27 September 2009

The Sunday papers survey the carnage

The conclusion must be, having read through the papers, that us poor readers suffer just as much as Brown this Sunday.

We have Cabinet ministers falling over each other to tell us the bleeding obvious of just how bad it is for Labour.  They needn't have bothered.  Two further polls do that, but only one gets the attention of Anthony Wells.  Presumably, like the rest of us, Wells has given up on Brown and couldn't see much point commenting on the other.

Tongan Tapui, Lady Scotland’s illegal immigrant cleaner, get her five minutes of fame and neatly applies the shredder to the Attorney General’s credibility.  Who is telling the true is besides the point.  The damage is done.

Then we get to Brown himself.  He is now accused of delaying operations in Afghanistan due to a photo-op.  Then comes the ‘lock the stable door after horse has bottled’ news that he will introduce a ‘Fiscal Responsibility Act’.  All that does is create another dividing line with the Tories.

There is further news on the human resources front, which have always presented themselves as a little difficult for our non-approachable Prime Minister.  Sue Nye, a close aide, is set to leave along with a top Treasury man.  Both have had enough.

It is against this warm-up act that Brown has to dust himself off, put on the false smile that will be used in all the wrong places and face the gentle Marr.  Unleashing Paxman on a morning like this would be a tad unfair.

Andrew Rawnsley best sums up the dreadful position from where Brown starts this Sunday:

To avoid that slide into irrelevance, Gordon Brown will have to do enough to keep his colleagues disciplined and his party sufficiently motivated to believe that they can still make a fight of it with the Tories. He will have to retrieve his dignity, buttress his authority and convince his party, the media and voters that it is not all over quite yet. There is one fragile advantage possessed by a leader who has been so comprehensively written off. He has the opportunity to surprise on the upside. To break out of the spiral of decay in which he is caught, he will have to produce a very big surprise in Brighton.

Even if Brown does produce that “very big surprise” this week, or sooner after the conference, it will make no difference what-so-ever.

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