Thursday, May 31, 2007

Blair's heir finds his Campbell

So Andy Coulson, the former Editor of the News of the World is to be the new Director of Communications for the Conservative Party.

He is obviously supposed to be the Alastair Campbell to David Cameron's Tony Blair. He may well offer an approach that is every bit as brutally effective at savaging a tired NuLab administration as were Campbell's attacks on John Major (remember the "Y-fronts outside his trousers" image).

But one of the most powerful moments of the whole "end of Blair" saga was Michael Howard looking Campbell in the eye on Newsnight and telling him how much he had lowered the quality of British public life. (

So in making this choice (doubtless a smart operational one) Cameron cements his positions as a true heir to Blair.

Friday, May 18, 2007

Brown vs ?

At least Gordon's coronation avoids the ridiculous situation where the unions end up with a critical choice in who will be the next Prime Minister.

Now that Brown has no competition for the leadership a nation (OK, a tiny proportion) will turn its eyes to the Deputy leadership selection race. This looks like it might shape up to be the proxy for the national debate on Labour's future that the leadership race should have been.

And the debate might - if it somehow catches fire, and Cruddas is surely best placed to deliver that - become more interesting than all but the most eye-catching of Brown's pronouncements. Why? Because whizzy announcements from the top have become rather too much part of the Blairite background. Something genuinely exciting from the Deputy Leadership debate may wake things up - with 6 candidates playing it safe will not wash.

And who knows - we might even end up with a Deputy Leader with a far stronger mandate from the Party than Gordon Brown.