Brown, should he stay or go?

Labour MP for Bassetlaw, John Mann has asked the question so it might be worth trying to answer it. Let’s examine the claims in detail; firstly, that Labour shed votes because Brown appears ‘out of touch’. Certainly that may be true in Bassetlaw and indeed other places and it’s not escaped most peoples notice that at the very least Brown has serious problems with how he is presented and does so himself. Contrast Brown’s closing speech on the final TV debate and his much better address to Citizens UK and you see a problem; in the former he was far too negative and dour, sombre and sincere but hardly inspirational and the consequent negativity looked plain bad in contrast to the other two who tried to convey a positive message.

In the latter he was everything he should have been in the closing remarks, inspirational and powerful in his delivery. It is probably no accident that this speech was crafted by a left-winger while no doubt his remarks in the TV debate were no doubted smelted from different ore; rehashed Blairism from one of the inner circle who can’t make the imaginative leap required to realise Blairism worked well for Blair but it doesn’t for anybody else. This is about 99.9% of Brown’s problem; he has spent far too much effort trying to be something he blatantly is not. Well, that and the fact that he leads a party seeking a fourth term of office; something never likely to endear you to a furtive electorate.

The second claim made by Mann is Brown’s presence makes a Lib/Lab alliance less likely which maybe true if only the Liberal Democrat leader wasn’t Nick Clegg who is also a major barrier. Brown is a handy excuse for Clegg to use when trying to hide his true wish it’s true but realistically, if Brown did not exist Clegg would have to invent him. Had Mann made the point that Brown has led Labour to electoral defeat then he would be on stronger ground and indeed there is a case to answer in this instance. Labour’s electoral performance was poor and ultimately the buck does stop at Number 10; it is that will most likely seal Brown’s fate and here he can have no complaints.

However, more than a cosmetic change of leader is needed…..much more and it is that debate that should frame any future contest not appeasing the personal prejudices of another party leader.


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5 responses to “Brown, should he stay or go?”

  1. futiledemocracy says :

    The problem we have, and the reason my entire family went from Labour voting, to Lib Dem, was that Brown has been chancellor for ten years, and did nothing to regulate the banks. He let this neoliberal experiment get way out of hand. He then pandered to the middle class voters. He did nothing to progress the ideology, and the logic behind the left. He has done nothing to fight against the bigoted and xenophobes, he merely perpetuated the perceived threat from immigrants with ridiculous phrases like “british jobs for british people”, and he’s had 13 years to sort out electoral reform, lords reform, and the financial sector.

    Until a party of true progressives on the left crops up, I will never vote Labour again.


  2. Arnold Peabody says :

    Brown did all he could under the Law to sort out the banks. The banks were brought down by the new capitalist regime i.e.a game of chess played by those who have more money than they they know what to do with it. Their is now a disconnect between the markets and jobs. A disconnect Mr Brown was trying to sort out.
    Leaders who seek the likability factor cannot/will not address the problem. Commanders gain respect when the battle is won not while it is being fought.

    Individual interests will always be at the forefront of our society.

    The Lib Con Pact perfectly describes our democracy today – a Con


  3. darrellgoodliffe says :


    Brown did do an awful lot and you certainly get the feeling he did try to do what he felt was his best though I didn’t always agree and don’t; I really do think we should have got more for our money.

    I think with reference to the likiability factor I take your point to a degree and feel that Brown did try to be this great, chirasmatic leader in the Blair mould which through no fault of his own, he simply wasn’t built that way, he was never able to pull off and indeed backfired.

    Agree on the last sentance though….


  4. darrellgoodliffe says :


    Sorry for the later reply. I, like you, feel more should have been done to regulate the banks. Agreed on your other criticisms though to be fair Brown did stand-up to Clegg over this in one of the TV debates though personally my views on immigration place me well to the left of all three main parties so I dont find anybody palateable on this.

    Sorry to hear that but I hope with a change of direction, Labour will persude you otherwise. Certainly, I would not be under any illusions that the Lib Dems are the party your looking for in that regard….


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