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Will this be enough to deflect Dave’s apology demands?

March 17th, 2009


Mail Online

Or will it just keep the story going?

The Brown apology story moves on a step this morning with comments by the PM in a Guardian interview in which he admits that that he could have taken tougher action to curb the financial markets during he period as Chancellor.

I think the Mail story above has got the sense right – yes there are words of apology there but it’s arguable whether he’s gone far enough.

Whatever it’s a big move from the man who it’s said “doesn’t do sorry” and there’s little doubt that its the PM’s way of dealing with the challenge presented by Cameron’s Birmingham speech on Friday. Clearly something had to be got on the record before PMQs tomorrow when, undoubtedly, it will be main thrust of Cameron’s attacks.

The big question now is whether Brown has gone far enough and what the Cameron Quartet of close advisers decide to do about it. Do they focus on the perhaps mealy-mouthed phraseology or do they lavish “praise” on their opponent for what he has done.

My guess is that Cameron will take the latter route, congratulating him profusely him on his apology by over-stating what Brown has actually said. The aim will be to try to get Brown to respond by indicating that he hadn’t gone as far as that.

For the last thing that the Cameron Quartet wants is for Brown to be able to close the issue down. They’ve got their quarry on the run and they want him to keep running. This is more, much more, than about the economy – it’s about the PM’s character which the Tories think is where he’s vulnerable.

All good fun for politics watchers yet all deadly serious for the two men who are competing hard to lead their country in fourteen months time.

We should get a further snap-shot of the way public opinion is moving with the publication some time today of the March Ipsos-MORI political monitor. The firm has been showing the biggest Tory share (48%) and the biggest Tory lead (20%). Will that continue? I would be surprised if it did.

Full election polling guide.






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