The first encounter – what do we think?

The first encounter – what do we think?

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    Who came out best on the constitutional exchanges?

This afternoon, a day earlier than expected, we saw the first exchanges between David Cameron and Gordon Brown. The occasion was Brown’s announcement on the constitutional changes and they gave the Tory leader the opening to raise the “English Votes for English Laws” issue as well as an EU referendum.

After being out of the limelight for so long the exchanges gave him a platform for two seemingly populist policies which might provide the means for him to impede the Brown bandwagon.

Gordon seemed hesitant and nervous and stammered a bit. But being fair to him he has very little experience of this sort of thing and it shows.

    I always thought that going for a Labour leadership coronation was a mistake because a campaign would have honed up his debating and presentational skills.

He would have also had to go through a Jeremy Paxman “ordeal by interview”. But Brown he will get more confident.

I don’t think the Prime Minister foresaw the openings that statement itself would give to the Tory leader. Cameron will be relieved to have done pretty well after the poor poll performances. There are enough sound-bites there for him to get good bulletin coverage. Cameron looks a lot better against Brown than Blair.

It was all a good taster for tomorrow’s PMQs.

Mike Smithson

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