Monday, October 08, 2007


The Prime Minister has popped into Mustard Seed Shavings for one of those unfortunate interviews where the interviewer poses the questions and composes the answers. So Mr Brown, why you look so tired?

I had to cut my holiday short to deal with foot and mouth.

Went well though, don't you think?

Sarah doesn't think so.

And why no election?

We wouldn't win.


We only call elections if we think we can win.

Aren't you supposed to say, 'I want the people to have more chance to see what I can do, it's only been 100 days' or something?

Yes, but that would be spin. Fact is we'd probably lose, or draw.

Was that because of Mr Cameron's triumph of noteless speech making?

No. In fact it wasn't noteless. He had his notes behind him, a good army-style presentation technique, and he looked at them, or gathered his thoughts and remembered the next bit, when people applauded. Tory party conferences have a hair trigger when it comes to applause. There are certain words you say when you want them to oblige. Always works. There were 15 minutes of applause in the 67 minute speech so he had plenty of time to look if he needed. No, the reduction of inheritance tax thing was popular and that was George Osbourne's announcement.

So what is your policy on inheritance tax?

Oh we're going to do the same. I'm into consensus politics and it's a good idea so we'll use it.

That's a bit brazen isn't it?

What, listening and copying? No. It's how we all learn.

Well thank you for your bluntness Mr Brown.

My pleasure.


Anonymous said...

Oh so cynical but oh so right!

Debbie K

Stewart said...

I think sections of this interview are slightly unfair. A more honest transcript would read as follows...

And why no election?

We wouldn't achieve such an overwhelming victory that we would destroy the Tories for another generation.


There's no point in me calling an election right now - with two and a half years of this Parliamentary session left - unless doing so would result in the Conservatives suffering a crushing defeat that they would implode, factionalise and become unelectable for another decade.

Aren't you supposed to say, 'I want the people to have more chance to see what I can do, it's only been 100 days' or something?

Yes, and that is what I have being saying every time I've been asked by the press. The truth is I had absolutely no intention of calling an election this Autumn - I was just having fun yanking the Tories' chains. Then the Labour Party found itself 11 points ahead in the opinion polls, and I started to think it might actually be a good idea to go to the country before Christmas. Turns out this was hubris on my part, and now I look a bit silly.