Monday, February 25, 2008
Rebuilding of Gordon Coming Along Nicely
Jonathan Oliver, in the ST yesterday commented on the much needed work being done for Brown by his new permanent secretary Jeremy Heywood(pictured left) and his new top political adviser, Stephen Carter(pictured right- sorry, can't raise links for either article). It seems Gordon is such a relentless detail man that he feels impelled to force his single eye to read everything(it is said he even staples his own notes for PMQs and once stabbed his finger).
While in the Treasury this approach was just about possible, but his working practices once inside Number 10, with no system to filter out what was essential, became over-whelmed. The new boys have imposed a strict diary upon Brown's 16 hour days-any old mate wanting to chew the fat with Gordon now has to apply for an appointment. The ultimately decisive action over Northern Rock is thought to be the most important dividend from this investment in sound organisation. Oliver also fingers Tom Watson-remember the guy behind the 2006 'coup' attempt on Blair?- as the motive force behind the solid phalanx of Labour MPs who drowned out Osborne last Monday by shouting like Millwall supporters.
All this makes for better news for the Labour tribe, drenched, as we have been, by a six months torrential downpour of cock-ups and misjudgements. Even better, we learn that Michael Portillo, whose political demise brought such joyful comfort to us in 1997, now fancies Brown for PM after the next election. And he thinks this will be good for Cameron who, having worked out how to lead an Opposition, will now have an additional term in such a role to work out how to be a good prime minister: 'He could then devise, maybe even articulate a radical agenda' His strap line declares this is 'Good news for the Tories'; Oh, I don't think so. No wonder the likes of Iain Dale have nothing but contempt for the former Tory wunderkind.