Are Toynbee’s comments an attack or an excuse?
In a New Year video the veteran Guardian columnist, Polly Toynbee, makes some highly pointed comments about Gordon Brown’s communication capabilities which I have not seen picked up elsewhere.
She says of the PM “He’s not a very good speech maker. He doesn’t have a great facility with the English language. He’s not very emotionally intelligent. He can’t reach out and touch people and make them feel enthusiastic. ..There’s a long way to go before people will know why they should vote Labour for a fourth time”
Polly is very influential within the Labour movement and her pre-conference column in September titled “Unseating Gordon Brown maybe Labour’s last chance” was hardly welcomed by Brown Central.
She seems to have eased off as Labour has improved in the polls but it must be an irritant to have someone who for so long was a strong supporter being prepared to put the boot in.
These latest comments seem to ring true and highlight what is surely a big issue for Labour – the ability of their man to perform during an intensive election campaign. Could it be that she’s preparing the ground to attack his leadership again if and when the polls turn against the party?
All this makes the 7/4 bet that many of us made on Brown being the first party leader to go even more promising. That’s now tightened to 5/4 with the PM now being the favourite of him/Cameron/Clegg to be out first.