Tuesday, December 02, 2008

Can Brown Survive Without The Economy?

The government has been pinning its hope of revival on one man who can save the world. But without the relentless spin on the economy, the government is starting to flounder, as time and again a crisis of confidence rears its head. 

Events over the last week or so have brought into sharp focus the old political adage that government's can be brought down by events leading to a lack of confidence and trust.

Time and again opinion polls, reminiscent of US-style push polls placed for political advantage, seem to show the political gap narrowing, as Brown was positioned as the only man capable of saving the economy, the world and global warming on the way.

Then out of the blue came the crunch. 

The pre-leaked pre-budget Budget sham did nothing to enamour the government with voters. That exposed the government track record of relentless borrowing and just borrowing more in these debt ridden days was hard to swallow. No amount of leaks or spin could mask the silly little VAT gimmick for what it was. 

The Baby P case rightly caused public indignation but here Brown totally misjudged the mood of the country, leaving it up to his school secretary to try to recover the moral and political high ground. But at the centre is an incompetent local council department, the failure of Ofsted to uphold standards, failed government child protection policies and no hint at accountability at any level.

Then some fool came along and lit the fuse of Greengate. In one fell swoop that achieved a rare sight in politics with all opposition parties and many true Labour voices united in utter condemnation, while the prime minister maintained his state of denial. 

The Queen's Speech tomorrow signals the start of a new round of parliamentary legislation as ministers desperately try to re-focus on the economy to take the government up to a general election. 

But the rumblings of discontent amongst MPs over Greengate show no sign of abating with talk of a commons rumpus and Cameron and Clegg trying to force a debate with an early day motion of no confidence in speaker Michael Martin.  

The shallowness of the government has been exposed over and over again in recent weeks. Even with the economy to fall back on, it is doubtful no amount of spin can recover confidence. Other events may be just around the corner and now it doesn't take much to tip over the edge. 

Even up to the weekend, Brown's newly installed deputy prime minister, Lord Mandleson, was making hilarious comments, comparing the prime minister to Moses leading his children to the promised land. 

This little ditty from Singin' In The Rain springs to mind. 

Moses supposes his toeses are roses

But Moses supposes erroneously

And Moses, he knowses his toeses aren't roses

As Moses supposes his toeses to be

Maybe the Lord of the Merry Dance could bear that in mind when he next tries to trip the light fantastic.

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