How Brown’s idyllic summer holiday with his beloved boys must seem an age away. Our Dear Leader had spent weeks putting together his autumn offensive. After just three days his clattering train is heading straight into the buffers.
On the morning of yet another Cabinet away day, a list of today’s little local difficulties has been left leaning against the cornflakes packet on the Brown family breakfast table:
1. A leaked report says the NHS may need to cut 137,000 staff to help to meet planned savings of £20 billion;
2. France and Germany are far from happy with Brown’s plans for saving the world;
3. Alastair Darling tells the Indy, “You win elections by looking ahead, not by looking backwards”;
4. Lance Price, a former No10 spin doctor, has some harsh words:
Gordon Brown's worst offence was probably to believe he could fudge his response to Megrahi's release and get away with it. As offences go, it is pretty mild one. Yet by compounding the impression that he is a leader who lacks the courage to lead, he will pay a disproportionately high price for it.
5. More of the same in the latest poll; and finally
6. One you may not have seen yesterday, Jacqui Smith says, it did not “feel right” to release Megrahi.
Today could have been so different. It had been rumoured that sometime ago Brown was sent a discussion paper about declaring Thursday 7th September 2009 a holiday, to mark the 70th anniversary since the outbreak of the second world war. The paper was glanced at but never properly considered.
As usual, Brown was spending all his waking hours on creating dividing lines and on developing short-term tactical moves, rather than being a Prime Minister.