Monday, September 11, 2006

The power of captions

It seems that as ever the media and certain politicians have been making a big issue of something totally out of context:

The next day's front pages were bad for the Chancellor, using a photograph of him grinning broadly to suggest he was gloating. In fact, he had been sharing a joke with his assistant, Sue Nye: but calls to Labour HQ in Newcastle were running 80:20 against Brown. Could the deal be unpicked?
Now admittedly Brown's reputation is such that his smiling in public is notable, but if this is the best line of attack for the likes of Charles Clarke, then one has to wonder just what the next Labour leadership election will be about. There are some acknowledged policy differences between the Blairites and the Brownites but at the moment they are rarely aired in the media and even Labour Mps attacking Brown and/or Blair are reluctant to use them (and this can't just be that the media is disinterested - Charles Clarke's attack was by the current media standards newsworthy by virtue of his being public).

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