Is it just recently or have you thought so all along?
It’s becoming very difficult to find anybody any more who still says positive things about Gordon Brown’s electability. One after another in recent months former great supporters of the ex-Chancellor have come to the same conclusion about the man they cheered into Downing Street at the end of June last year.
But when did you start to realise that he did not have it? When did you conclude that Labour would be heading for a disaster under his leadership?
The Brown-loyalists, in public at least, still argue that all is due to the economic down-turn and that if Labour can convince the public that it’s world events and it’s not Labour’s fault then it will all be OK.
That is clutching at straws – the reality is that they cannot distance themselves from the man for even if the economy was still going strong I think Gordon would still be in trouble.
I am very struck by Alan Watkins in the Independent on Sunday this morning. He writes: “Towards the middle of his Chancellorship, as I was listening to a Budget performance, the thought occurred to me: This man is unable to make a speech. He rushes his sentences. He gabbles his words. His pronunciation is grotesque: nothing to do with being Scottish, for most speakers from the Celtic nations have a natural declamatory gift, but perfectly ordinary words come out mangled..More than this (so I thought at the time), Mr Brown cannot be bothered to learn. He lacks any courtesy to his audience. He is content to plough on, and we are lucky to be allowed to listen to his words at all.”
To me, as those who have been visiting the site for long will have read, Gordon has always been an appalling communicator. But it’s Watkins’s“..can’t be bothered to learn. He lacks any courtesy to his audience..” that really strikes home.
Poor communicators, like Maggie Thatcher, can work hard at their style and improve. Gordon simply doesn’t see this as being important. The result is a man simply unable to be a coherent leader in the modern age.
The only issues now are when and how he departs.