Will he ever live the phrase down?
There’s lots of material for the parliamentary sketch-writers this morning after Gordon Brown PMQ response to David Cameron is which he said “We not only saved the world..”
Typical is Quentin Letts in the Mail: “..Saved the worldâ€™, eh? The hubris! It is one thing for Downing Street spin meisters to spout such nonsense but when a Prime Minister starts to believe his own propaganda weâ€™re in trouble..In those moments immediately after the prang it was hard to know where to look. Harriet Harman, sitting at Mr Brownâ€™s right, did formidably well not to join the general hilarity. How Hattie didnâ€™t draw blood from her lower lip, Iâ€™ll never know. “
But could Gordon have been saying what he actually believed? It certainly was a mistake to use the phrase at PMQs but was what we heard yesterday the PM’s personal view of his role? That’s what the normally “Brown-friendly” The Mole suggests in the First Post news magazine.
He writes: “..It may have been a blunder – allowing the Tories to do a passable imitation of the Muppets, as they fell about laughing while poor old Gordon looked non-plussed and then red-faced – but those close to Gordon say it is what he privately believes…Word inside the Cabinet is that he is “on a high” having found a subject with which he is comfortable. The mood is said to be good, although he is as intense as ever. “He’s still pretty driven,” one Cabinet minister told the Mole.”
Perhaps it doesn’t matter whether he thinks it or not – the point is that it rang true and fitted the perceptions that many have of Brown.
Alas we live in the YouTube age, the scene was recorded and videoed, and whatever the PM intended he’s going to be lumbered with it for months or even years to come. It’s a bit like the “Crisis – What Crisis?” phrase that was wrongly attributed to Jim Callaghan in the run-up to the 1979 general election. He didn’t even say it yet he found it almost impossible to shake it off.
Is there going to be any long-term political impact? The answer is almost certainly yes. This is a gift to the opposition parties who will raise it time and time again whenever bad economic news comes up. And as for Rory Bremner……….!!!