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CHARMER: Brown has lightened up a lot during the campaign

Britain's political parties are collaborating in a mild deception. They pretend that voters are being asked to make a choice between Conservative leader Michael Howard and Labour Prime Minister Tony Blair. But this is not quite what is on offer. The allegiance of Labour M.P.s and party supporters is even now being transferred to the politician who is a near-certainty to succeed Blair as leader and Prime Minister, should Labour win this week as expected: Chancellor of the Exchequer Gordon Brown. Blair precipitated these defections last September, when he said he would step down after this election and before a subsequent...

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