Is there any way out for Gordon Brown?
“It’s time to cut him loose,” it declares in an editorial that goes on: “The public is calling furiously for a better system. People want an honest parliament. They want leaders who are prepared to act. They loathe the old system, and many of the people who are part of it.”
Brown, it says, has left it too late to change anything.
And yet it was only a few months ago that the same paper was carrying cartoons portraying this apparently now fatally wounded figure as Superman, as Britain took the lead in dealing with the world banking crisis. Few analysts dispute that he remains the master of his economic brief.
He may not have the political savvy of Tony Blair and his awkward mannerisms in front of TV (and YouTube) cameras do not serve him well but most observers agree he has always been a figure of moral integrity. Early on, he won plaudits for his opposition to the super-casinos plan, he was lukewarm at best about the 2005 extension of drinking laws and he is far from being one of the worst expenses offenders.
Are people being too hard on Brown, making him a scapegoat for the expenses crisis?
Can he, should he, stay on?