It is often claimed that political parties are market oriented, listen to the public, and ensure policies are popular and can be justified. The whole 10p tax band fiasco seems to prove otherwise. Gordon Brown's defence is that as Prime Minister he is "listening and learning", why was this not the case when Chancellor one wonders? But without getting into the political debate, in terms of communication this is a huge gaffe for Brown, while his credibility is eroding on a daily basis he just seems to make it worse. The only viable response would be to justify the policy, his inability to do that makes him appear to be floundering while all opponents score points off of him adding to their own political capital. While admitting you are wrong can be good; when the issue is this important, and took considerable planning to reach, it does not strike of competence. The listening rhetoric is hard believe, and saying you are learning really shows the huge gap between public expectations of a prime minister and his own ability or communication skills - big question for me is whether he is good at his job but not within the current media environment or is he actually a good accountant who needed to be in the shadow of and monitored by someone with the skills of a leader?