During the party conference season, the leaders of all the main parties gave interviews to Andrew Marr, and the one that generated most comment – not unconnected to the question Marr pitched on medication – was that with Pa Broon. One commentator from the Tory cheerleader side of the blogosphere even made this memorable comment at the end of his post on the subject:
“What's the betting Brown refuses to be interviewed by him again?”
which, as today’s appearance by Brown on the Marr show demonstrates, would not have been a particularly fruitful strategy. The same commentator has just posted his observations on that latest interview – which, of course, hold that Brown is rubbish, because, well, he is – but seems to have forgotten his quote.
Back with that interview, the selective memory attack seems to have extended to Brown himself, who had all sorts of hopeful noises to make on how the UK might lead the world in a variety of new and emerging technologies, but was not convincing on how these might improve our ability to reduce the country’s stock of debt over time. Nor is this area – the sharp deindustrialisation of the UK began rather earlier than the accession of the New Labour project, in Margaret Thatcher’s day – one where either main party has covered itself in glory.
But one area where Brown did signpost something new was in soundbites – which shows how thin the brew of this discussion really was. His thrust was that what he was doing was for the good not merely of the Labour Party, but that of the country. I mention this not because of any sudden attachment to extreme cheesiness (fat chance) but because this sounds as if it may be said again and again in the forthcoming General Election campaign.
So brace yourselves – that will be difficult for anyone to selectively edit out.