in it by Blair as a thankyou for his support in getting his name into the history books after 10 years in post.

    Therefore Gordon is in effect belatedly applying for his own job. Fair enough, just as long as we all realise that.

    Not much mention of the economy I noted, nor of knife crime, nor of the house prices crisis. What he did achieive was a breathing space. Remains to be seen what he does with it.

  • Comment number 54.

    From the brief extracts I've seen, the general shape of Gordon Brown's speech and performance is better. It's not up to the quality I'd like to see but that will come in time. I'm sure a new speechwriter and coaching has helped but there's nuances in the content and flow of delivery that need working on. But, yeah. Good effort. I'd like to see some of the mouths around here do better from a cold start.

    Most folks will miss this but the issue of confidence and tone, and the content structures and connectedness is key to fixing the broken British economic fundamentals. The British don't do leadership or communication, and a better lead by the Prime Minister will help set a better focus other folks can follow. This has the potential to create more wealth than blowing money on feel-good projects.

    I noticed some key words and sentiments in that speech that I've floated in here over the past few weeks. Not sure whether it's worth reading anything into that but it looks kinda spooky. If there's a point, here, it's that whining might create a lot of froth but positive challenges are more useful and more likely to be picked up. Complaining is easy but shaping outcomes is something else. Folks around here might want to reflect on that.

  • Comment number 55.

    Tories Tories and more Tories.
    Almost every bleedin' post.
    Either that or you're all too young, forgetful or just plain stupid to remember the last time we had a Tory government.


    and you're clearly too young or whatever to remember the labour government before that

    the tories are weak, so are labour - why does it have to be a choice between the two? it's just becoming who's the worst between them because people are so hard headed they won't look elsewhere

  • Comment number 56.

    I do hope that Brown's speech confirms his leadership until the General Election.

    This will ensure Nu Labour's complete obliteration.

  • Comment number 57.

    Brown claiming Labour is needed now more than in 1997 seems to make all the progress he claims to have made look less valid.

  • Comment number 58.

  • Comment number 59.

    Well the speech didn't work.

    The next move will come when the Labour Party announces that for the good of the general public (thats you stupid) there will be no voting necessary for elections as the Labour Party may not get the result they want.
    There is no point in wasting good money voting again and again as Ireland will do.
    Just accept the dictatorship.
    It's for your own good.

  • Comment number 60.

    Doesn't seem to have changed people's opinions of his governance, according to radio interviews.

    And the 'Best NHS' stuff still doesn't seem to hold water - here's a quote from the BBC webste only today: "A hospital has apologised to a mother who had to rely on her husband to deliver their baby because there was no midwife available."

    Isn't that scary?

    Kids aren't props? But wives are?


  • Comment number 61.

    What's happened to the Moral Compass rubbish then?

    Did Brown realise that he couldn't peddle that clap-trap and continue to be a typical leading politician and tell bare faced lies? Or is that no longer fashionable?

    What about Blair's decision (with Brown's support) to invade Iraq in 2003 or to get involved in Afghanistan? Our Armed Forces are at breaking point yet nothing was mentioned about that either.

  • Comment number 62.

    The trick at this party conference has been to place the focus on Brown and not everything else. Labour is in trouble - and I don't mean in terms of it's poll figures. The party is now torn between the 'Old' Left and the more progressive wing of the party. What has been very interesting at this conference has been the marked contrast between Union demands and those of the Cabinet. For example, one demand was to re-nationalise or tax out of existence utility companies that made excessive profits yet this pledge was mainly ignored by Darling.

    You can only have one leader. The Green Party finally figured this one out. The problems happen when you have too many chiefs or unofficial comment: everything goes fubar and nobody's happy.

    It's a sign of maturity that the government isn't caving in to vested interests. In contrast, the Tory party still writes blank cheques for big business and blue-rinse shareholders. And look where that got us.

    I really dispair of the management and negotiation skills a lot of folks have in Britain. It just undermines personal success and drags everything down. I suggest folks make a case for better workplace training at all levels, or buy some books.
  • Comment number 63.

    Don't forget that the roof seems to be leaking very badly; no guttering, no tiles, and the rafters seem to be rotten.

  • Comment number 64.

    Gordon said his children aren't props..lucky he didn't include his wife . What a load of self righteous hogwash

  • Comment number 65.

    Great speech. Great man.

    I love Britain too and believe it can be great again with vision and I believe Brown has what it takes.

    Shame on you cynical critics - please offer some solutions. Don't you understand what's going on in the world? Its really really bad and its not Browns fault so stop blaming and start contributing.

  • Comment number 66.

    Camelot? Well, a Brown Camelot!

  • Comment number 67.

    Why does the BBC bother perpetuating the charade of being impartial? Political correspondent Reeta Chakribati can hardly contain her enthusiasm for bottler Brown: "Has he done himself good? Most certainly," she gushes. When are you going to acknowledge the facts and start reporting them? The British people, left and right, loathe Brown and loathe the Labour government for what they have done to once-great Britain. Brown is a disgrace, so is the BBC.

  • Comment number 68.

    This speech was yet another hollow, "it's all about making me look good" effort. Really quite minor initiatives were dropped in that Mr Brown and The Party figured would garner favorable headlines. Many of these had the customary Brown to start in 2 years or 18 months hence tacked on to them.
    There was plenty of talk about changing the country for the better but the obvious question must be, why haven't we seen these changes after 11 years of this administration?

    The guy claims to be against image politics but is a bigger spin doctor than his predecessor. Just witness things such as the sudden appearance of a broad grin, the massive effort to avoid that annoying habit of dropping his jaw, etc., etc.

    Move on Gordon, move on New Labour. You are increasingly looking like a washed up sportsman trying to make yet another comeback, unaware that his best years are long gone.

  • Comment number 69.

    Yes he came across as a man of great conviction. I'm quite convinced that his beliefs are sincere.

    The trouble is one of those beliefs is that to tax those that work and give it to those that won't work is being 'fair'.

    It isn't.

  • Comment number 70.

    Doesn't anything think Blair limited Brown the past years?

    Blair was the one that made compromises, he's the one that took money from people for titles. He's the one that pandered to the rich guys, not Brown.

    Why do you think Brown wanted Blair out? Blair was doing exactly the sort of stuff, we and Brown didn't want happening!

  • Comment number 71.

    Hiddenranbir, Brown wanted Blair out so that he could have the top job....pure and simple.

  • Comment number 72.

    For a man who has been supposedly preparing a defining speech for weeks, this was a limp effort. Halting, and with syntactic and tense errors, it made for uncomfortable listening, and the time is past for 'honest Gordon' , and an American style parading of his wife.
    The only thing saving him is the lack of a credible alternative, and I include myself as a Liberal, among those who do not recognise Clegg (who comes across as a schoo;boy speaker), and Cameron, a snake-oil salesman, as obvious contenders.
    Miliband looked so much like Mr Bean, in the press photos, protests too much that he is Gordon's supporter. JonathanCruddas' fluency, and obvious intelligence make him a much more credible long-term prospect.

  • Comment number 73.

    He talked a lot about his experience. Well I am more concerned with my experience and all of our experience of living in a Britain run by this shallow excuse for a Prime Minister.

    This experience is not a pleasant one and it is getting worse and worse all the time.

    I would rather have a talented and knowledgeable novice in charge than a thoroughly experienced idiot.

    Brown's experience has created a total mess. He has shown no sign of even being able to demonstrate that he knows what is wrong, therefore he is completely incapable of putting it right.

    Please can we have a general election now?

  • Comment number 74.

    Why does the BBC bother perpetuating the charade of being impartial? Political correspondent Reeta Chakribati can hardly contain her enthusiasm for bottler Brown: "Has he done himself good? Most certainly," she gushes. When are you going to acknowledge the facts and start reporting them? The British people, left and right, loathe Brown and loathe the Labour government for what they have done to once-great Britain. Brown is a disgrace, so is the BBC.

    I would agree that Chakribati gushed a little but beneath the presentation that's some interesting points made about organisation and peoples sentiments. Let's face it, dude, you're not the target market so anything you say doesn't matter.

    Some folks would whine whatever was said. Sure, they can run off the the Tories who will say they're right and give them a shoulder to cry on, but will that make them a winner, or just a bigger loser? The truth is the Tories know this but can't admit it.

    Now, one of thinks folks don't get about Gordon Brown is is sense of vision and teamwork: building success and helping folks, even if they're Tories, is natural for a guy like that. If the Tories weren't so narrow minded and partisan they'd get it.
  • Comment number 75.

    to #48 dylunydd

    Are you mad? It is about a basic direction. The direction of "get off your backside and help yourself" or "sit back watch Jeremy kyle on your free PC and somebody else will pick up the Bill"

    As far as I am aware Maggie and her right wing policies took more people out of poverty than Gordo's loony left will, because people need to get themselves out of poverty, giving them stuff for nothing encourages nothing. Does he honestly think giving PCs to layabout's will change anything? Education is the key but if you expect nothing from people that is exactly what you will get. If you keep doling out "Free Money" then they will not do anything to earn it. And by the way Gordon none of this money is free it is ours. I earned it, and I wouldn't mind paying so much tax if I saw anything improving. If I even saw the bins being emptied without being threatened if I put it our a couple of hours early of it it is open by 3 inches.

    I could go on but I think the majority of people are more than well aware of what labour stands for, they have had enough of being fleeced to pay for layabout's and a bunch of people who have no right to be here. The Gurkha issue is just one more example of the hatred Labour have for anything British or people who have helped Britain. How can Hook-hand remain whilst people who have fought for us cannot?

    Labour are far more obscene than the Tories ever were.

  • Comment number 76.

    I have read the blogs and it seems to me that all of them reflect, nay, mirror which ever newspaper or TV news programme the writer subscibes to. Have none of us got an opinion of our own any-more? Must we ape the views of the 50p nasty that we buy in the morning? Brown said from the out-set that he would drop "spin", so the newspapers make up their own news about him now. Who do you believe - the news writers who have to make up their stories - or the government, which doesn't. We will only ever get the government that we deserve if we make up our OWN minds

  • Comment number 77.

    I do not think that Brown will be the Labour leader that takes them into the next General Election.

    There is simply too much negative baggage from the past decade for him to overcome, now that the economy has turned down.

    Under Brown, Labour are going to struggle to be the second party at Westminster post the General election.

    If they change the leader and that person happens to be English then I think they may avoid a total wipeout.

    As part of a healthy political mix, England should have a meaningful socialist party, that true to its roots, standing up for working people.

    Maybe New Labour will revert to that one day.

    PS. Even the concession on cancer treatment for England in Browns speech merely highlighted the raw deal that the English have been getting in this area compared to Scotland. The English will be far better off running their own show, as the Scots and Welsh are demonstrating.

  • Comment number 78.

    @15 "Gordon can restore the public's faith in an exceptional and talented politician, and perhaps the next 9 months will show him to be a leader."

    Well he's already had more than 12 months and only showed cowardice, dishonesty and rank ineptitude, so I doubt that another nine months will allow him to show any aptitude that could be described as talent.

    He could restore my faith, but it would take a massive policy shift from him and mean that he would have to revert to implementing part of the labour manifesto that he was elected to his seat on. Give us the referendum!

    In addition to this he should scrap the expensive ID card, NHS database, Childrens database and the plans to monitor and track every living human in this land in whatever they do ever. All their travels, all their spending habits, every email they send and recieve, every website visited, etc etc....

    IF he did any of that, I may just consider voting labour after all, but since they basically tore up their last manifesto within about 2 years of the last election, scrapping their leader and the manifesto promises he made that won the election, why on earth would anyone ever believe any election promise from labour ever again???

    This speech is way way way too little about 2 years too late!

  • Comment number 79.

    He'll use his wife as a prop though, Brown you are still the arrogant bully!

  • Comment number 80.

    Nick, you say that Gordon getting his wife to introduce him gave him the "surprise factor he needed"
    I think he got Mrs. Brown to introduce him because she was the ONLY person he could trust to sound pleased

  • Comment number 81.

    @ 55.tarquin
    What damn revelance does the Labour government of 1979 have?
    In case you haven't noticed, the Tory government I am referring to is the last example that we have of them in power.
    Jim Callaghan is not the most Labour PM

  • Comment number 82.

    The slant of this speech is in part the outcome of Nick Robinson's insistence on addressing issues in terms of personality rather than discussing and evaluating policy, perhaps because he cannot do the latter. It has spread in BBC political reorting and is corrupting our approach to politics.

  • Comment number 83.

    14. At 6:51pm on 23 Sep 2008, T A Griffin (TAG) wrote:
    "what a coincidence, Gordon mentions new nuclear power in his speech and then EDF announce take-over of British Energy. Weird or what."

    Weirder still TAG....Gordon's brother Andrew works for EDF

  • Comment number 84.

    Take a closer look at the ten pence tax fiasco – the single error he almost owned up to today.

    For the climax of his last Budget (2007) he wanted a rabbit to pull out of the hat. Something which would wrong foot the Conservatives and leave them speechless and open-mouthed, while producing adulatory cries of praise from his backbenches. Something so he would sit down with acclaims of his brilliance ringing in his ears. So capping his time as Chancellor and beginning his Prime Ministership.

    His rabbit was the cut in basic rate tax to 20%, funded, as he brushed over at the time, by the abolition of the 10 pence tax rate.

    He knew the implications of that. It was an effective doubling of the starting rate from 10% to 20%. It would hit the poorest hardest. He was warned by his officials in the same way they warned him of the impact of the abolition of the dividend tax credit on pensions. So he dressed it up with some protection for those on tax credits and income support but left millions of the poorest exposed to significant (for them) tax increases.

    But “so what”? The tax increases were small in absolute terms (for someone on £180,000); the change would not take effect until April 2008. He would hold his general election in Autumn 2007 and be safely back in power before the fools noticed the fall in their pay packets.

    The poorest working people sacrificed on the alter of his ambition.

    He did not come out about this in full. There was no sincerity in his mea culpa. What integrity does this man have? Take his moral claims with a large pinch of salt.

  • Comment number 85.

    No time for novice uh.... and he's the right guy for the job.

    He's the 'only' guy for the job 'in' the Labour party of which he's been part of it for 11 years and dithers overnight and 'will have to do better' this is a self bigoted Prime Minister.

    He mentioned Northern Rock, he dithered and dithered....wheres the leadership there? A Novice would have done better, more like he was concerned about the Labour votes there, not to mention the 10p tax fiasco.

    Where has the 11 years of experience gone, please DO bring on the novices.

    A little too late in the day to shout about the roof tops of what to do, clearly they this Government had any idea they would have put words into action long ago.

    Bring on the Novices, 11 years of your experience has ruined this country.

  • Comment number 86.

    Nick says: "Gordon Brown was, in effect, reapplying for his own job"

    When John Major reapplied for his own job, he resigned and triggered a leadership vote - which he won.

    Gordon will hang on to the bitter end as Labour MPs know there isn't really an alternative candidate.

    To be fair, it's not all Gordon's fault. He seems a decent chap. The reason Labour is in this mess is because of their disastrous polices.

    How much more damage can this government do as they blunder on?

    The Party's over.

  • Comment number 87.

    I thought Gordon was magnificent, why don't u all stop being so pathetic and start appreciating what a decent human being and Prime Minister Mr. Brown is. Brilliant.

  • Comment number 88.

    81 - that was my point, the original argument was that the last tory government did bad things, perfectly reasonable to say that the last labour government did too - or do we have to wait at least 18 years before a party is allowed to change and not be judged on its past governments

  • Comment number 89.

    If you are running a political party then you cannot make much use of the past or even the present.

    You have to be planning for the likely political landscape of the future.

    Some politicians are arrogant enough to think that given a bit of time, they can 'shape their public'.

    I'd rather try to herd cats than attempt to 'shape' the English, Scots or Welsh.

    For once, the pieces really are in flux, and the likely political landscape of this land in the near future is very likely to be England, Scotland and Wales as independent political entities.

    Politicians would be wise to plan for that outcome rather than trying to maintain a zombie entity - political Britain.

  • Comment number 90.

    In relation to anotheroldboy's comment i would like to say i feel that if Gordon had have made an apology he would have been probable been called weak and i lay mans terms a 'lick-up' by the very gentleman in question.

    i think that its a sad day when we fail to back this remarkable man. i do thoroughly believe that Gordon Brown is a great leader. i feel that his intellect and the intellect of his government far out-weighs that of the opposition.

    i also think it would be a very sad day if we watched the power of this country drift back to the tories who for so long under thatcher rule brought the uk to her knees.

    i dont think we should go back to old etonain rule and elite politics for priviledged people.

    Long live Labour

    and long live Gordon Brown may he steer us threw threw these trubulent days and back to the prosperous days when labour lead for equality.

  • Comment number 91.

    # 81 dylunydd

    "What damn revelance does the Labour government of 1979 have?"

    Well, in 1979 we had a country with rising inflation, borrowing out of control, a government that had lost direction, unions flexing their muscles.

    When the Conservatives won in 1979, they inherited a terrible mess. Unlike 1997 when Labour inherited a healthy economy. It didn't take long for them to mess up though.

    But I agree, we should stop going on about ancient history. It's the here and now that really counts. And right now, we need a change.

  • Comment number 92.

    I am now really worried....!!!

    I just watched the Newsnight trailer on Brown's speech and it has concerned me greatly...
    It was when he said "I'm all for apprenticeships........but this is no time for a novice".....he then gave the most sickening grin/laugh that I have ever witnessed in my 40 years of adult life. It was creepy......In fact it was deeply disturbing.

    He displays such megolamaniac tendancies that i sincerely fear for th efuture of this country.

    The wife bit at the beginning was garishly american glitz, and cr@p, afterwhich he proceeded to say his children are not props for photo shots they're people. It just makes me want to barfff!!!

  • Comment number 93.

    The odd thing is that the Labour party have zero understanding of how awful they are or how appalling their delivery record is.

    After years of Tony Blair - it is so weird seeing the sudden lurch to the hard left. The Unions, Kinnock and full on tax and spend against yet more unmeasurable and undeliverable 'clap trap' policies.

    We only need Gordon and 'non-prop' Sarah to take a walk on the beach and for Gordon to fall into the surf and we will have gone full circle.

    Bring on Glenrothes.

    Bring on (soon please) a march against the Government on London.

    P.S. New policy suggestion:

    We plan to move 1 million children out of mobile phone poverty.

    We propose free mobile phones for all under 18 year olds so that parents can take more responsibility for the whereabouts and behaviour of their children (I think everyone will agree that the cumulative cost of ring tone downloads are a price worth paying by the taxpayer).

  • Comment number 94.

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

  • Comment number 95.

    "58. At 8:48pm on 23 Sep 2008, CarrotsneedaQUANGO2 wrote:

    The kids arnt props.


    And nors the wife."

    so, hes not allowed a photo of himself with his wife and child? seems a little unfair - there is a difference between a photo and putting your children on TV. how many times i wonder have you heard about camerons children, and seen them, and compare that with brown.

    and whats it got to do with his wife? there is a key difference - shes an adult and has chosen that life for herself. clearly, children cannot

  • Comment number 96.

    The thing that really frightens me about Brown is when he smiles; be afraid, be seriously afraid!

  • Comment number 97.

    92 BankRSlicker- I just watched the Newsnight trailer on Brown's speech and it has concerned me greatly...
    It was when he said "I'm all for apprenticeships........but this is no time for a novice".....he then gave the most sickening grin/laugh that I have ever witnessed in my 40 years of adult life.


    i saw that too - to me he looked like it wasn't something he really meant, like he was just reading out some gimmicky line - i don't think it's a particularly good idea for gordon to do that sort of thing

    but then the conferences are just a time to pat yourselves on the backs and basically have a love-in whilst ignoring reality

  • Comment number 98.

    love the way sarah brown had to come back to the mic and tell everyone gordon's name!

    the bloke is full of contradictions:

    "the tories let manufacturing fall and walked away from it!" - after losing 1.7 million manufacturing jobs in the last 10 years replacing them with civil servants paid for by the taxpayer? thats good policy is it?

    "this is no time for apprenticeships!"
    after getting rid of hundreds of thousands of them, so much so, that we have a trades person shortage in the uk.

    "never before seen financial times"
    so how can he say he has the experience to lead us through it?

    "some children dont yet have access to the internet!"
    shouldnt have closed down the libraries then should he? and if brown/blair past promise of every school having access to the internet (even though 80%of them already had it) was actually done instead ofbeing used as a soundbite, then all children would have access to the internet wouldnt they!

    "i wont use my children as props!"
    no you just send your wife out to introduce you before a major policy speech, or perhaps tell the eye story again (for the umpteenth time) then reveal an operation you had that no one knew about before.... or tell everyone about your mum and dad, his kids are the only things he wont use as props.

    "im just me... this is who i am!"
    so why pay for spin doctors with taxpayers money?
    the "advisor" whos job is to stop the media from using embarassing photos of you
    the "advisor" who leaks your cabinet reshuffle to the media
    the "advisor" who leaks the theme and some details of your key speech to the country and your own party
    are they worth the cost?

    the pre speech video was even more contradictory:
    "I cant be seen to be supporting either american president candidate"
    after publishing a magazine article favouring obama, obama also features on the promo video prior to his speech

    "GB cycle team - olympic champions and the best in the world"
    based in the velodrome in manchester... built under john major's government.

    the bloke is a complete waste of space!

  • Comment number 99.

    He's awkward in public but I still feel he's the right Labour leader; he will continue to steer the Party down a business-inclusive path whilst retaining his strong social core. Those were the policies, the ethos I voted for and I see no reason to change that. He's winning people over, slowly...and would you really want kiddy Cameron in charge anyway?

  • Comment number 100.

    Apologies I have only just read your post #84.

    It is the most succinct, accurate and honest appraisal of Gordon Brown's 10p tax fiasco on all of the blogs I have read on the BBC website to date. His half hearted apology in his speech today....was exactly that....half hearted. THERE IS NO INTEGRITY IN THE POLITICAL SYSTEM IN THIS COUNTRY; WHAT SO EVER!
    We are a bankrupted society, in every sense of the word, today.


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