Listening to Alan Johnson’s interview on Today this morning it struck me that we might be seeing the first incling of a strategy by Gordon Brown to get out of the mess he’s in.
If I’m right, then of particular importance was the bit when Johnson said something along the lines of:
“Am I the leader of any particular Gordon Brown fanclub, No, but I have worked with him for 9 years and I’ve never” Blah blah blah… “but he’s a good honest and able politician.”
Translation: “look, you may not like Gordon but times are hard and he’s a safe competent pair of hands.”
It’s certainly the strategy I would go for if I was in the unenviable position of Gordon’s comms chief. Gordon Brown is not likeable, and ever since his move to number 10, his comms effort has gone into trying to change that perception. By any possible measure that effort has failed, but, and it’s a big but, if he can portray himself as the safe option, given the current climate he doesn’t need people to like him.
People are always worried by big picture problems, and that worry influences their vote, but right now they aren’t scared about abstract ideas, they are scared about very specific, very immediate problems – how much is my house worth? can I afford my mortgage if interest rates go up?
In these circumstances, if Gordon can succesfully blame the Americans for the property problems and portray the Tories as a risky choice then like him or not, its my guess that people would vote for him.
Granted, there are alot of ifs in this but, and here’s the final if of the day, if I’m right, you’ll see alot more ministers admitting that they may not be Gordo’s number one fan but…