"Mr Brown said only 26 people have signed a petition calling for an election on the Downing Street website - "and not one of them are on the Conservative front bench"."The fact that neither he or anyone close to his anticipated this sort of response or the thousands of signatures now on the petition is astounding. Frankly, mentioning the petition was a red rag to a bull. Someone within his team should have said to Brown "hang on, if you mention this in front of the nation, someone will go looking for it. And someone will publicise it". This was going to become a story as soon as Brown mentioned it, and by drawing our attention to it, and is simply drawing out the embarrassment Team Brown are feeling about the election debacle. I’m with Guido with his decision not to call Team Brown "Brownites" anymore. They are the B team. They are the Brownies.
Whilst the guy was a total tit and completely unworthy of the office he served in for 10 years, you would not have seen Blair mentioning this petition. And Blair’s team would have been about a thousand times more capable in dealing with this story and burying it. Media management is vital in modern politics – like it or not. Brown has proved that he and his team are not capable of even basic media management. But on a wider level, the whole election debacle shows a further lack of ability. After all, the "sell" on Gordon is/was that he is a capable, calculating politician. The past few days have shown this not to be the case at all – he can’t even correctly decide when to hold an election that he almost certainly would have won. As Mr Eugenides notes:
"If you’re a calculating politician, not a conviction one, then you had better be damn sure that you do your sums properly - because otherwise what, frankly, is the point of you?"But what has caused this sudden turnaround? Why has Brown – feted the most successful chancellor in living memory and feted as managing crisis after crisis since he became Prime Minister this summer – suddenly lost all of his ability? Regular readers of this blog will know the answer to the first point at the very least. Brown’s tenure as Chancellor was all smoke and mirrors. He didn’t manage the economy well; he was just good at hiding how badly it was all going through robbing more and more taxes from you and me. And let’s take a look at the crises Brown has managed since he came into Number 10. The bombs didn’t go off – owing to a mixture of the incompetence of the terrorists and random circumstance, not because of the PM. The floods were an expensive inconvenience – nowhere near as bad as the floods experienced in other parts of the world. And lest we forget, the Brown administration still hasn’t learnt the lessons of those floods. Foot and mouth? Nu Labour appear to have learnt from the mistakes of an earlier outbreak – but given the horrific costs of 2001 it is difficult to celebrate their recent success in controlling the outbreak too much. Also, don’t forget that the likely source of the outbreak is a (partly) government facility. And the run on Northern Rock? Solved by a willingness to throw the taxpayer’s money at the problem if need be. What a Brownie solution. Spending your money to make him look competent.
The fact is that Gordon Brown has always been an egregious cunt with all the usefulness and attraction of used toilet paper. And it was only a matter of time before he demonstrated that incapability and odious personality to the nation. The veneer Brown wore when hiding in Number 11 Downing Street, and over the summer, has been washed away through his own actions.
Everyone who has ever wished that Brown would go and fuck himself must be very pleased with the past few days. Because through the election debacle and the ludicrous mismanagement of the fallout, Brown has gone and thoroughly managed to do so.