The launch of Gordon Brown’s leadership campaign, ‘Gordon Brown for Britain’, was met with cautious optimism, together with a little bemused humour. Most notable was the fact that a misplaced television autocue meant the leader-in-waiting gave most of his opening speech with his face obscured.
Although The Sun claimed Mr Brown ended up ‘looking daft in a string of gaffes’ (12/5), other commentators wondered ‘if it could be said the PR foul-up that dogged him through the day, worked to his advantage – an ordinary guy struggling with life’s hassles’ (Telegraph, 12/5).
Certainly, admitted The Guardian leader, ‘it was far less smooth in media terms, but maybe that was part of the plan too’ (12/5).
Although he denounced the ‘politics of celebrity’ (The Sunday Times, 13/5), the media was impressed with his new look and propensity to smile. ‘Goodbye, grumpy Gordon’ heralded The Guardian (12/5), while The Times noted his hair was ‘as tidy as one of those lawns cut with manicure scissors’ (12/5). The media was less sure of his policies, the FT surmising, ‘it will not quite be New Labour, but not Old Labour either. New New Labour, or maybe New Old Labour’ (11/5).
MESSAGES BY VOLUME
*Based on 70 articles from 11-13 May 2007