02 July 2007

Are We Ready?

Gordon Brown being interviewed on Sunday AMThe BBC's Nick Robinson is right when he says it's been a great few days for "Not Blair". Gordon Brown's performance on Sunday AM was exactly what one would expect from a new Conservative Prime Minister — as Andrew Marr put it at one point, "Cleaner hospitals, more city academies, pushing power down. These are all Conservative Party policies." Conservative supporters I have spoken with have been impressed with the humility with which Brown spoke when he first entered Number Ten. One suggested his "substance" will increasingly make David Cameron look flaky.

With Brown's cabinet expected to announce constitutional reforms including a British Bill of Rights and greater powers for MPs over decisions traditionally exercised by the prime minister and with his insistence, echoed by the leader of the Commons, Harriet Harman, that he will brief MPs rather than journalists about the government's business, I can well imagine the odds on a snap election will very soon drop. After all, the former Chancellor knows better than any of us the fragile state of the economy. All he needs is to do what the Conservatives feel unable to do and promise the country a tax cut and Cameron may discover there's nothing he can do to prevent an unprecedented fourth Labour election victory.