Sunday, May 11, 2008

A weekend of woe for Brown

What a strange doublewhammy weekend of memoirs we have. Yesterday the story was the news that Cherie Blair was publishing her memoirs six months early and having the serialised in the Times. Today we the start of John Prescott's autobiography being serialised in the Sunday Times.

I imagine there two ways you can look at this. My first impression yesterday was that Cherie Blair's helpful contribution to Brown's premiership did not really reveal anything we didn't already know. All it did was confirm what was believed to be the case.

The same is largely true for Prescott too it seems. The general thrust so far is that he played the peacemaker in the Blair/Brown axis more than once. Prezza has also confirmed that Brown would have moody fits of silence in meetings and then would 'explode like a volcano' later on.

Again much of this is not new news, but the real impact has to be the timing. Is it a bizarre coincidence that two of the closest people to the most significant political power relationship in the last decade just happened to publish and serialise in apparent unison?

Only they know the answer, but, at a time when Brown is suffering so badly, with ICM calling a 'dead man walking', it is difficult not to ponder upon whether the timing represent a quiet revolutionary fightback by those who consider themselves victims of a Brownite coup that they knew would be a disaster.

With ICM now saying that the Crewe and Nantwich by-election is virtually in the bag for the Tories, a weekend where people that were on the inside start to push the line that Brown is, in effect, mentally unstable, how long will it be before even more talk of a leadership challenges surface. As Prescott once said, the 'tectonic plates' are moving.


Anonymous said...

A simple commercial explanation. The publishers see no value in holding on them for the party conference season (the traditional best sell time for politco bios) because they have serious doubts that Gordon will be around, and there will be less than no interest in ancient history.

Howard said...

The Anonymous comment is 100% correct. The best analysis of Brown's chances this weekend is on The Week in Westminster given by Peter Hennnessy. As usual he is spot on and required listening.

Anonymous said...

Cherie Blair (formerly Booth), John Prescott and also Lord Levy are probably maximising their earnings. If Brown were an ex PM their "memoirs" would be worth little. There is little detail of government in all three and it is mainly tittle tattle that pads them out, which would be next to worthless when Brown is gone. So I assume all three see Brown gone sooner rather than later.

Alan Douglas said...

Yup, get in quick while there still is a market for this trash.

Both Booth and Prescock have suffered from being severely exposed by over-promotion. Seems Chumba-Wumba, who poured water over Prescock at a music awards ceremony, were way ahead of their time.

Alan Douglas

kinglear said...

I think the real point is that Cherie ably makes the point that Brown actually does not understand people's aspirations. He wants people to be given things by his government, and now the people who pat are rebelling against the cost. Blair understood aspiration, and played on it brilliantly. Brown couldn't sell a drowning man a life belt.

Steve Wart said...

Is there any place to find The Week in Westminster in any format other than RA from the BBC iPlayer site?

I can't be bothered to install the rubbish RealPlayer, but I'd like to hear it if I could get it in a more standard format.

Cyber Nat said...

Gordon Brown will be gone in 17 months.

William of Occam said...


(btw can I sell you a razor?)

Kafka said...

A point that escaped me earlier. Both these serialisations are in the Murdoch press. Has that worm in our body-politic finally turned against New Labour?

canvas said...

Who has a lower approval rating - George Bush or Gordon Brown? They must close?

'Go Obama!'

Maybe 'Go Cameron' - or maybe 'Go Milliband'?

Definitely, Gordon Brown must just GO GO GO.