Monday, 9 June 2008

Labour splits spill out onto the airwaves

. Politics Home has an interesting preview of tonight's documentary on Channel 4; Gordon Brown, where did it all go wrong??

It reveals that Alistair Darling realised that the abolition of the 10p tax band would hit millions of poorer voters a year ago when he first became Chancellor. However, Gordon Brown blocked any moves to address the issue until the wide-scale revolts and backlash at the polls which we have recently seen; Darling's testimony is not exactly flattering for the Labour leader.

He says;

"'When I became Chancellor, you 'open the books', if you like, and you say ''what are the problems that we are facing?'' I knew this was a problem."

Jacqui Smith, the Home Secretary, confirms Brown's stubbornness, saying it is 'not easy' to get him to change his mind once it is made up. When it comes to running the Treasury it appears Brown is still very much hands on; Irwin Steltzer, the American economist and journalist, says:

"Anyone who thinks that Gordon Brown has given up being Chancellor doesn't know Gordon Brown."

Brown's dithering over an early election last year is widely seen as starting the slide and the programme is also set to expose the deep divisions over that decision. Jack Straw conforms he lead the opposition to an early election but Jacqui Smith spoke strongly in favour. Straw also remarks that the Cabinet is now more collegial but the Prime Minister is slower to make decisions than Tony Blair. Comparing Gordon Brown's decision-making skills with those of his predecessor, the Justice Secretary says;

"Tony was a much more instinctive decision-maker."

All-in-all this might not make the best viewing if you are a Labour supporter so they would perhaps prefer to watch Holland take on Italy instead.


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