New Times,
New Thinking.

29 April 2008

Pulling the Finger Out

The liberal-left commentariat is stepping up to the plate now the government is in trouble

By Martin Bright

Three big beasts of the opinion-forming classes were in fighting mood this morning. Polly Toynbee produced a robust and persuasive defence of Ken Livingstone, but I’m still not convinced the mayor is a democrat or even a true Labour Party man.

David Aaronovitch was a supporter of Blair even in his darkest hour and now he is Gordon Brown’s greatest defender. His column today goes completely against the grain without being “counter-intuitive” for the sake of it. “Mr Brown, damaged by his own treatment of his predecessor, has made several tactical mistakes and one strategic error,” says Aaronovitch. “He didn’t realise how quickly one dominant narrative can be replaced by another, and he failed to hold the election that could have saved him.” This is probably about right. But the question is whether the narrative can shift again?

Ever the optimist, Steve Richards believes it can. But the Cabinet needs to show its mettle before the government has any chance of recovery. Steve’s still hoping and you have to love him for that. Well, that and his smart new byline picture.

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