Friday, July 30, 2010

How Will History Judge John Prescott?

I didn't see all John Prescott's evidence to the Iraq Inquiry, but what I did see made me think that what he said would be of more interest to future historians of the Blair government than the Inquiry itself. He gave some withering insights into the way that government conducted its business. At times I wondered if he realised quite what he was saying. He seemed almost detached from the decision to go to war, almost as if he felt that he ought to leave it to his intellectual superiors - which was very unlike him.

I suspect history is going too be kinder to Prescott than his contemporaries have been. I must say, reading Alastair Campbell's diaries makes me seem him in a slightly different light. I shall be interested to see how Lord Mandelson evaluates him.

29 comments:

Timothy Belmont said...

Bruce Forsythe CBE, the entertainer, is on record as saying that, in his opinion, knighthoods are not given to buffoons (despite much lobbying for him to be accorded one).

People like John Prescott are accorded life baronies.

Enough said.

Lallands Peat Worrier said...

I imagine history will forget him, as so many better men and women are subsumed in its forgetfulness, to be reckoned with no more.

George said...

An honest man, with good intentions but woefully out of his depth.
History will be kinder, noting his shortcomings and his old fashioned labourite values.

Gordon Brown-Nose said...

I'll confess from the start I am no fan of Prescott. In fact to me he typifies what was wrong with politics:

1) Always blaming others
2) A complete hypocrite
3) Dismisses other parties without thought

This is the man:

a) That was caught with his secretary after we were told no more sleaze;
b) Failed in his job at transport after bigging himself up;
c) Slates the Lords then becomes one himself;
d) Slates others bringing books out as he does himself;
e) Drives 200 yds then tries lecturing us on global warming;
f) Tries telling us how working class he is driving a Jag that's parked in his 8 bed house;

Sorry Iain but I hope history shows Prescott up for what he really is - a failed politician, a buffoon and a champagne socialist.

Gordon Brown-Nose said...

I'll confess from the start I am no fan of Prescott. In fact to me he typifies what was wrong with politics:

1) Always blaming others
2) A complete hypocrite
3) Dismisses other parties without thought

This is the man:

a) That was caught with his secretary after we were told no more sleaze;
b) Failed in his job at transport after bigging himself up;
c) Slates the Lords then becomes one himself;
d) Slates others bringing books out as he does himself;
e) Drives 200 yds then tries lecturing us on global warming;
f) Tries telling us how working class he is driving a Jag that's parked in his 8 bed house;

Sorry Iain but I hope history shows Prescott up for what he really is - a failed politician, a buffoon and a champagne socialist.

Blue Eyes said...

"An honest man, with good intentions"

Have you not seen that video of the Labour Party private jet on election night 1997? New Labour had no intentions nor honesty, just a overwhelming desire for office.

Havocman said...

A blundering dinosaur, left over from the 1970's with no achievements to his name other than preventing Blair and Brown from strangling each other. As for awarding him a knighthood, it shows the true nature of most of these awards - he knew the right people.

trevorsden said...

He is a labour bigot. And totally over promoted. He just waited to be told what to do.

Blair needed a Willie and all he got was Prescott

I have always been of the quite unprovable opinion that Blair felt a nice war, easily winnable thanks to US support, would give them the Falklands aura of Mrs Thatcher. Total conspiracy theory of course.

Pads said...

"Who he", it will ask.

Gallimaufry said...

John Prescott is like Boxer the Horse in Animal Farm.

Geoff said...

He's versatile, though, isn't he - he's on at every cinema in the country at the moment, calling himself Buzz Lightyear.

Weygand said...

Name one government achievement of the last 13 years which would not have happened had Prezza been replaced by the proverbial tub of lard.

Matthew Hewitt said...

Whilst I am inclined to the view in relation to Prescott that he was well-intentioned, I do think that there is a wider issue here. There are a significant number of ministers from the Labour government who have demonstrated since leaving office, whether on Iraq, Gordon Brown's competence to be PM or other issues, that they applied no rigour to decision making and indeed did not voice serious misgivings over policy at the time. This to my mind asks serious questions as to what they thought they were there for! any does make one think that we sinply couldn't take the risk of allowing them back into government ever!

Mirtha Tidville said...

I think history will judge him as a man with few convictions and even less ability

The Lakelander said...

I will always remember his uncanny resemblance to Jabba the Hutt

John said...

How convenient that Prescott now blabs about how he always doubted the war. Would he care to explain how he "the mouth of the Humber" somehow failed to articulate his opposition at the time?

I'm sure I don't remember Prescott following Robin Cook out the door when the point of principle was at stake.

The man is a totem of the reasons why Politicians are held in such low regard these days. The man would lie to his own mother if he thought it would gain him political advantage.

The Chilcott enquiry has been illuminating. Aside from Blair, minister after minister has told Chilcott that they either had doubts but were pressured, were following Goldsmith's advice or were never consulted. Were they all incompetant?

Adrian said...

This particular insight from the enobled one left me cold:

Prescott did not think the cabinet should have been shown the detailed advice of the then attorney general, Lord Goldsmith, on the legality of the conflict. "All I wanted to know, and I think the Cabinet and the prime minister, is is it legal and can you legally justify military intervention? He said yes." The Guardian


WTF? What about collective cabinet responsibility? Surely this should have been one of the primary questions the cabinet should have debated.

That these people did not even think cabinet should be given the full story just about sums up their complete indifference to our democratic institutions. I'm not particularly surprised, it's just stunning that their collective arrogance hasn't been diluted one iota despite being kicked out of office.

Also shows how much they respected their cabinet colleagues, I guess.

denverthen said...

I heard his retrospective stabs at grand geopolitics on the radio this morning. He never has and still doesn't convince. Most professional clowns who decide suddenly that they have the depth to become serious actors don't.

Thick clown "Lord" Prescott proved the point. It's going to irritate me until the moment of his passing that I'm still paying for his non-job and lifestyle.

His wife might have forgiven him for his wick-dipping, probably because she sort of loves him.

It is naive of him to imagine that the rest of us feel the same way. From now on, he needs to STFU.

Wrinkled Weasel said...

Commenters Havocman and Trevorsden have gotten to the core of this..

"he knew the right people"

"He is a labour bigot. And totally over promoted. He just waited to be told what to do."

When you take a look at quite a few over-promoted Labour people, such as Kerry McCarthy, David Lammy and Dawn Primarolo, you can immediately see that they have the following in common: they are thick, obedient and tribally Labour and crucially, all there because of inverted, perverted notions of equality.

Prescott was their token working class bastard, no more than that. He shall go down in history as a an example of the kind of anomaly you get when you apply ideology over common sense and reason.

Jabba the Cat said...

There will be bucketfuls of revisionism by Labour from all quarters. By this time next year Labour will have convinced themselves and the more moronic members of our country that all the faults of the last decade of Labour rule was entirely the Coalitions fault, and in particular the LibDims for having been hoodwinked by the Tories.

Rush-is-Right said...

"no achievements to his name other than preventing Blair and Brown from strangling each other." (Havocman)

And what a shame he succeeded in that.

Glyn H said...

Concise summing up by Wrinkled Weasel. My mother met Prescott in the 1960's when she worked for Cable and Wireless and he was a shop steward for the Unions on the company ships. Overbearing and rude and so a poor negotiator; should not have been promoted by the Labour Party but as WW so neatly showed above thats what they do. The stonking hypocracy of the man should produce guffaws wherever he goes.
Worth noting also that Brown should never have been allowed anywhere near Government. Utterly prejudiced, Marxist and horrendously wrong were he a wiser man he would have known himself to be quite unsuited to Office or any public role.

pete-s said...

He was there to make Bliar look reasonable to the lefty union type oiks. A better example of a judas goat, would be hard to find.

MikeyP said...

A fat, greedy, incompetent, bullying slob. I think just about covers it!

Dave H said...

If you want in interesting insight into Prescott's character, try reading Mary Ann Sieghart's account of his brazen lies and misuse of public funds in a blustering attempt to bully her, after she had the temerity to write an unflattering piece about him.

And don't forget the fluorescent hypocrisy of his accepting a peerage 'for his wife.' After all he does everything for her, including Tracey Temple.

God knows how much lasting damage the billions he squandered during his time as ODPM will have caused.

His look-alike Jabba the Hut has a more highly developed sense of morality. A man like that should never have been allowed near high office.

(I see that another commenter has mention the resemblence. It is however, quite uncanny, like Mandelson and Chicken Run's Mrs Tweedy)

The Purpleline said...

I think Prescott was a perfect example of just what was wrong with Labour government.

Talk about dumbed down Britain this man and I dare say most of the Labour cabinet should never ever have been a mile of the positions they held.


Blair was probably the brightest with MANDELSON'S help the rest were base politicians who should never have progressed beyond speakers corner on a soap box.

I tell you Iain I was embarrassed and if I was Cameron I would order a criminal tribunal into the last government and put in place some safe guards for the people of this land, that we cannot ever again have such incompetents in power, this time it led to financial and political disaster with the UK falling down as a world or major power.

I am so angry I think I could do physical damage to Prescott.

I am afraid America have replicated the disaster of Blair /Brown with Obama who is destroying the US as I type. All year we have been contemplating the break -up of the EU due to the financial problems, I think we need to look at the US of A that looks on the verge of breaking up under this president. Arizona could leave the union and I dare say some states funding the profligate states will look to move and regain independence as well.

13 trillion reasons to break up the US of A

Ian said...

He won't be judged. Historians will realise that he was just a bystander.

phocis said...

ludicrously over promoted as a token of New Labour's "grass roots"image.His only redeeming qualities were his hilarious attempts at stringing two coherent sentences together and trying to keep Blair and Brown from coming to blows while they both sailed the country down the swanee.

Exile said...

"Intellectual superiors." Yes, coming from someone who could only manage the University of East Anglia I rather like that about a Ruskin College, Oxford, and University of Hull man.