Spiralling down the plughole.

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Brown's government tonight remains stuck in the headlights of a pair of news stories that simply will not go away: MPs allowances and the Gurkha right of residence. 

Earlier on Phil Woolas fell foul of the Gurkhas' champion Joanna Lumley, and the Telegraph will tomorrow launch Cameron's Euro campaign with the Cabinet's latest allowances embarrassments.

Although the New Labour reputation for ruthlessly efficient media management is exaggerated, it's hard to see the Blair/Campbell team tolerating either of these issues going round and round, getting worse every news cycle. That's almost three weeks since the Gurkha story started off again, and the allowances fiasco has been a dominant narrative for months now.

Neither issue might seem that substantial in policy terms, especially given the gross negligence of the Labour government on matters both economic and environmental. Yet in both instances Brown insists on pointlessly putting himself on the wrong side of the argument, and both stories are extremely easy for his opponents to communicate.

Only a brave soul would rule out the idea that this pair of stories might finally tip the dominos against Brown. Which is more likely? His political career run through with a kukri, or choked on Jacqui Smith's bath plug?

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This page was published on May 7, 2009 11:48 PM.

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