September 22, 2006


Brown feels the Cameron effect: Tory leader judged best PM, more likeable, honest and enthusiastic (Julian Glover, September 22, 2006, Guardian)

The scale of the challenge facing Gordon Brown as Labour's likely next leader is revealed today by a Guardian/ICM poll showing that voters believe David Cameron would make a more effective prime minister and that Britain will be better off if Labour loses the next election.

As activists prepare to head to Manchester for the party's annual conference, beginning on Sunday, the poll suggests voters may be tired of Labour: 70% said they agreed with the phrase it was "time for change", if there were a general election tomorrow, and only 23% agreed with the phrase "continuity is important, stick with Labour". [...]

Labour support has been on 31% or 32% in four of the last six Guardian/ICM polls, the party's worst sustained performance since the early 1990s. [...]

Asked what they would do if Mr Brown replaced Mr Blair, voters turn away from Labour, with support dropping one point to 31% while the Conservatives climb to 37%. A six-point lead could give the opposition the edge as the winner of the most seats at Westminster.

The most daunting prospect for Labour is that ditching Tony's partner hurts rather than helps--they're stuck to the Right.

Britain's Next Prime Minister - But for How Long? (NICHOLAS WAPSHOTT, September 22, 2006, NY Sun)

The next prime minister of Britain was in New York yesterday, addressing the Clinton Global Initiative. When asked where Gordon Brown was speaking, the woman on the desk answered, "Poverty. Second floor," which is hardly doing him justice. As the longest serving Chancellor of the Exchequer since 1832, Mr. Brown has transformed the British economy, ironing out its peaks and troughs, boosting the value of the pound, and allowing the British people 10 uninterrupted years of unprecedented prosperity. [...]

There is no doubt Mr. Brown is a strong and devoted Atlanticist who has stalwartly kept the Europeans and their single currency at one remove.

For the last 20 years he has vacationed in Cape Cod. Since his marriage in 2000, he has taken with him his wife Sarah and now their children, Jennifer and John, where, implausibly perhaps, but for those who know him quite typically, he has nestled down on the beach with a copy of the Federalist Papers or the latest biography of a Founding Father.

He is highly knowledgeable about American political history and the early years of the Republic, which, like his beloved Edinburgh, was a product of the Enlightenment. He values hard work and, as a son of the kirk — his father was a Presbyterian minister — piety, modesty and honesty. He counts among his friends Senator Kennedy, Bill Clinton, James Carville and Alan Greenspan. And if, when elected, he is not seen embracing President Bush as closely as his predecessor, it will be because he is a prudent politician who wishes to ensure victory in the next general election.

Always amusing to hear folks natter about how the American Century is over when you've got Labour leaders reading the Federalists and a Tocquevillian Pope.

Posted by Orrin Judd at September 22, 2006 7:53 AM
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