Monday, September 25, 2006

The Verdict On Brown

Well, as I posted earlier today, it was never going to be a surprising speech was it? The amount of pre-selling, previewing, leaking and spinning meant that we knew pretty much the entire thing before he gave it. The content was obvious and there were not the big shock policy moves that some commentators had been predicting. The key for Gordon was how he delivered it.

My take on it was that he did a reasonable job, but didn't knock the cover off the ball. There was a real opportunity there for him to kill any hint of a leadership contest before it even began, but this was not how it played out. I would imagine that other candidates will feel very confident that they can take him on after that performance.

Is it just me or is he incapable of smiling without it looking false? His nerves were also getting the better of him as he sweated profusely throughout.

On the plus side he did manage to make some pretty good comments about his and Blair's relationship. I wonder if these were pre-screened with Tony's team?

Interesting to see how the other speeches play out this week. Miliband and Johnson speak on Wednesday and Reid speaks on Thursday. I think we'll be able to judge a lot about the leadership race by the extent to which the other potential runners and riders stick to their briefs. I doubt that anyone else will say that they are "relishing" the opportunity to take on Cameron, but you never know.

Good to see that everyone is sticking to discussing policy. Has there ever been a conference in which the actual policy and shadow policy were presented by members of the same party?

Verdict: B-

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