Six weeks’ holiday? Who’s running the country? Even given that these questions are part of the annual silly season, it does seem strange that Pa Broon, nominally workaholic Prime Minister, has managed to put his feet up for a whole six weeks, managing even to keep head below parapet on the al-Megrahi release. Or has he?
Because I don’t buy into this one. Brown doesn’t do “six weeks off”. The idea that someone who regularly puts in eighteen hour days – and every day – can suddenly switch off is not credible. He might not have been visible to the inhabitants of the Westminster Village, but he’s been up to something. And this may have been a good time to work, away from interruption and scrutiny.
Previously, I’ve noted that Brown has exercised questionable judgment on a number of occasions. If he expects to lead Labour into the next General Election – and that must come within the next nine months – then this is an area he has to sort out. If he’s for real on any kind of future, expect there to be differences in presentation, perhaps also personalities (don’t be surprised to see Big Al putting in the odd appearance, for instance) following the holidays.
The first test looks to be PMQs: Young Dave is jolly angry about the al-Megrahi business, and says there are limits to realpolitik (the kind of assertion that could prove as uncomfortable to a future Cameron Government as “ethical foreign policy” was to Tony Blair). How Pa Broon bats that one away will be instructive.
Because if he doesn’t, then that’s one more chance of pulling out the rabbit gone.