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 stranger..to 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.