Which of these headlines is the most damaging?
What a dreadful set of front pages for Gordon Brown to digest this morning. Not only is there the follow-up to the “cash for laws” allegations but there’s more awful polling news and and in the background the drip by drip news of jobs going up and down the country and in every sector.
The release by the Times of the tape recording of the “interview” with one of the “cash for laws” just added to what had been a less than optimal start to the week. The real worry now is whether the Sunday Times has further material up its sleeve for next weekend.
The ICM poll we discussed overnight and reflects the challenge Labour has in maintaining public confidence as it tries to deal with the economic crisis as well as, perhaps more worryingly, a general desire for change.
On top of that it’s the economy and the ongoing bad news about jobs. Brown’s problems here are historical, he’s been right at the centre of economic policy for twelve years, and the tired feeling of his over-used crisis rhetoric. The attacks on the Tories are simply not working any more.
I am amazed that Mandelson has not found a new approach for his boss. Brown needs to be using fresh words and phrases and a different idea – something that inspires public confidence in the government’s handling of events.
This, surely, was the point of Mandelson’s return from Brussels last October. Meanwhile we are one day closer to the general election. Time is running out. I’m yet to be convinced that Cameron has it in the bag but that’s where the money is going.