Monday, October 08, 2007

Live Blogging Gordon Brown's Press Conference

Adam Boulton puts first question. Brown: If I were being honest with you, yes I did consider holding an election. But I want time to put my vision for the country in place. I take full responsibility for everything that has happened. Everything that happens in Downing Street is my responsibility.

Nick Robinson: You could have put your vision at any state. You listen to people when you agree but you deny them an opportunity to vote when you disagree. Brown: Wanted to wait until the end of the party conference season and then put speculation to an end. Bangs on about constitutional reform and citizen juries. Ultimate way to listen is to give them a vote. Robinson: You ordered civil service to be prepared. When the polls turned, you turned. That's not listening. Go Nick! Brown blathers. Goes on about his vision again. I need the time to show people that vision can be delivered. Does anyone actually know what his vision is?

Tom Bradby: Come on, you did more than listen about an early election. You changed your mind because you thought you might lose. Brown: I returned to my first instinct and that was to present my vision to the country. Country is changing. A country of aspiration. Oh give me strength. Bradby: Do you acknowledge it's a bit of a catastrophe? Brown won't answer.

Andy Bell: Do you acknowledge this has not been handled well? Brown: Perhaps I should have made the decision earlier but I decided to leave it until the end of the party conference season.

Michael Crick: Do you agree that the Tory proposals on Inheritance Tax are popular and will you steal them? Brown: Tories can't pay for their proposals. Can't meet their promises. Tories can't bring economic stability.

James Landale: Can we be clear, are you suggesting your decision had absolutely nothing to do with the state of the opinion polls; I considered holding an election. I saw the polls. Marginal seats wanted an election and would have been retained. I have to take a bigger view. I need time to show people how my vision of the future of the country has to be realised.

Gloria Del Piero (GMTV): No post for 5 days. ban on strikes in public services? Brown: Disruption is unacceptable. Fails to answer the question.

Bob Roberts (Mirror): Non Doms - hasn't the time come to make these people pay more? Brown: Matter for the Chancellor, not me (!!!!). When I was Chancellor we looked at this, review still in progress. Tory figures are wrong. Only a few people who could pay the money. rest would leave. Actual cost is about £650 million. I've looked at this in the past.

Robin Oakley: Trip to Basra - used it for party political advantage etc. Brown: You are wrong on all three counts. I had to go to Iraq.

Jon Snow You said you wanted to listen to British people. They don't have an appetite for a new war yet war drums are banging for a war on Iran. Is an attack inconceivable and you would neither support or back an attack on Iran. Brown: We take Iranian nuclear capability seriously. Cannot go unchallenged. We believe this can be resolved by diplomatic means, sanctions if necessary but am not prepared to go further than that. I do not rule out anything.

Sunday Herald: Couldn't you use a three week election campaign to get your vision across? Brown: blather... vision...blather...aspiration...

Anonymous: Fixed term Parliaments. Review into the constitution will undoubtedly look at these questions. I think there are strong objections in a parliamentary system because the government has got to be responsible to the House of Commons. If you lose your majority you have got to be able to have an election. The debate should continue over the next few months.

Gary Gibbon: would you like to rule out an election in 2008? Can you say hand on heart that the change in opinion polls changed your mind - you do after all talk of your moral compass. Brown: Yes I can. Ruled it out to present my vision - YeGods, can we stand any more of this obfuscation? 2008 election is very unlikely.

Macer Hall (Express) Have you proved yourself out of touch with rising aspirations of British people on inheritance tax? Brown: Tory tax proposals don't add up. I have always recognised IHT is a major issue for people. I've always understood desire of people to hand properties down. What is workable and fair? We have raised the threshold to enable more estates to be exempt. We continue to raise it. Of course you can look at other changes but any change has to be workable and fair.

Radio 1 Newsbeat: Dithered over the 1994 leadership, people have got a point when they call you a ditherer, haven't they? Brown: People will look at real strength. real decisiveness is about making decisions about the economy, security and defence. Newsbeat: Have pages of texts from listeners who think you;ve bottled it. How are you going to turn that around? Brown: people judge me on the big decisions for the future of the country.

Fox News: Transatlantic alliances are shifting. Is there a new special relationship between Washington and France. Brown: Welcome better relations between USA and France. Sarkozy has moved to our position of building strong relationships with the USA.

Daisy McAndrew Why did you make your announcement to Marr? This press conference shows you made an error of judgement. Brown: I could have made the announcement earlier. Wanted to do it in such a way that we could lead to this press conference.

Anonymous: Do you stand by the 2005 manifesto? If so, how different is it to your vision and why then would you need a new mandate or even consider one Brown: My vision is set out in that manifesto.

Guto Harri: Having admitted you took a calculated decision to let speculation run, will you admit your aim was to destabilise your opponents and it backfired spectacularly?
Brown: Admit I considered an election, but I had to bring speculation to an end at the end of the party conference season. Maybe I should have done it earlier. My decision was based on the chance to deliver on my policies. I've only had several months to do so. That's the reason for my decision.

Anonymous: Set a bold constitutional precedent and name the date in 2009 now. Brown: This is a parliamentary democracy, have already more or less ruled it out in 2008.

Anonymous: Why was it your advisers instinct on the first day you were elected was to hold an election in 2008? Brown: Know nothing of that.

Paul Waugh: In conference speech you said that anyone coming to Britain caught with guns and selling drugs will be thrown out. Can't do that under a 2004 EU Directive. Surely you got a headline which hasn't got substance? Brown: I can give you details of people who have been thrown out of the country for those two offences.

James Kirkup: In terms of discussions with advisers, who first raised the suggestion of an election. Brown: Not going to get into that. Always views of people who have different views.
I decide. With power comes responsibility. I made my decision. I made my decision. For one moment I thought he was going to say: I'm in charge.


Simon Carr: If NOTW poll had showed a 6 point Labour lead in the marginals...? Brown: I would have made the same decision.

Catherine Mayer (TIME): What common ground do you have with David Cameron and will you dispense with reading from an autocue. Brown: Many things in common with other parties. Tried to reach out to people in other parties.

I have lost the will to live... THE END



75 comments:

David said...

Not a bad question from Nick there, though the fact that Brown's answer involved citizens' juries just shows how lost and demented he really is - "We don't need an election - I'll ask the citizens' juries instead".

Anonymous said...

Wow. Adam Boulton was truly terrifying. What a rottweiler.

Desperate Dan said...

He keeps talking about his visions. Who does he think he is? Joan of Arc?

Alan Douglas said...

Anybody counting the number of "visions" he is having ?

Alan Douglas

Priscilla said...

Has he borrow Andy Marr's arms, they're everywhere!

Anonymous said...

Brown says the 'MPs in the marginals said that Labour would win an election' - what a load of rubbish. The man just cannot stop spinning and lying. He's busted.

ScottishTory said...

He is well on course for a vote of no confidence...

Anonymous said...

He is less rattled by the q's than I thought he might be - coming over well. However, the press are really going for him. They smell blood and weakness, which ain't going to be good for him in the long run.

Anonymous said...

Has there ever been a prime minister that never won an election? This one certainly won't now that he has bottled it

Henry Rogers said...

Iain,

Lots of woffle from the PM! Not many straight answers. The Press don't seem that convinced!

Darell said...

Bottled it and now trying to spin it. Anyone for 'Spin the Bottle' Brown?!

Vienna Woods said...

I can't understand why not one of the journalists has asked him about his vision of the last 10 years, as he was certainly a main contributor to the current catastrophe. This guy has so many visions, none of which are realistic, or on target. I'm beginning to believe he is a bigger mumbling oaf than Prezzer.

Anonymous said...

Good old British journalists. What a disgraceful, supine bunch.

Henry Rogers said...

The longer it goes on the more hilarious and nonsensical it seems. Trouble is none of this ought be a laughing matter. Perhaps the Blairs were right about this fellow all along!

Anonymous said...

Glad I am not the Downing St cat - it's in fore a good kicking when this is over

Anonymous said...

" I take full repsonsibility for waht happens in No10" will be back to haunt him!

James said...

Bit cunning only allowing one question per person... This means no one can challenge an answer, however inaccurate it is.

I bet Boulton is even more fuming now, given his first question must of been a lead in question to a harder question.

Anonymous said...

Gord the Fraud is looking so haggard and old. Anyone else notice that?

David said...

I like the chap who just asked the IHT question using the Brownie phrase "rising aspirations of the British people". Brown now not answering the question, of course...

Anthoninus said...

Brown is sticking to the same old talking points. Even re-re-re announcing policies such as ecotowns. This is the same staccato answers we always get - and then a complete disregard for follow-up questions. Good on Nick Robinson for not backing down. "Vision, vision, vision" = "Stonewalling, stonewalling, stonewalling"!!!

nigel235 said...

If he takes seriously the, "rising aspirations" of the British people, he should go now.

Mr Eugenides said...

Careful not to rubbish the idea of an IHT cut - apparently we're all going to "have a debate about it" for the next few months.

How lovely.

Man in a Shed said...

I managed about 10 mins of it, but then found the shear deceitfulness and evasion of the man unbearable.

He's not fit to run a fish supper shop - let alone the country.

The performance, as long as I could stomach it, was shameless.

Lilith said...

Brown's vision is impaired. That is why he is taking time to communicate it to us. Give the guy a break.

Danvers said...

Anon at 12.13

Yes lots. Callaghan and Douglas Home since WW2, are the ones that spring to mind.

Travis Bickle said...

Ah vision. Clearly a case of in the land of the blind the one eyed man is king.... or did he mean all his spy cameras being able to view the good citizens struggling to work to pay his taxes?

Anonymous said...

Whatever he says, a benchmark has now been set by which he will be judged in the future.

Peter Mc said...

And lo, the aliens abducted Patricia Hewitt and Did Things, and unto us Prime Minister was born.

Bottle Bank said...

"people judge me on the big decisions for the future of the country"

... like the big decision he made over pensions?

Anonymous said...

Brown is spinning so fast and is having visions , don't you love the MSM really going for bottler Brown,they MSM are a weak load of c--p.

Rob said...

The question about the 2005 manifesto sounded like David Grossman.

Great question and Brown admitted he was changing policies from that which he was elected to implement, but the aspirations remain the same!

Great, so manifestos don't need policies any more - just one page of catch-all aspirations like " better education" will do!

Oscar Miller said...

He got marmalised by Daily Politics viewers. Not a single email in Brown's favour. And they did try to find one. There was also a very damning vox pop.

David said...

"With power comes responsibility" - so he's Spider-Man now?

Why has nobody asked him: "Prime Minister, you say the Conservative IHT proposals are unfunded and won't work. How exactly do you plan to fund the 'world class schools' you promised at your conference? Secondly, if our schools are not yet world class, what have you been doing for the last 10 years?"

golfwidow said...

It's becoming difficult to separate the words from the stuttering.

Anonymous said...

Is he wearing the same tie again?

He fakes hospital openings. He spins soldier numbers. He's trying to say the unfavourable opinion polls weren't the reason behind the aborted election!

If nothing else, he's got courage to stand up in public and lie through his teeth.

Rob said...

I wish someone would ask him for the names of this marginal seat MPs who have apparently been asking him to call an election and tell him they would still win, despite the NOTW poll.

His dithering was an embarrassment, but his barefaced dishonesty has made a mockery of his "moral compass" and I think seriously diminishes him.

Jack said...

Gordon Brown wishing to spell out his "vision". How ironic.

Henry Rogers said...

"I have lost the will to live... THE END"

Iain, Don't do it! What would we all do without you.

Anonymous said...

Bravo and thank you Iain, a tour de forece. Wishing you a speedy recovery.

Anthoninus said...

If people thought Iain Duncan Smith sent people to sleep just look at Boredom Brown!!! I sympathise with you Iain for abandoning a masochistic live blogging of this charade of a press conference.

dr spyn said...

If IHT changes proposed by the Tories are uncosted and unaffordable, how much has Brown committed to (1) Crossrail. (2) The Olympics?

Anonymous said...

Wow the MSM really work hard at asking very difficult questions to our prime minister,are they all on the same medicine as him,he has visions but they appear not to ask him what drugs is he on.

Madasafish said...

The most undemocratic PM ever.

Not ONE person has voted for him as PM
He does not let us vote on EU treaty.
But Scottish MPs vote on English Matters .. but English ones cannot.

Man is an autocrat.

hokum and hogwash said...

What is it with this verbal tic 'vision' blarney ? He can't seriously expect to get away with that hazy, 'vision for change' moonshine gibberish? Doesn't he appreciate the reality of his predicament? Even Blair knew when to stop blathering.

Anonymous said...

he Times has been reporting this morning on briefings given by Jack Straw.

"The opinion polls are one of the factors that we take into account - it would be ridiculous to suggest otherwise, and I don’t think anybody is doing that,” he said.

But the Prime Minister denies the polls influenced his decision.

Cameron is right - this PM is taking the public as fools.

johnny numbnuts said...

His vision seems more like an hallucination to me.

Did someone not predict he would be taken out of No.10 by men in white coats?

Vienna Woods said...

Yes, I know a guy who was locked up for seeing imaginary visions! I wonder if Brownie is revving up to throw a full force wobbler and get himself committed. We can only hope.....

Newmania said...

Great effort Iain !!!

Newmania said...

Great effort Iain !!!

Travis Bickle said...

So his vision is contained in the 2005 manifesto? Along with the promise of an EU constitution referendum I guess.

Travis Bickle said...

dr spyn

quite, and add

3) mismanagment of tax credits
4) management consultants
5) unelected quangos
6) ID Cards
7) NHS Computer
8) more management consultants
9) TV and radio advertising

etc etc, £3.5 billion is but a drop in the ocean compared to government waste.

Oscar Miller said...

As I said in 1994, courage is our friend.
Caution, our enemy.
A governing Party has confidence, self-belief.
It sees the tough decision and thinks it should be taking it.
Reaches for responsibility first.
Serves by leading. …
The British people will, sometimes, forgive a wrong decision.
They won't forgive not deciding.


From Tony Blair's conference speech 2006. He knew Gordon Brown only too well.

DB said...

Brown said that events over the weekend reminded him of Earl Warren's preference for the sports pages because they described achievement whereas the front pages dealt with "criticism".

Warren's actual words:
I always turn to the sports page first. The sports page records people's accomplishments; the front page nothing but man's failures.

Much more apt. Strange he should get the final word wrong - he knew it well enough the last time he was "reminded" of the Earl Warren quote during his introductory speech for Alan Greenspan last Monday

Ben Sherreard said...

If the manifesto sets out his vision why does he need some time now? Why was the election cancelled again? Gordon has double vision.

judith said...

Are Chris Paul and Bhownaggree on holiday or off weeping in a corner?

One so misses their helpful explanations and elucidations of the 'reality' of this Government's actions.

Sorry, that should undoubtedly be 'visions' - or 'aspirations' - or 'British visions' - or 'hardworking British visionary aspirations'......

BOF2BS said...

As already mentioned by Lilith & others glad he's recognised his weakeness & is looking for improvement!

The real difference on "the events dear boy" theme is that they are substantially generated by him & his Government ie

(1) FMD - underfunding of IAH by DEFRA

(2) Northern Rock - Regulatory/BOE changes introduced don't work

(3) Election fiasco - self inflicted

He is also obviously unlucky

Flood & Bluetongue in first 100 days.

So in the light of the above & his performance lets build on the help he's giving us but never forget that its Oppositions that win elections not vice versa!

Anonymous said...

(I'm) Infuriated that the voting public not able to decide whether this cretin should get a mandate to offer his "vision".

Sincerely hope that Cameron & co + the Press don't let him get away with this - it won't get boring for quite some time!

Trumpeter Lanfried said...

Simon Carr: If NOTW poll had showed a 6 point Labour lead in the marginals...? Brown: I would have made the same decision.

Purleeeeze!

Cherie was right. He's as mad as a brush.

Anonymous said...

Forget this "vision" thing, he'll be saying he has a dream next.

And what's this about "change"? I thought him and his cronnies had been in power ten years, making all kinds of awful changes. Or is he saying he wants to do a U-turn on everything?

Anonymous said...

The Times article reporting on Jack Straws comments
"The opinion polls are one of the factors that we take into account - it would be ridiculous to suggest otherwise, and I don’t think anybody is doing that,”
Has now been removed and replaced with an article simply referring to Gordon Brown denying that the Polls played a part.
Has he got the Times back in pocket?
Perhaps Sky's share ownership in ITV is safe again.

Anonymous said...

He said we'd miss him ... bring back Tone!

When will the Blairites start agitating?

Yaffle said...

Brown sounds like a conman caught in the act trying to weedle his way out of his mess. To me he came across like that in his interview with Marr yesterday. Pathetic really, rather like his request to Cameron not to be too hard on him as he'd only just taken over as Pm a day or so before. It is of course people like this who take up irrational positions just to show they can - such as the EU Referendum. Someone else then has to sort out the mess. I do not believe he would have got very far on the competence issue if he'd gone for the election. As to his vision, I would say it is greatly impaired.

genghis pinko-khan said...

Well done Iain on the summary.
I was beginning to think I had just misheard what the PM told the Lobby. But he did say (more than once) that the polls were not a factor which affected his decision not to call an election.

I just can't believe it. Does he really think the electorate, let alone the Lobby, will believe this ? It's just incredible.

He blatantly LIED at this press conference.

Please, God, tell me he won't get away with this ......

tapestry said...

Tony Blair heard the clunk first. It was not a fist clunking as he believed, but a stuck record, going clunk clunk clunk at each rotation.

Brown is s stuck record, and soon to put up a sulk to outlast even that of Edward Heath. His party has no chouice but to turn against him...before they all go insane.

Labour's period of power and popularity is over.

Anonymous said...

Gordon Brown's vision - should have gone to Specsavers


Anonymous said October 08, 2007 12:13 PM - Alec Douglas Hume, Jim Callaghan, Neville Chamberlain all never won elections

Anonymous said...

Where are the Labour trolls? Have they been paid off?
I understand they were on the minimum wage. You can't blame them for melting away.

Anonymous said...

Good spoof of Andrew Marrx here:


http://members.lycos.co.uk/bbcpioneers/

Letterbox mouth said...

Not mine, but worth repeating...

Brown is the new yellow!

mitch said...

I reckon he wont ever call an election he will carry on with his second hand majority until a few months before he has too then "decide" to spend more time with his sick kid.No chance of losing that way .

Richard Havers said...

Having watched our PM on tonight's news the most obvious conclusion is that here is man who is both angry and unpleasant. Now I am not for a minute suggesting our PMs or our politicians should be 'nice people' but neither should they be unpleasant. If Gordon is to survive he needs to work out how to control his temper and his facial expressions. And there's no chance on either count. I've posted before on the fact that a No.2 can rarely step up to become a No.1. Gordon is deep in the Brown stuff, not waving, but drowning.

It's only going to get worse....

verity said...

I, too, have always sensed anger from Brown. Inside, he's furious. That's why he wore lounge suits to formal City dinners. It was an expression of anger.

There will be a psychiatric term for this condition, but for sure it is not normal. Or at least, not normal unremittingly over such a long period.

I have always thought he looked totally crazy.

Anonymous said...

A Sub Prime housing Market overseen by a Sub Prime Chancellor who has become a Sub Prime minister.
Periscope up, Looks dodgy so does his usual thing and runs away.

Geezer said...

Has he started hearing voices yet? He might suddenly snap and murder most of the cabinet with an axe! hmmmmm not such a bad idea, Has he got a big cellar to bury them in?

javelin said...

My favourite was this one

Daisy McAndrew: Why did you [piss off all the lobby members and] make your announcement to Marr? This press conference shows you made an error of judgement. Brown: I could have made the announcement earlier. Wanted to do it in such a way that we could lead to [all the pissed off lobby members coming to] this press conference.

Anonymous said...

Oscar Miller said...
"Daily Politics...There was also a very damning vox pop."

No there wasn't! It showed that all this excitement was largely confined to journalists and politicos.