Monday, September 22, 2008

The Nixonian Personality of Gordon Brown


"Don't try to take on a new personality; it doesn't work."
Richard Nixon

Someone said to be that Gordon Brown is turning into Richard Nixon. Admittedly there is a facial similarity with the hang dog expression and jowls, but until now I hadn't thought about the psychological similarities. I have quite a fascination for Nixon and have probably read more books about him and by him than about any other politician bar Margaret Thatcher.

But think about it. Like Nixon, Brown's in a very difficult corner, but can't seem to acknowledge the hole he is in. Like Nixon, he constantly talks about 'getting on with the job'. All around him, key political allies maintain a pretence that all is well and that people are not really consumed by Watergate a leadership crisis.

The Labour conference is proceeding as normal, but there is an elephant in the room. Last night I had an email from a friend which summed it up.
It's like a family holiday where uncle's just been revealed as a cross dresser + 2 aunties shagging the same cousin.... Keep up appearances til they get home with the carving knives... These people are deluded....
One example of Gordon's paranoia is the campaign by his acolytes (translation: Charlie Whelan & friends) to get Martin Bright sacked as political editor of the New Statesman for not being sufficiently 'on message'. Private Eye has already revealed Whelan's bullying of Bright and his aggression towards Bright's wife.
Whelan duly gave Thorpe [Mrs Bright] and listening hacks a rambling monologue in which he insisted her husband and the father of her two children should be fired. “I’m no fan of Livingstone, but Martin Bright should not be political editor after what he did,” he said. “I’m going to talk to Geoffrey… He can’t allow criticism of Gordon. If Geoffrey’s got any sense, he’ll listen.”
There's more detail at Harry's Place HERE. Bright himself acknowledged what has been going on in a recent blogpost which he ended with the words...
As someone who has experienced at first hand the inept mafioso tactics of Brown’s political gangsters, I could not agree more.

As Harry's Place said, Brown went beserk when Bright did his documentary exposing Ken Livingstone, which did him so much damage in the mayoral campaign. Rumour is that Brown tried to get his old mucker Geoffrey Robinson to sack him from the New Statesman at that point. Robinson wisely demurred, but since then there has been a drip drop campaign to oust Bright.

According to Harry's Place...
A hate campaign ensued and soon trade unions were drafted in as muscle, threatening to withdraw their advertising from New Statesman unless Martin Bright was given the boot.

Had it not been for the sale of 50% of the NS to Mike Danson, there is little doubt in my mind that Robinson would eventually have succumbed to the pressure. Danson, however, is made of sterner stuff.

Tribune alleges that the new NS editor, Jason Cowley, also wishes to relieve Bright of his weekly column, but has found out that it is protected in Bright's contract. Cowley has also hired a new political correspondent, James MacIntyre (son of Don), a very well thought of young journo currently plying his trade at the Independent. It's getting to the point where Bright could sue for constructive dismissal.

So Martin Bright is now getting the Ivan Lewis treatment from Brown's henchmen. I don't know why anyone would be surprised. Lewis was the Minister whose slightly amorous text messages somehow found their way into the Sunday papers, coincidentally a few days after he had made some slightly off colour remarks about the direction of the government. Funny that. Can't think how that happened. Nick Cohen can though. He catalogues how Brown is using his thugs to stamp on any sign of internal dissent in THIS article.

All of this coincides with the reemergence of Charlie Whelan as one of Gordon Brown's key allies. His new role in UNITE gives him access to all sorts of levers of power, and believe you me he is pulling them. And allied with the reemergence of Derek Draper as a power in the Labour land, it's easy to see the way the wind is blowing.

The signals being sent out to any dissident is: mess with us and we will mess with you. What's so Nixonian is that once you're on their enemies list they never give up, even though they are meant to be running the country.

I wonder if Alex Hilton is having a good time in Manchester.

18 comments:

Anonymous said...

Reading the extracts of Adam Boulton's book in the Guardian, surely Gordon understand that Peter Mandelson-style '$h!tting on all the journalists' just results in even bigger payback when things go from bad to worse ?

Revenge is a dish best served cold, and GB is storing up a lot of trouble for the future...

Anonymous said...

Beats me why anyone watches East Enders, or indeed re-runs of 'The Sopranos' when they have this soap opera to follow ?

Anonymous said...

what an unpleasant lot these people are !

Browned off said...

For all his paranoia, at least Nixon could point with pride to his foreign policy achievements. Brown will go down in history as the worst PM ever, a national joke, source of shame, and destroyer of the Labour Party for a generation.

Jonny Mac said...

Martin Bright has been fantastic on Livingstone and the whole poisonous far-Left/islamist nexus. No wonder Broon wants him out. Stalin meets Nixon meets Bean.

jon dee said...

For students of Browns personality defects Tom Bower provided the evidence and warnings as far back as 2004.
The "Hotel Group" of Robinson Brown Ball and Whelan remain as nasty as ever and still attract compliant footsoldiers.

Wrinkled Weasel said...

Correct me if I am wrong, but I think that Nixon did not resign over Watergate.

He resigned because he was about to be impeached by the House Judiciary Committee on the following crimes: Obstruction of Justice, Abuse of Power,Contempt of Congress.Those were the three articles of Impeachment. Further indictments included "illegal wiretapping, misuse of the CIA, perjury, bribery, obstruction of justice, and other abuses of executive power".

The Articles of Impeachment were issued on July 30th, 1974. Nixon resigned ten days later.

Nixon had to resign. Furthermoere, he was given immunity from prosecution as part of the deal, and pardoned by his successor.

My point is that these crooks will not go unless they are forced to.

The difference between Nixon and Brown is that Nixon was found to be guilty of high crimes and misdemeanours - which amounted to a few lies, and a bit of internal mischief. No American suffered directly from Watergate, save Chuck Colson and a few others.

Brown has supported an illegal war in which hundreds of thousands have died, destroyed the social and economic infrastructure of this country in such a way that it will take decades to recover and lied consistently and deliberately about the economy. He has reduced Britain to a country that has fallen behind and is in thrall to the politically correct and the petty beaureaucrat.

Who has done the most damage to the most people?

Anonymous said...

As a resident of Kent, am awaiting your verdict on Boris Island, nothing to say Iain?

Patrick said...

Well Brown is 'psychologically flawed' isn't he?

The Stalin element of his Jekyll & Hyde personality sits there alongside the MrBean element. He's a total coward and therefore a bully too.

Nasty, incompetent, malign, cold, arrogant, blinkered and totally devoid of the warmth of human kindness - Brown just ticks all the wrong boxes. We have a psycho in No.10.

norman said...

I partly agree with you about Nixonian personality of Brown in that like Nixon he is sitting in a bunker (for Nixon, the Oval office and Brown the No 10) and denying that he is so unpopular and people do want him to go. There is also one other parallel. Nixon had cronies like Bob Haldeman and John Ehrichmann, just as Brown's 'so what' Balls and Alexander/Ed Miliband.

I was studying and working in America during the last years of Nixon. To his credit he fired his two cronies when he knew they overstepped the line. Unlike ditherer Brown, he handled superbly well the explosive international situation like the Yom Kippur war, standing up to Soviet Union when the Russians threatened that they will militarily intervene in Israel. He secretly visited Mao in China to end the Vietnam war mess he inherited and recognised China. Lastly, unlike bottler Brown, he was elected for two terms, but was let down by bad advice from his cronies who triggered the watergate break in by using the 'plumbers'. Any day, Nixon is superior to this ditherer.

Marquee Mark said...

Both Brown and Nixon will resign part way through their term, each being viewed by history as an embarrassment to their party and their country.

And both went to China. But Nixon came back with pandas! (Hell, even Ted Heath got pandas!)

Anonymous said...

Whelan & Draper - what a greasy, slimy pair of useless and dishonest individuals these two are - but it does one thing brilliantly - exposes unelected Brown for what he is - DESPERATE!

Morus said...

For those who call Brown 'Jonah' and note how unlucky he is when wishing sports teams good luck, I posted this great extract on pb.com a while ago

"Richard Milhous Nixon, who was a genuine American Football fan (and extremely knowledgeable - a real geek for stats and records) had a similar trait. Every team he touched turned to mud.

“His unsolicited advice to [Redskins] Coach George Allen resulted in a disastrous interception ending the Redskins’ last hopes for a come-from-behind victory in the 1971 playoffs. They lost - the final score was 24 to 20. Two weeks later Nixon announced he was backing Miami against Dallas in the Super Bowl. This time he went so far as to send in a play which once again backfired disastrously. Miami lost 24 to 3. The Nixon jinx continued to plague the Redskins again in the 1973 Super Bowl, dispite quarterback Bill Kilmer’s widely-quoted statement at this time that this time he would just as soon do without the President’s tactical advice. The Redskins were three-point favourites against the Dolphins this time around, but with Nixon on their side they got blown out of the stadium and wound up on the sick end of a deceptively one-sided 14 to 7 defeat”

Hunter S Thompson “Fear and Loathing on the Campaign Trail ‘72″"

africanmum said...

Watching Millibean extol the dear leader reminded me of those Baa'thist rallies. So long as Saddam Brown picks off fellow losers in Nu Lab, who cares? It'll get worrying when he starts to harass people in the Lib Dem or Tory parties. At this rate, would we even be allowed to vote in a general election?

DiscoveredJoys said...

What are we to call the crunch event of Gordon Browns parliamentary responsibilities?

FinancialIncompetanceGate does not trip of the tongue and is a bit too broad to be a single event. 10pGate? NothernRockGate?. Or perhaps it is a personality issue rather than a single event - how about JonahGate?

Anonymous said...

No American suffered directly from Watergate? Leave aside the damage to national prestige if you insist. Plenty sufferred, and plent more Vietnamese suffered, from Nixon's attempts to underminine LBJ's Paris peace talks using Anna Chenault as an intermediary to Thieu. The war dragged on for another four years, al to get Nixon elected, only to get the same deal as was on the table for LBJ. Peace with honour indeed.

But Brown is very similar, it's true. Only someone like Iain who hopes that it can't be true because he has decency and would like to believe that politicians do care (and some do) and wants to become one himself for less than selfish motives, wouldn't have noticed this yet. A lot of people saw the parallels a long time ago. There was a leader, or maybe a column, in the Times about it some time ago, I seem to remember.

Just out for himself. Brown I mean, not Iain.

Nixon went on record as saying that he wasn't in power for its trappings but for what he could use power for. This would be the same Nixon who stroked the upholstery of the VP limo in the 50s and said this is what it's all about, who used to send presidential aircraft to Florida to pick up fresh seafood to be brought back to DC. And our own leader talks about his commitment to public service. It's the same thing. Protest too much. The more you are in it for yourself, the more you say how you care about the people. The less you listen, the more contempt you have for the voters, the more you say that you are listening. What's really galling is that the stupididty, the mendacity of that tactic is so obvious.

Newmania said...

Oi, Mr. I. Dale I sent you this story and the link to Harry`s place a week ago. It appeared because of a remark Martin Bright made on his blog .
I get no credit around here, yeeeesh....

Dave H. said...

The most frequent comparison is less favourable than Nixon. From the link,
"Downing Street is now a bunker filled with his gang of trusties: men with few discernible qualities beyond a cultish devotion to their leader."

This analogy crops up again and again: the deluded leader entombed in his bunker, ordering his paper batallions into counter-attack.