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United Kingdom: Will YouTube destroy the prime minister?

The YouTube clip of Gordon Brown has backfired, and the prime minister has become a national laughingstock, said Peter Oborne in the <em>Daily Mail.</em>

Peter Oborne
Daily Mail

YouTube may have ended any hope of a comeback for Prime Minister Gordon Brown, said Peter Oborne. Brown’s office recently put out a video showing the prime minister explaining how he plans to restore confidence in Parliament by issuing new rules on how members claim expenses. The clip “has become an Internet hit through its sheer awfulness.” Brown looks “half-mad,” smiling insincerely at inappropriate times and seeming almost giddy as he delivers his dry remarks.

Until the clip’s release a couple of weeks ago, the Brown government was faltering but still salvageable. Now the prime minister has become a national laughingstock, and members of his own Labor Party are turning on him. Even some of his ministers have begun “stepping forward to mock him,” including Communities Secretary Hazel Blears, who criticized “not only his political strategy but his personal judgment in appearing on YouTube.” A strong prime minister would promptly fire Blears. But Brown now operates from a position of “humiliating weakness.” Brown is “a wounded beast; his enemies smell blood, and they are beginning to circle for the kill.”

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