Monday, September 05, 2011


Take it as Confirmed: Gordon WasNot Fit to be Prime Minister

When Andrew Rawnsley in early 2010 reported Gordon Brown had bullied, shouted and thrown things when angry, some added the pinch of salt appropriate for a journalist. When Mandelson said Brown was impossible we added the (slightly more) salt appropriate for him was added. Ditto for Blair himself and for Jonathan Powell, who owed natural loyalty to the object of so much Brown ire. Seldon and Lodge's superb analysis said the same things but toned them down, in keeping with a measured academic study.

Needless to say when Gordon denied all these things, backed up by his acolytes Balls and company, we either disbelieved them or were reassured our government had not been run for the past three years, and the economy for ten, by someone who might have made Adolf Hitler seem a model of pschological stability. So Alistair Darling's evidence has been awaited with great interest. He, after all, was a lifelong friend of Brown, a fellow Scot and a 'Brownite' in most senses of the term. In addition the former Chancellor is famous for understatement, for being boring even; certainly not for hyped up interpretation let alone accusations. Put it this way: I believe the man and always have; he just does not seem the kind of guy to tell lies.

So when he relates how Gordon ran a chaotic, last minute, advice of the last person administration, I tend to think he was dead right. My favourite story was the one about Gordon's speech about 'endogenous growth theory' when a hand appeared from behind a curtain and gave himthe second half of the speech which had not been finished before he started. But his furious controntations, his endless meetings when he contradicted his line in the one before, his tendency even, to throw things around when really angry- all these things bespeak a man totally unsuited to run anything substantial, let alone the fifth largest economy in the world.

Why did they not get rid of him? Well, Darling says: he was not a plotter; owed loyalty to an old friend, even if such friendship was not really reciprocated; and would never have left without a huge fight which would have ruined the party's chances of a wipe-out at the 2010 election. What I'm now dying to hear is what Gordon himself, whose ears must be scorching right now, will eventually say about this version of events, so universally confirmed by enemies,colleagues, civil servants alike. Brown is a proud man and will not be able to accpet, for instance, that it was Darling who was responsible for saving the banks in 2009, not himself.

It was said in the early days if you worked for Brown as a Junior so long as you did not want to climb the ladder to the next level, Brown would accept you, try to move over him your career would end, or you be knifed.

I met Brown three or four times when I went to conference in my early years once at a Fringe meeting with the GMB, I did not like him at all.

Then again funny old world I met Blair as well and I did like him, tell you how good I was of character choice.

As for Darling he is selling his book, I expect Browns not losing any sleep over it, since he did the same to Blair, and Blair did the same to him, seems to be part of the old boys network
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