Friday, February 10, 2006

Of Blair, Brown and by-elections

Well, not many saw this one coming. Commentators are searching around for who has lost most, with most divided between Blair, who is after all the leader of a party that has seen a majority of 11,500 overturned, and Brown, who lives in Dunfermline East and was greatly exercised in his campaigning. Labour apparatchiks scrabbling for a grain of good news noted that the Conservative vote also fell, from 10% to 7.5%, thus 'proving' that the Cameron effect was illusory.

Overall, however, I am inclined to pick out Brown as the greatest loser here. Blair has acquired a certain degree of detachment, knowing that the hurly-burly of party politics will not detain him for much longer. His jokes about missing a division that caused the defeat of the Government was indicative of a man who has finally realised that he no longer cares.

Brown, on the other hand, has been acting as if he were Prime Minister already for a while now. Speeches about foreign policy, policing and family have cascaded on cutesy interviews about his home life. He campaigned vigorously in Dunfermline, over-stepping his authority with regards to the Forth bridge and helpfully providing his boss with a photocopy of a Cameron newsletter.

The shattering defeat does seem to underline the point that, even in Scotland, the figure of Gordon Brown inspires little affection, and still less loyalty.


Blogger Stephen Glenn said...

Actually Jim Dunfermline East is only the Scottish Parliamentary constituency. Gordon lives in North Queensferry. Dunferline East for Holyrood but Dunfermline and West Fife for Westminster and therefore he is one of Willie's constituents.

1:54 am  

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