Wednesday, June 20, 2007

Cabinet seats and spin

So much for Gordon Brown wanting to end the culture of spin. The real Brown oozes out of his every pore. So today we have the well spun story, originating in the Brown camp, that General Secretary Stalin Brown is offering Ming places in his politburo once he gets the keys to the Downing St Kremlin.

This is spun to make him look inclusive in contrast to the real Stalin Brown who no doubt has already drawn up the list of internal enemies due for the show trial and the Gulag.

The reality is that politicians of different parties have meetings all the time to discuss issues and how to progress them. Councillors do it at a local level, MPs and ministers at a national level. It is common knowledge that Ming and Brown regularly talk shop. After all, they represent constituencies from the same neck of the woods.

So it is good to see that Ming, backed up by Ed Davey, has said a firm "no" to seats in government, whatever that means (presumably a reference to seats in cabinet).

But beware of Brown spin and the Stalinist style of government. He is the worst offender for spinning, rehashing and exaggerating. He is a bully and hates colleagues opposing him. But don't just take my word for it:

Telegraph, Leader, 12th May 2007
Mr Brown is no spin. For 10 years, he has produced gimmicky budgets, triple-announced spending, hired devious spokesmen. His promise of collective government sits a little oddly with his for-me-or-against-me approach to getting the leadership.

Independent, Andrew Grice, 12th May 2007
New Gordon’s most striking phrase was to say he wanted to lead a government “humble” enough to know its place. It is not a word some bruised cabinet colleagues associate with him.

Observer, Andrew Rawnsley, 13th May 2007
Cabinet colleagues laugh cynically and scan the skies for squadrons of flying pigs when they hear Gordon Brown pledging to run a ‘humble’ government that seeks ‘consensus’. Humility and consensuality have not been the hallmarks of the way he [Brown] has treated his colleagues over the past decade.

Sunday Times, 13th May 2007
A Cabinet member said of Brown, “The man is impossible to deal with in government. He’s rude, rants at colleagues and doesn’t like people arguing with him. Ministers have found decisions get made without them knowing and then handed down to them by officials.”

Independent, Bruce Anderson, 14th May 2007
Mr Brown would have another problem if he were to claim that the era of spin and deceit was at an end. He is a master spinner and he had his dabs all over the first New Labour lie. With the possible exception of the dodgy dossier and the 45-minute claim, the Pulitzer Prize for spinning ought to go to Gordon Brown, because of his record over 11 budgets.


David Lindsay said...

Why did Brown bother asking in advance? He should just have announced his full list of Ministers once he got in, including both a Lib Dem and a Tory in each department, and said that people who didn't want the job were free to resign.

Those approached need to ask themselves what it is about them that Brown found so attractive politically. The Lib Dems also need to ask this about each of them, as well as what the point of their own party is if it is going to pass up offers of Ministerial office, even including at Cabinet level. Everyone needs to ask what the reply from Ashdown, never over-troubled by self-doubt, would have been if Brown had offered to make him Foreign Secretary; also, to consider that, just as Sarkozy gave the Foreign Ministry to Kouchner, the only prominent French Socialist to support the Iraq War, so Brown has tried to bring in Ashdown, a pioneering neocon cheerleader from the Yugoslavia days, and who recently surprised no one by coming out as holding the same views on Iraq.

The Tories need to ask themselves why nobody bothered to do try and do a deal with them (although I suspect that that would have been Phase Two, and might yet be Phase One And Only instead). Labour Party members need to ask themselves why not one of their number - MP, Peer, or able to be raised to the Peerage for the purpose - was deemed capable of doing any of the Ministerial jobs in question, including one at Bevan's NHS. Labour MPs, in particular, need to ask why, at least where these particular positions (and how many more after this?) are concerned, the man whom they gave a clear run for Leader would rather have a Lib Dem Peer than ANY of them.

And we all need to ask ourselves and each other what we are doing to replace this whole sorry lot with proper parties and proper politicians, speaking and acting for us.

George Dutton said...

David Lindsay said...

"And we all need to ask ourselves and each other what we are doing to replace this whole sorry lot with proper parties and proper politicians, speaking and acting for us."

What makes you think they would let you David...

in the year 2000 while watching the Conservative party conference on television.I can only tell it as it happened...Outside the conference hall two members of the Conservative party stood waiting to be interviewed (they were not MP`s but were high up`s in the party) there were asked "What is the big talking point on the floor of this years conference the reply floored me this is what they said...

"It is clear that people don`t know how to use there vote.We left this country in the best economical state it has ever been in and now Labour will ruin it all.The big talking point on the floor is who should be allowed to vote should it be done on academic achievement or given to those who create the wealth or a combination of the two." The other one concurred.

Please note it seems the decision to take the vote away from us had already been decided.

Given that nothing happens on the floor of Conservative party conference without being instgated from above should frighting anyone that cares about democracy.The video of this must still be available in the archives of the BBC/Sky.Why I wonder are the Conservative party getting their members ready for a fascist state.After watching the documentary of what nearly happened to Harold Wilson`s government it becomes even more frightening.