Thursday, 20 December 2007

Will they be dancing in the streets of Raith?

The prime minister will soon be heading back to Kirkcaldy for the festive break. A well-known story claims that following a good result by the prime minister's team, Raith Rovers, a football commentator ignorant of geography claimed 'They'll be dancing in the streets of Raith.'

Gordon Brown is probably not a man for dancing but, even if he was, he might not be in a mood for a jig. He tried to send Labour MPs away from Westminster with a positive message, but as Peter Riddell has pointed out, many of Labour's wounds are self-inflicted. The problems started with the encouragement of the view that there would be an early election, only to walk away when the figures didn't look so good.

If you were invited to the Brown household for lunch (a rather good home cooked lamb stew, shop bought rhubarb tart and a glass of supermarket wine if you wanted one), what words of comfort would you offer?

Some Labour MPs think that the election of Dave Cameron's 'stunt double', Nick Clegg, as Liberal Democrat leader will take votes away from the Conservatives. Clegg has not shown a very sure hand by first declaring himself an atheist and then saying his children are being brought up as Catholics.

Although the polls are not good for Labour, they are not disastrous. A ten point lead is not as bad as the 30 per cent lead Tony Blair had two years before the 1997 election. The Conservatives are not find it easy to get consistently about 40 per cent and there are some doubts about Dave, the quality of his team below the top level and the fuzziness of his policies.

But Gordon really has to get a grip and to show that he is in command of the government and has a distinctive and clear strategy. And the economic news next year may not turn out to be so bad as expected with the central banks coordinating effectively to inject liquidity into the markets and the MPC disposed to make further cuts in interest rates.

1 comment:

skipper said...

I thought he had about six months to remove the emerging 'default perception' of his government as incompetent but fellow blogger Paul Linford reckons he's got more like 6 weeks in the New Year. He could be right.