Friday, September 14, 2007

The Iron Lady v the Iron Chancellor

What a magnificent piece of political theatre - pure genius on the part of Gordon.

Just as we head into the party conference season and the Tories launch another of their interminable documents on policies they might think about considering introducing, Gordon pulls off a masterstroke. He invites Thatcher back into her old lair for a look around. He's not just stealing the Tory clothes, now he's nicking their antiques as well (and their old retainers).

Naturally, this infuriates the unions and the left, who have inadvertently sent out the message to Middle England - that semi-mythical sea of floating voters - that Gordon is not a man of the divisive left. It infuriates the Tories, as it reminds them of a time when they had a real leader and could dream of being in government. A stroke of absolute genius for the message that it sends.

As for the Tory pillock who claims that Gordon was exploiting a frail old lady - grow up.
Baroness Thatcher is 81, she is elderly, she is lonely, she is frail and she has difficulty with her memory. Those closest to her say that her grasp on daily life is “some days better than others"
If I was being unkind, I'd merely say that enough pensioners suffered during her years in office, so that if her turning up on Gordon's doorstep helps to prolong Labour's spell in goverment, then that's a little payback for the wrongs of the 80s.

Rob Wilson (who?) accused Gordon of exploiting her - as if he'd sent the ring and ride to bring her down to the bank so she could hand over her life savings, rather than an old warhorse (with a shrewd advisor) revisiting the scene of her crime/triumph (delete as appropriate). Thatcher may be less with it than she used to be, but she's a tough cookie and not one to be 'used.' Indeed, many of the commenters on Conservative Home thought that Mr Wilson had himself overstepped the mark in his description of the Great Leader as someone virtually gaga. Perhaps she felt that she could send a message to the modern Tory party, reminding them of how far they have fallen that she feels happy to tour No 10 (quite possibly for the last time) as a guest of a successful Chancellor (what would she have given for the solidity and prudence of Chancellor Brown, eh?) and a very promising PM.

Iain Dale adds a very different perspective to the unknown Mr Wilson

There's been an awful lot of guff written this afternoon about Thatcher and Brown and Thatcher and Cameron. Lady T and Gordon Brown have known each other for 25 years. I'm told that they had regular conversations during the 1980s when
Lady Thatcher spotted him as a coming talent. Their meeting today ought not to have surprised many, although the public greeting might have had the more traditional Labour (and Conservative) supporters reaching for their smelling salts.

Was the whole thing political? You bet. There's no shame in being political - that's the game we're in here. Thing is, Gordon wasn't the only player yesterday.

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