After a long break being busy with life and living it, rather than writing about it, I was thinking about a post on how THE WORST place for a post-Blair change-ringing Prime Ministerial appearance would be Iraq.
What a Difference a Day Makes
I was pondering a rumination on how Gordon Brown could fail to realise this and preparing to expound upon the nature of the Westminster bubble and its disjunct with street reality. After all few things can be worse in a country which wants to 'bring its boys home' than a publicity grabbing attempt to gain short-term credit from re-announcing the fact that 10% will be 'home for Christmas' - especially when half of those were already home for Indian Summer [a big improvement on Afghan winter].
Home for Christmas
Why is it that politicians use that phrase? Redolent as it is of the broken promises and shattered skulls of the Somme.
If it was possible to make a bad week worse, this little exercise crossed one of those irony rubicons that the smirking slaughterers of New Labour never seem to spot. Yes, remarkably, its true, Brave Gordon's views on war and the umma are as cockeyed as those of his more generously eyeball-endowed predecessor.
Meanwhile, back in the real world, Iraq's Christians aren't coming home for Christmas, or anytime soon, and the dead are all still dead.
Yesterday all my troubles seemed so far away...
Just a few short weeks ago Gordon was riding high. The sun shone out of his Jacqui Smith and even his Straw cod-piece smelt almost fresh enough to swallow.
The only Iraqi's he had to worry about were the suicidal situationist comics of Al-Qaeda's Celtic Fringe, whose pre-Festival tour had ended in an impromptu foam party at Glasgow Airport but failed to ignite popular interest.
How, one asked, HOW, did we get to HERE from THERE?
The weekend [13th and 14th October] produced some interesting evidence. After all the phoney election shenanigans, I was already wondering if a Blairite trap had been sprung. All the elements of Gordon's previously unflappable and principled political persona blew away, like so much spinning chaff before the hot blast of Charlie Falconer's disdain.This also led to John Hutton first being quoted as a Gordon apologist and then clarifying that he wasn't really saying that - and was thus doing even less good for faith in Gordon's leadership than employing Dawn Primarolo.
Be my dog...
Then the Liberals showed the way with a play within a play.
While a right of centre Orange Book-carrying Lib Dem leader might ultimately pressure Cameron more than Menzies Campbell's familiar patrician; it is nonetheless another easy win for Cameron, with barely a finger lifted.
Once more we are reminded why the Liberals havn't been elected to office since the Second World War.
Gordon and more pertinently 'yon Milliband' must learn from this:
That means protecting you core vote, Cameroon stylee. Not dragging it rightwards until its arms pop out and it forgets whom it is meant to vote for - and who represents what, or whom.
Gordon had the benefit of the doubt, now we simply doubt him. Doubt his sincerity, doubt his abilty and doubt he cares or understand the people whom he doesn't trust to elect him.