Thursday, September 04, 2008

For Gord's Sake!

Brown has ruled out a windfall tax and a one-off fuel payment, according to the Beeb. This is awful news. He's thrown away a golden opportunity to smear some ameliorative economic ointment on hurting consumers and strike a redistributive pose, something he urgently needed to do after the ten pence tax debacle. Secondly, he's been seen to be dithering and indecisive yet again. Compass's campaign for the windfall tax gathered speed over a number of weeks and seemed within an ace of being adopted by the government. There were reports that business secretary John Hutton opposed the tax on the usual right wing grounds but nonetheless, enticing headlines of the "windfall tax still on the cards" type appeared in the nationals. It would have been popular with Labour MPs, over 80 of whom signed Compass's petition, who desperately needed a traditional Labour shot in the arm after recent by-election disasters and with demoralised party activists and voters who are finding it hard to explain to the electorate and even themselves what the party stands for now.
Charles Clarke's carefully timed salvo against Brown grabbed headlines earlier in the day but is arguably of far less significance to the government's fortunes than its misguided rejection of the windfall tax and fuel payment.
This blog started off as a fan of Gordon Brown but in just over a year it has revised its opinion. Brown is many things, politician, intellectual and commanding party figure but he doesn't have the temperament for leadership.


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