Friday, 16 July 2010

Inside the Bunker

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'├ętat, 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.


  1. It is a very tempting thought, D, Balls or Abbott as Labour leader would surely keep them out of power for at least a generation, if not longer.... and I'd love to watch Cameron ripping either of them a new one every Wednesday at PMQs - although they may have to bump off the Labour-biased twat, Bercow, to allow Cameron to be able to speak freely.

  2. It is tempting, isn't it?

    "...they may have to bump off the Labour-biased twat, Bercow, to allow Cameron to be able to speak freely."

    No arguments here!

  3. All agreed except the bit about Brown not being elected. He was elected to represent Kirkcaldy, just as Cameron was elected to represent Witney. Brown was PM because he was able to command a majority in the Commons, and was invited by the Queen to form a government. Cameron is PM because he can command a majority in the Commons, and has been invited by the Queen to form a government.

    Britain does not have a President - which is why Tony Blair's sofa government was so wrong. We do not elect our PM. The PM is the leader of the majority in the Commons. Previous PM's who have taken office without a general election include Jim Callaghan for Labour and John Major for the Tories.

    Thank goodness we now seem to be getting back to collective cabinet government.

  4. Quite so Adam, but I still feel there was some kind of serious democratic deficit involved in Brown's individual case, caused by what amounts to a loophole in our system of - what would we call it - 'getting' Prime Ministers mid-term?

    The point about the well-known examples you cite is that they all faced their parliamentary party in a leadership election, and therefore, by more than mere implication, the constituents represented by the MPs concerned. At least a nod to parliamentary democracy, then, if nothing else. Not so with Brown, of course.

    I think that's the particular, crucial abuse of the system by Brown and his cronies that should never be permitted to happen again, through legislation if necessary (it's necessary). Proper leadership elections for 'getting' a new PM mid-term should be compulsory at the very least. To me, it's not a party issue with the top job, it's a constitutional one. Perhaps I should have made that point clearer in my little rant.

    I wholeheartedly agree with you about the return of cabinet government, and the key principles of collective and ministerial responsibility that invariably go with it. Accountability is what real democracy is all about. We've had little of that for a decade or more, which makes one seriously wonder just what kind of yoke the country's been suffering under for all that time, doesn't it?


Any thoughts?