Thursday, January 29, 2009

Cruddas And Perils Of Political Language

Labour's last of the few MPs standing, Jon Cruddas, has fired off a broadside to Brown, warning he needs a new language to explain what the government is doing about the recession. Political code for 'Brown has lost his marbles'? 

Downing Street spinners will not be happy bunnies. Battered Brown's blubberings over the Heathrow commons vote and whether he can weather the economic storm are already causing consternation, with speculation it will be men in grey suits or white coats who will come and take him away. 

That prompted the Orange Party to  ask if we are seeing the green shoots of an early election

Cruddas has piled on the dismay for Downing Street. His observations,  reported in today's Independent, are sharp and refreshing, including a back-handed compliment to Cameron who he thinks "is doing well". But they should come with a health warning. 

Cameron's Angry Party is starting to capture the public mood and the voters in a clear, simple and straightforward way, in contrast to the robotic dronings of Brown's NewLabourSpeak and that's to be applauded. 

But that connection with a new language is exactly what Blair in the early years achieved, now copied with huge success by Obama. 

Such a figure may not be always benign, as Oborne has pointed out: "there is a frightening prospect that he will be able to adapt the techniques of manipulative populism to his own purposes".

Dave is a pretty straight sort of guy. But in the hands of a slick, smooth talking spinner who talks the talk while lording it up, that would be dangerous. 

Brown and the gang have dug themselves into a messy hole of their own making. No amount of clever language will get them off the hook. And nor should it. Cruddas should be careful for what he wishes.

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