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Mick Temple's Blog



Nominations have opened for the leadership of the Labour Party, but the result is a foregone conclusion. Gordon Brown will take the title and replace Blair as PM. But is he up to the job? Not according to Professor Mick Temple from Staffordshire University.

Will we ever learn to love Gordon Brown? He's currently in the middle of a massive public relations exercise - and no, it's definitely not spin, we're now in a post-spin age. If you believe that, you're one of those who is still expecting to find WMDs in Iraq. Brown has been one of the most ruthless exponents of spin, even after the demise of his hatchet man Charlie Whelan.

As Willie Whitelaw once said about Harold Wilson, Brown is touring the country 'stirring up apathy'. He may be trying, rather unsuccessfully, to establish himself as a dynamic new leader, but he's also trying to put some pinkish water between himself and Blair.

But remember, however much Brown has been protecting himself over the last ten years, he was there at the birth of New Labour. Along with our departing leader, Brown and Mandelson (once huge buddies) are the holy trinity of the third way 'ideology'.

Despite Brown's attempts to distance himself from both Iraq and from shortcomings in a range of domestic issues from health and education to eradicating poverty, his policy role has been greater than any previous chancellor.

Blair gave Brown considerable power, especially over domestic issues.

Gordon is also responsible for one of the first big lies of the 1997 Labour government, telling the Today programme that he did not know Bernie Ecclestone had given money to the party.

That lie was outed by Andrew Rawnsley, but such is the short attention span of both the media and the electorate that by the time it came out of the closet nobody cared.

One damning indictment of Blair's prime ministership is the lack of serious contenders for the top job. Cabinet government was sidelined and potential political heavyweights were neutered by the obsession with staying on message. Brown will struggle to put together a serious-looking cabinet from the makeweights and young pretenders left after the culling of Tony's cronies.

However, without any input from we the people, Gordon will be the new PM soon. Emerging after ten years from his cosy hideaway, he'll discover a more hostile environment. Our mainstream media have had enough of Labour and the world economy is looking shakier. The wolves are closing in and the message they send out will not be one which makes us love Gordon, I'm afraid.

'Time for a change' will soon be the new mantra.

Is Gordon Brown fit to be Prime Minister?
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