Matt Falloon

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Mandelson shows Brown how it’s done

September 28, 2009

There haven’t been many highlights from the podium at this year’s Labour party conference so far, but business minister Peter Mandelson pulled the cat out of the bag.
A rip-snorting rouser of a speech on Monday — full of gags and inspirational lines — has energised the party faithful and left commentators drooling.
It was just what Labour needed given all the negativity around the party at the moment.
Way behind in the polls, scrambling for policies that will capture the public mood and seemingly doomed to defeat at the next election to the opposition Conservatives, a week-long conference in sunny Brighton could easily turn into a painfully long few days.
Prime Minister Gordon Brown takes to the stage on Tuesday and must follow Mandelson’s lead if he is to convince the doubters in his own party and beyond that he has what it takes to reverse Labour’s fortunes.
Brown is not known for his imaginative speeches but he needs to find one now.
He did it last year — when plotters in his party wanted him out.
Can he do it again?


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Gordon Brown is too consummate a politician not to be able to pull something out of the bag. His problem is that many apparently see him as too hesitant in his responses, and often too slow to state his position. Many voters have lost patience with Labour, citing its cabinet in-fighting and inadequate equipping of our troops in Afghanistan. We have again heard from the Police that they lack enough officers on the beat due to the huge amount of form-filling now required. Extra paper-work has also afflicted the National Health Service, together with equally burdensome targets. The mocking of David Cameron, a politician who wants to cut this waste, won’t work… except to raise a few cheap cheers among the party-faithful. So Brown needs to follow his own lead by setting out his vision of a strong Britain in the 21′st century, together with coherent and effective policies. He must also take care to distance himself from those who have embarrassed Labour in the past!

Posted by Matthew Wilde | Report as abusive

Mandy had to resign twice and then makes a joke of it during his “rip-snorting rouser” An interesting example of how to behave? I wonder just how many people will turn out and vote at the next General Election?

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  • About Matt

    "I cover all aspects of government policy from the British parliament, but concentrate on Number 10, fiscal policy at the Treasury, and monetary policy at the Bank of England. I am based in our parliament office in Westminster and in our UK bureau in East London."
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