Tuesday, 14 October 2008

Treading carefully

Right, I have a theory that at least part of the calling up of the dead which was generally referred to as Brown's reshuffle was, in fact, an attempt to paint the internal Labour narrative as being bigger than the 'what on earth is Gordon Brown doing (or not doing)' narrative.

This may be a terrible slur and a shameful way to talk about a poor man whose disability is increasingly debilitating, but this story that appeared in the Telegraph fits that narrative arc. It outlines how Gordon Brown's 'aides', friends and insiders have grave concerns about his deteriorating sight and about Brown's heroics in getting on with it and not letting it get him down.

First, let's be clear; this story wasn't placed by his enemies, it's sympathetic for one; the channel was chosen (traditional Conservative paper, big chunk of A and B on the socioeconomic scale); and no mention is made of anyone thinking that this makes Brown less able to be Prime Minister.
There you go - bring Mandelson back, encouraging speculation and chatter, have Ed Balls appear to complain, setting up oodles of opportunities for 'the kids are arguing again' stories, fling in a wee bit of 'Gordon isn't 100%' in order to get the salivation going, speculation over whether Brown will have to step aside will abound. Suddenly no journalist, no commentator is talking about the Conservatives.

At least, that's the theory. He'll need some election results to go his way first - starting with Glenrothes, so that's that knackered then.

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