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Archive for the ‘prime minister’ Category

Iain Martin has provided, presumably from his sources inside the civil service, a fascinating and chilling insight into Brown’s autocratic, paranoid and hopeless (mis)management of day-to-day Prime Ministerial business. If you haven’t already read it, click through here.

It will take a lot of effort to work out just how much damage three years (or 13 years if you include his time as a diabolical, serially disloyal Chancellor) of Brown’s weirdness and chaos in Downing Street has done to this nation. The litany of disasters that can be traced directly back to Brown’s bunker door are emerging daily, of course, so the process could take less time than we think.

Quite frankly, I think how such a man was elevated to the level of the highest office in the land in the first place, without even the pretence of any form of democratic election, should also be a source of deep and urgent study. Why? Because it must never, ever be permitted to happen again and if that means radical alterations to the rules governing the way Prime Ministers are chosen, then so be it.

In the meantime we can be happy about a couple of things, and Martin alludes to these in his excellent piece: stable, reasonable, elected people are back in charge, cabinet government appears to have returned and the principles of ministerial and collective responsibility look like being rigorously reinstated.

We shall see, but after the cocksure, cowboy, sofa government years of Blair and the mentally disturbed, incoherent, mafiosi years of Brown, it certainly feels like accountability, professionalism and, crucially, normality have returned to Downing Street, Whitehall and, perhaps (just perhaps), even Westminster.

Well, you might disagree. But God help us all if I’m wrong!

Just remember, Brown’s chief hit man, Balls, is still around, waiting in the wings, shamelessly spewing his poisonous politics of propaganda, division, dishonesty and fear. He’s on This Week right now lying through his teeth about, in this case, his many crimes against Tony Blair on behalf of his boss, Brown, to whom he remains fanatically loyal. The chances of the evil Balls becoming leader even of his own party are pretty slim, I admit, (oh I do hope he wins!) but there’s still that chance, however slight, and the frailties of our system, exposed by the Brown 2007 coup d’état, mean that at that point, he would be a hell of a lot closer to Number 10 than is sanely conceivable.

If Iain Martin’s revelations reveal just how very, very, incredibly bad Brown was, just imagine what life would be like under Prime Minister Balls.

That would be a nightmare from which we might never wake up.

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Mandrake (Tim Walker) in today’s Sunday Telegraph reveals that one of Gordon Brown’s last acts as Prime Minister was to secretly cut the future incumbant’s salary by £250,000 over five years.

Gordon Brown’s failure to turn up for the State Opening of Parliament may well have been because he couldn’t look David Cameron in the face. Mandrake hears that one of Brown’s final acts in the Downing Street bunker was quietly to organise a pay cut for his successor which he must have known would leave him out of pocket to the tune of hundreds of thousands of pounds.

On Brown’s orders, the Prime Minister’s remuneration package was cut from £194,000 to £150,000, but this was done with such stealth that no formal announcement was ever made.

Now, some might say that that was done for sound economic reasons since the country faces economic collapse due the parlous state of the public finances – thanks, er, to Brown. That conclusion would be completely naive. Even Walker’s conclusion, jovial as it is, and quoting a ‘Whitehall source’ is wide of the mark in my humble opinion.

“This was pure Gordon,” harrumphs my man in Whitehall. “Quite prepared to make the big sacrifices – so long as it wasn’t him who actually had to make them.”

Not so. While his pocket-lining, self-serving instincts were certainly part of the motivation for his actions, Brown did this out of pure malice for his successor. That’s why he did it secretly. As a result, Cameron will earn little more than he did as leader of the opposition, and could well earn less in terms of salary alone given that he has also handed himself and the cabinet an example-setting 5% pay cut, unaware that Brown had already sabotaged that good faith gesture.

As far as I’m concerned, Brown is a seriously twisted individual who finished the way he started in office, by sticking two fingers up ostensibly at the hated Tories, but really at the entire population of the country he pretty much single-handedly ruined. He must be held to account, and, if fraud or corruption are ever uncovered, brought to book for his crimes against the people of Britain.

In the meantime, let’s focus on something else. It’s not just that he couldn’t face David Cameron at the Queen’s Speech, or that he hasn’t turned up in parliament once on behalf of his constituency since he was booted out of Number 10, or that he has continued to draw an MP’s salary while, in effect, going AWOL (I hear he’s been in up in Kirkaldy but effectively incommunicado since his ousting)…these things are bad enough. It’s not any of that, however, but something far simpler. Clearly, there is a strong case for him to be suspended from parliament pending a review of his activities, or lack thereof, since regaining that safest of safe seats, (and whether his supporters in that safest of safe seat like it or not)]. If necessary, legislation should be introduced to this end. It should be applied not just to Brown but to any MPs suspected of not discharging their duties of office adequately.

Well, I know it won’t happen – which is a pity – but, in the end, something must be done about Brown. He deserves some kind of punishment for his vicious spite and, ultimately, his cowardice both in and now out of office.

If nothing else, though, we should expect and demand better from our backbench MPs.

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No, not him, you fool. Her Maj. Seems we are amused. The Prime Minister will be relieved.

Well, him and the two sensible thirds of the country both.

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Big tip of the hat to the peerless Barking Spider for unearthing this extraordinary assault on Gordon Brown by, of all people, George Galloway. Now, I know this could be a big case of pots and kettles – in the sense that there is clearly a heck of a lot of history between these two old Scots Labourists, and clearly one hell of a lot of bad blood – but even so, the very fact that Galloway could feel he could frame some of the things he says about Brown in the way he does in this interview really must give one pause. For one thing, it doesn’t sound especially political but very personal – and seems to come from personal knowledge.

Add to that the deluge of rumours and revelations of one kind or another about Brown’s mental health and general behaviour and anyone would be justified in wondering whether there is at least some substance to them; whether, thanks to some anti-democratic stitch-up in 1994 between Blair and Brown, Britain has been left at the mercy of a leader who is completely unfit, mentally, socially and professionally, for the role. At the very least, it hardly inspires confidence. Unlilke Galloway, however, it doesn’t inspire pity either, at least in me. Just bloody outrage that a man like that could have risen to the position of the two highest offices in the land, by, effectively, at least in the case of his current job, cynically exploiting what amounts to a serious constitutional loophole. “Undeserving”, “dishonourable” and “incapable” are the three words which I think best describe the man, consequently; “unforgiveable” the word to describe the behaviour of the parliamentary party that put him there.

Anyway, have a listen. It really is, well, extraordinary!

I’m not entirely sure whether we can really trust the utterances of a coiffured, oily old Trot like Galloway, but what he says nevertheless adds more substance to the overall image of Brown-as-angry-depressive-and-general-weirdo, his (real?) tears in a hideously soft interview with a self-publicising old buddy notwithstanding.

This mud is coming thick and fast. An awful lot of it is sticking, too. Good.

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