Not long after Labour came to power in 1997, I was talking to a friend of mine about Gordon Brown. We were discussing leadership and what makes a good leader. Who has what it takes and who doesn't. We both agreed Brown does not have what it takes.
Winston Churchill, FDR, Margaret Thatcher, Ronald Reagan. They were leaders. You may have not agreed with them all, but they had a quality about them and none of them were frightened of making tough decisions.
Gordon Brown's legacy as Chancellor of the Exchequer was one of him disappearing every time the government made a difficult or unpopular decision. He left other colleagues to take the flack from the media. He wasn't around for a regular grilling from Humphries and Paxman. He may as well have put a sign on his office door saying, "Gone Fishing.'
During the past few weeks we have seen Brown, the Prime Minister, displaying the same traits. I have said for a long time that Brown would avoid really difficult decisions when he got to Number 10. Yesterday was the culmination of Brown the ditherer. He could have called an election for September. He didn't. He could have told the media that he was not going to call a general election. He didn't. He could take the blame for all the speculation about an imminent election. He doesn't. He prefers to blame others in his electoral team like Douglas Alexander. The man doesn't have any guts to make tough decisions. In a crisis this country will be without the leadership it needs.
Cast your eyes over the four leaders I mentioned in the second paragraph. Would they have behaved in such a toothless way? Yes, I am a Tory and you would expect me to say this, however I think it is a fair assessment of the man we unfortunately have as our Prime Minister for a least another year and a half.