Is it smart to deny the blindingly obvious?
The interviewing trait where Mr.Brown is at his most vulnerable is when he seeks to deny something that is clearly the case. Less charitable people than me might use the word “porkie”. The problem is that he does this when it is so obvious
Thus when it was apparent almost to the entire country in October 2007 that a factor in deferring the planned early election was the sudden change in Labour’s polling position Brown’s refusal even to recognise this was the low point in that game-changing Andrew Marr interview.
Last June when the whole Westminster village and more knew that Ed Balls was not being moved to the Treasury because of Darling’s steadfastness Mr. Brown totally denied it – a move that made him look shifty and reduced his standing further with the media.
The same is happening, as we saw in today’s Marr interview, over whether there will be cuts – something that, again, is totally clear to most politicians and commentators including the majority of his own cabinet and something to which he steadfastly refuses to admit.
If he thinks this means it will go away he’s very much mistaken. For everybody who will have public encounters with him in the coming months is going to press the point even harder. He needs a plausible answer that is believable
The ridiculous thing is that in each case it is so much easier to recognise what the widespread perception is and respond accordingly.
Surely there’s somebody who’s advice on this he’ll listen to?