Tuesday, September 26, 2006

Tony Blair Likens Brown to R A Butler By Mistake

I didn't see it but I understand Tony Blair gave a brilliant speech this afternoon. However, one passage which people may not have picked up on was when he described Gordon Brown as a "Great Servant of the State". Those of you who know your history will be aware that this is exactly hwo Harold Macmillan described RAB Butler - and it wasn't meant as a compliment. Of course, Rab Butler never got to be Prime Minister. I understand Cherie looked particularly pleased at that point.

13 comments:

f.r. said...

But who is the Labour Alec Douglas Home ?

The Druid said...

Ah, but there is no "magic circle" to offer the crown to another. Butler was forever tainted with Munich. Plus he never looked the part. In fact he looked tired of politics by the 1960s. Brown is a bigger beast than Butler was.

Blair's comment was something that appears on school reports a lot - damming with faint praise. How British. He probably looked it up in a dictionary of political quotes....

hatfield girl said...

It was REB Butler's education act that opened opportunity to thens of thousands of us, from the early 1940s on; nothing Blair has done, despite his education mantra, could ever equal that extraordinary escalator set in motion by the man he has chosen to use as a taunt of failure .

Neil said...

He also used the phrase "paid up member of the human race." Many have used a similar phrase to suggest that the Chancellor doesn't have tht particular membership card in his wallet.

Martyn said...

Good grief, clutching at straws aren't we fella ;-)

Very warm praise for Brown in the speech. Co-architect of New Labour, 3 wins wouldn't have been possible, a remarkable man.

What did he say about your man ? That line you and your friends are going to have to get used to over the next few years. Cameron is the empty, over promoted, weak leader of a party so scared of what the public think of it, it has to hide it's views.

bt said...

The Labour Alec Douglas Home?
Lord Goldsmith, of course.

Lord North said...

How do you know this? you must have been talking to Ceorge Waldon!

Anonymous said...

That may have been exactly what Butler said about Macmillan, but Blair today called Brown "a remarkable servant to this country", which isn't the same thing at all.

Gracchi said...

John Reid surely is the new Alec Douglas Home- well he is Scottish!

As for Brown talking of previous Tories I think he has a bit of the Neville Chamberlains about him.

Paul Burgin said...

My understanding is that Rab was popular with Conservative MP's, but not with Macmillan and one or two others, and in the "Magic Circle" days that is what mattered!

beethoven writes said...

The word remarkable can be used in different contexts. It sounded more like a code word rather than a compliment to me. Remarkably unlikely to become the next PM perhaps?

Neil Craig said...

I didn't know the allusion but notice that there was some empkasis on the word servant which seemed to imply some doubts about being a good master.

On the other hand just because it is Bliar's opinion doesn't make it right.

Umbongo said...

Since history began in 1997, I'd be very surprised if Tony knows who Butler was, still less that he would damn Brown with such an analogy.