Friday, March 24, 2006

Brownian Politics

I said I would deal with the budget, but to be fair that last post was a post on Brown's economic policy, and since there was virtually nothing of any economic note whatsoever in the budget, it would seem more appropriate to deal with such of it as seems important here.

It was quite clearly a budget aimed squarely at David Cameron, presumably with the intention of squashing him ("like a bug d'you hear? Like a bug!"). All those little, irrelevant policies on miniature wind turbines, the 'hilarious' joke about flip-flops, the mention of Black Wednesday, without of course mentioning that the Labour Party had advocated entry into the ERM earlier and at a higher rate against the Deutschmark.

Yet Cameron's line of attack, duplicated by Osborne, looks effective. The line is that Brown is an unsympathetic, obnoxious sociopath, without a shred of humanity; without an iota of humility. The attack is effective because it rings true. Cameron said in an interview with the Sunday Times

“With Blair at question time,” he says on the train, “there’s a sort of jokiness between us… With Brown, he gives his opponent no quarter at all. It is literally: you are evil, you are dead, I will kill you, I will stamp you into the ground until my boot is banging up and down on your face. There is no way you can get into a reasonable conversation with him.”

This is a line of attack that can work - Brown seems physically incapable of smiling. Even when genuinely happy it looks like an awful leering rictus. His one style of speaking is the bible-thumping harangue of a blood-and-guts preacher. Even his gnawed and mangled fingernails tell the story of a man of frightening anger. I'm not even going to repeat the story told me by someone who was in Brown's former office about the state that his personal lavatory was in. I'll leave it at saying that the phrase 'fermented bile' was used.

Brown's line against Cameron therefore is predictable - to portray him as a child among men, dismiss him as a pampered irrelevance. But this is fraught with danger. It will, if carefully handled, allow Cameron to use it as evidence of Brown's brutality and arrogance.

Declaring an interest (as if the title of the blog weren't enough), the propsect of Brown as Prime Minister is enough to mae me want to run away and hide. That ghastly, over-bearing Scottish voice pummelling away every day, the same continual enlargening of the state: God it fills the soul with despair just to contemplate it.


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