But has he upset both Euro-sceptics and Euro-philes at the same time?
Given their hostility to all things EU the front pages of the Sun and the Express are predictable this morning – the day after Brown’s Lisbon fiasco.
His strategy is inexplicable – on the one hand he has further angered the the EU-sceptics by signing the document; on the other hand the manner of his actions yesterday by deliberately arriving late to avoid the main signing ceremony is attracting ridicule and abuse from those more in favour of Europe.
The most illuminating description of Brown’s psychology and actions this morning comes in a feature by one of his biographers, Tom Bower, in the Guardian who looks at the influence of his father – the Rev John Brown, “his beloved father and minister at St Brycedale church in Kirkcaldy.”
Bower observes: “Until now, most assumed that Brown’s inheritance from his father was a devotion to the improvement of mankind and to honesty. No one doubts Brown’s commitment to eradicating poverty, but the honesty question niggles more than ever. Casting aside the latest insider reports about the prime minister’s abusive language, grudges, and reliance on cronies, his admirers are perplexed that the son of the manse consistently ignores the fundamental Christian value of truthfulness?
…Another legacy of life in the manse is Brown’s inability to overcome serious obstacles in problems created by himself. Treasury officials routinely complained about Brown’s refusal to listen to criticism or warnings. For years, his stonewalling was blamed on stubborness or lack of trust. The Northern Rock saga suggests another explanation: namely, Brown doesn’t understand financial complexities.”
If you want to bet on such probabilities that Brown might be out next year or that David Miliband will be his successor there are betting markets here.
Liberal Democrat leadership competition – If you want to enter please go to the previous thread.