The Futility Monster

He'll pointlessly derive more enjoyment out of your resources than you

Is Gordon Brown Capable Of Fighting Back?

Posted by The Futility Monster on April 15, 2010 @ 18:00

Better the devil you know... would that attitude win it for him?

Expectations are horrendously low for Gordon Brown as a result of the fact that most of us have known him as a politician for nearly 20 years and have seen his transformation from clunking-fist to hulking-brooder.

In the early 90s, Brown was a fearful opponent to Tory Chancellors. He spun and smeared effectively, and had the ability to steamroll his counterpart with his usual rapid-fire delivery. It worked, and was appropriate for the time. The same was true during his stint as Chancellor, though his ability to dodge questions and leave them to his juniors was well noted.

But as PM, such behaviour is not acceptable. PMs have to cover all issues with great confidence and command the respect of the nation in order to win.

Gordon Brown cannot do that, and it will not change tonight.

What he can do, however, is use those phenomenally low expectations in his favour.

Nobody is expecting Brown to win. No one expects Brown’s rather unnatural, stilted delivery to knock anyone down tonight.

That is then, his greatest strength.

Outperform even slightly, and the country will be pleasantly surprised. Show that he is indeed capable of debating Cameron, by showing, at last, a degree of humility and honesty, and he will reap the rewards. Show that he is a human being by making an emotional connection with the audience. Any topic will do. It might have to be shameless. It might have to be about the loss of his child, especially if Cameron mentions his own trauma.

Some might say that’s the sure fire way to looking crass and insensitive. But if someone else brings it up, the door is open. He probably shouldn’t spontaneously do it, but if they start talking about the NHS, and then about how marvellous it has been for them… one thing can quickly lead to another.

He has the advantage of being the underdog, while still being the Prime Minister. He has the ability to give little nudges of patronisation in Cameron’s direction by, for instance, talking in great detail on a specific part of government that he knows well. If he does that, and Cameron waffles a general response on the topic, Brown will get the chance to deliver his favourite “no time for a novice” line. It will make him look experienced, and Cameron a dangerous, uninformed risk. He should lay a couple of those traps.

Overall though, if he can get through the debate without sounding robotic, and talking with stuttering, stumbling or reeling out tractor production statistics, as well as just make a couple of connections with the audience, he will be able to emerge triumphant. It won’t be the disaster everyone is expecting, and he will gain the momentum going into the second debate (which is on Sky News, and will be lucky to get 1/10th of the viewing figures).

Will he do it, however? No, I don’t think so. He might actually be incapable of all of the above.

And if he flops even more, the game will most definitely be over.

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4 Responses to “Is Gordon Brown Capable Of Fighting Back?”

  1. Gary Watts said

    I do feel the tiniest bit sorry for Gordon Brown. I much prefer him to Tony Blair. Although I do think his game is nearly up.

  2. Peter Reynolds said

    http://peterreynolds.wordpress.com/2010/04/15/there-are-lies-damned-lies-and-then-theres-gordon-brown/

    Not all of us have time to write three posts a day you know!

    It is a game and, of course, it won’t be over until 6th May but it’s the entertainment value we want! Wouldn’t it be great if Gordon does “flop even more”. Much as I think he’s probably a decent man when he’s got his slippers on at home with Sarah, he’s played with high stakes and he’s lost. A copious drubbing of humilation is called for and I hope he gets it tonight!

  3. Peter Reynolds said

    Poor Gordon

  4. […] Is Gordon Brown Capable Of Fighting Back? […]

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