April 2010


Well, the debates are all over. The opinion polls have David Cameron winning this last one, one of them by a substantial margin. That’s not how I saw it. Like the second of the debates, I thought it was pretty even, but that will not be enough for Gordon Brown. I think we can definitely say that barring a miracle and Labour finishing first (which ain’t gonna happen), he will no longer be Prime Minister in a week’s time, no matter what. In fact, I would bet that he resigns as leader of the Labour Party pretty quickly too even if a deal needs to be struck in a balanced parliament. Whatever his faults, he’s aware of the damage it would do to the party if he didn’t go quickly and with dignity.

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So here’s the most important thing about Gordon Brown’s ‘bigot’ gaffe: not that he is two-faced (who isn’t, sometimes?), or that he is ‘out-of-touch’ (granted), or that he has a bit of a temper (also true); no, the most important insight into the character of the Prime Minister is that he somehow translated a reasonably successful encounter with an ordinary voter into, in his words, a ‘disaster’ – which, of course, is how it turned out but not in the way he meant.

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