Thoughts on politics and life from a liberal perspective

Monday, 29 June 2009

Gordon Brown is unfit for office

As usual Andrew Rawnsley's piece in the Observer yesterday is good reading. It asks how public services can be made more accountable.

What I want to focus on though is something that is covered almost as an aside in Rawnsley's piece as he discusses the history of Labour's attempts at public service reform. It is this:

Another problem was that his (Blair's) idea of devolution was limited to handing down power to head teachers or hospital managers. Choice remains an empty word for many parents, pupils and patients. Then there was the huge obstacle of his chancellor. Gordon Brown constantly and often very effectively used his power at the Treasury to sabotage the reforms pursued by his next-door neighbour. It never struck me that the Mr Brown of those years really had a theory of his own about how to reform public services. He simply knew what he didn't like. What he didn't like was anything proposed by his rival. As a senior member of the current cabinet says: "Gordon wasn't necessarily against reform, he was just against any reform proposed by Tony. It was about authorship as much as anything." As a result, reform happened in a compromised and cramped way.

I have heard and read this description of the dynamic between Prime Minister Blair and Chancellor Brown many times before. The thing is though, why the hell did anyone (including Blair) put up with this? And how the hell can Brown reconcile this sort of petulant, childish, pathetic behaviour with all the rhetoric he spouts about his moral compass and doing the right thing. It seems to be just accepted by their colleagues, commentators, civil servants etc. that Brown had a massive strop for 10 years and during that time tried to block much of what Blair was trying to achieve, not through ideological differences (which would have an honourable motive) but through sheer petty jealousy that it wasn't him making the decisions.

The more I hear about Gordon Brown's real behaviour (as opposed to the image he tries to project) the more sickened I am. The man has no moral compass or scruples as far as I can tell, he is only motivated by the pursuit and retention of power.

I for one am very pleased that in a few months time he will be consigned to the political history bin. It cannot come soon enough. The man is unfit for office.


Reg said...

All I can say to this is "hear, hear".

Man in a Shed said...

I think you raise an important question here.

Its now obvious that Gordon Brown is unfit for hight office and that many senior Labour people have known this, but made the calculation that their narrow selfish interests are best served by damaging the country further with Brown.

Labour can't now suddenly produce anyone in the current Cabinet as a credible new leader to break with Brown because they all put their bank accounts and/or careers before the good of the country.

But none of this should surprise anyone when you consider what New Labour really was - a complete sell out of most of the policies that the people who now hold high office used to campaign against most of their lives.

Once they sold their personal beliefs for votes, there was no moral backbone left.

What was always missing from Blair's narrative in 97 was how he had his road to Damascus conversion from Labour Socialism to New Labour. The only answer he gave was about Mondeo man (ie Old Labour couldn't win). People are entitled to change their views, but the country should have asked why and how much more closely. Instead a lazy anti-Tory consensus blinded people to the inherent deceit of New Labour.

Cardinal Richelieu's mole said...

Brown’s talk of “moral compass” and his supposed “Presbyterian values” etc. just illustrates once again that those who gratuitously and unnecessarily proclaim their virtues are often providing cover for the lack of what they wish to be thought of as possessing.

The wonder is that Brown finds colleagues willing to work with him: but then one only has to glance at some of those that do!