As predicted, the Conservative focus at today's Prime Ministers Questions were on the key issues of Brown’s loss of nerve in calling the election, the refusal to allow a referendum on the EU Treaty, and Labour’s blatant stealing of Conservative policies at yesterday’s Comprehensive Spending Review.
Evading the question as to whether he and the Chancellor had incorporated the increase in the threshold before inheritance tax is paid and the tax on non-domestic citizens prior to the Conservative conference last week, Brown continued to look rattled when put under pressure by Opposition MPs. I’ve said it before, but he just doesn’t have the zing of his predecessor.
Cameron’s accusations of the Prime Minister having “no conviction, just calculation; no vision just a vacuum” appeared to particularly needle, with Brown stammering out a weak response.
On the plus side, Brown probably wasn’t the worst performer – I actually thought that he gave the squeaking Ming Campbell a fairly easy ride, considering the fact that it has been the latter’s weak leadership that has led to the haemorrhaging of support from the Lib Dems to the Conservatives. The House of Commons has always needed a resident runt, and that is one job for which Ming seems eminently qualified.
With the sharks already circling in both parties, Brown really needs a success to emphasise his own authority and put the young pretenders in their place. Conservatives, you have been warned.