At an event discussing Leadership at the London School of Economics yesterday evening, Matthew Taylor attacked Gordon Brown for having "consistently said one thing and done another". Now Chief Executive of the Royal Society for the Encouragement of Arts, Manufactures and Commerce, Taylor was Head of the Number 10 Policy Unit under Tony Blair, and later Blair’s Chief Adviser on Strategy. His words represent the first unambiguous public attack on the Brown government by a key member of the Blair camp.
On policy, Taylor criticised Brown for the inconsistency of claiming to be for social justice and then cutting inheritance tax. On Brown’s style of government, he charged that the Prime Minister had pretended to be for a new politics and then played the old political games on when to hold a General Election. Brown had presented himself as being for the politics of the big tent while briefing from Downing Street even against members of his own government.
Taylor argued that this authenticity issue more than anything else had damaged Brown with voters. This dislike was not to be traced to him being Scottish or brooding, but to a public feeling that Brown does not match up to their desire for a leader who is both authentic and effective.