GORDON BROWN was today wondering how, in less than a week, he's gone from hero to zero. As he faces a second battering by David Cameron at Prime Minister's Questions tomorrow, and a potentially difficult Lisbon summit on the European Uni on Reform Treaty, he must be reflecting on how true Harold Wilson's most memorable saying is.
THE woman on the railway platform as I returned from the party conference season summed up everything about Gordon Brown's early election fiasco. Immaculately turned out, she told me: "We should have known he didn't have the courage. If he'd had the guts to gamble on an early election he'd have got rid of Tony Blair years ago."
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SLIGHTLY to everyone's surprise in Blackpool, George Osborne rose to the occasion of his speech to the Tory conference with a headline-grabbing promise to raise the £300,000 threshold for inheritance tax to £1 million.
HE may not possess the showmanship of Tony Blair but Gordon Brown put on an assured performance when he addressed the Labour Party Conference yesterday for the first time as Prime Minister.
GORDON BROWN's hopes that next week's Labour Conference in Bournemouth would be the wind up for him calling an early General Election at the time of his choice have foundered on two shoals - Northern Rock and foot-and-mouth. Since the former Chancellor took over as Prime Minister from Tony Blair he has appeared to live a charmed life.
MING CAMPBELL will next week let the Charlie Kennedy genie back out of the bottle in a bid to sprinkle some magic and stardust on the Liberal Democrat Party Conference and the General Election campaign that he believes will follow shortly afterwards.
YESTERDAY Gordon Brown signalled a major drive to persuade people, especially the young, to vote in elections. Clearly rocked by the fall in turn out and the SNP's success in May's Holyrood poll, he called for a major Westminster summit on the issue.
UNEXPECTEDLY, Liberal Democrat leader Sir Menzies Campbell has had the most relaxed holiday of the three party chiefs. While Gordon Brown has been desperate to show that as Prime Minister he is just as much in control as he was as Chancellor, and David Cameron has been trying to subdue his unruly Conservative Party, Ming finds himself as ruler of all he surveys.
AT first it all seemed so easy for David Cameron. One unscripted speech to a Tory conference in Blackpool and, suddenly, his opponents for the party leadership collapsed.
GORDON BROWN has spent years dreaming of getting into No 10 Downing Street and now the main question on his desk is when to call a General Election to give him his own mandate.
SO Gordon Brown has cut short his family holiday in Dorset to come back to 10 Downing Street to take charge of the foot-and-mouth crisis. Which immediately begs the question: "Why?"
WHEN he was Chancellor, Gordon Brown's deal with Tony Blair was that while the Prime Minister flew around the world sorting out foreign policy, he was left in charge of the domestic agenda.
DURING his first 10 Downing Street press conference as Prime Minister, Gordon Brown was asked if, after three weeks, he was enjoying the job he'd been waiting so long to get. He replied that he was, with its diet of a new challenge every day.
LESS than three weeks into his prime ministership, Gordon Brown is discovering fast that very public crisis management is part of the job description. But while dealing with the failed terror attacks in central London and at Glasgow Airport required a concerned and steadfast demeanour, ideally suited to his dour Scottish son-of-the-manse personality, the latest problems over UK/US relations are far more tricky to handle.
SO the Alastair Campbell diaries are finally out - sort of. We've only got 700 pages of carefully edited text from the man on the inside track as Tony Blair created New Labour and took it into 10 Downing Street.
SUDDENLY, far sooner than either expected, the Scottish politicians who are the UK's Prime Minister and Holyrood's First Minister find themselves having to work very closely together.
THE European Summit at the end of last week showed that the handover of power from Tony Blair to Gordon Brown was already under way. The departing Prime Minister had to backtrack on a concession he had given over competition policy following a phone call from the man who will have his job tomorrow.
YESTERDAY saw a fascinating contrast - Tony Blair's swansong in front of senior MPs and David Cameron setting out his stall to be the next prime minister but one.
EUROPE did for John Major and it looks possible it might do the same for another Chancellor taking over as Prime Minister in mid-term.
IT looks as though Tony Blair may actually have left Gordon Brown a legacy that he'll be happy to receive - how to handle Conservative leader David Cameron. While most of the things that will pile up on the new prime minister's in-tray will be unwelcome - not least how to get out of Iraq with dignity - his persistent attacks on the Tory chief over problems with policy will come in very handy indeed.
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Weather for Edinburgh
Saturday 18 May 2013
Temperature: 9 C to 13 C
Wind Speed: 18 mph
Wind direction: North east
Temperature: 9 C to 18 C
Wind Speed: 8 mph
Wind direction: North east