Tuesday, July 04, 2006

Where Was Des Browne?

A couple of weeks ago there was a unique moment in the House of Commons - a defence debate without the Defence Secretary. Well, it was unique until yesterday. Des Browne went missing again so his junior Minister Tom Watson had to deputise and make a statement on Afghanistan. On the first occasion Browne was on a hastily arranged trip to Afghanistan, but Westminster watchers noted the date for the debate had been set for some time. Yesterday's statement had not, and Browne cited constituency engagements as his excuse for not being there. Thatis simply not good enough. I cannot imagine what they might have been to take precedence on reporting on the life and death situation our troops find themselves in in Afghanistan. I suspect the real reason for his absence is his total inability to make a coherant speech in the chamber and that he has developed stagefright. Des Browne has been found out. He was totally unable to cope as Chief Secretary to the Treasury where he was regarded as even thicker than Dawn Primarolo - quite an achievement in itself. To have given him the Defence job was an insult to our armed forces. Not to turn up to make a Commons Statement is an insult too far. So the question remains: just what was Des Browne doing yesterday? Usual email please...

15 comments:

Anonymous said...

'total inability to make a coherant speech'

Freudian slip? Please don't correct it, it reads much better as it is.

Anonymous said...

You can see the contempt that the Armed Forces view Des Browne with at the Army Rumour Service, www.arrse.co.uk

Interestingly, his constituency surgeries appear to be scheduled for Fridays and Saturdays. Check this out

http://www.kilmarnockandloudoun.co.uk/editable_pages/documents/DesBrowneMPSurgeries.pdf

BlueistheColour said...

It is staggering the lack of coverage on Afghanistan.

You would have thought following is weekend's lead story in the Sunday Times with Christina Lamb 'adventure' in Helmand. Perhaps if Des Browne visited the troops on the ground, he would understand the risks they are operating in? To ask a female journalist in all seriousness 'have you ever used a pistol" - reading the full story - Miss Lamb is lucky to be alive and to have been with an experienced Paras. Some of who described the Taliban ambush as their most frightening experience.

The description of how the Int Development civil servants think sending female civil servants and using dolphins (from BBC TV programme) will pacify is staggering. The local populace did spend spent 15 years running the might of the Soviet Army into the ground.

The govt may think - like with 9/11 - with England's defeat in the World Cup that they can bury news in the sand. Surely Des Browne and other senior ministers have got to take some responsibility.

Why not send the Minister out with the troops and really see what is happening on the ground??

Anonymous said...

I saw that he managed to make Channel4 News yesterday evening, however. What an appalling nonentity. He managed to be belligerent, unpleasant, condescending ("I think you'll find I'm speaking for the government, Jon") all in one short segment; and to make this Tory habitual viewer of C4 news feel sympathy for Jon Snow takes some doing! All this quite separate to the - I'm choosing the adjective carefully - disgusting lack of respect to our troops by failing to turn up for the statement. This government, in my opinion, lost its moral authority when David Kelly took his life; I suppose Des Browne is just another physical manifestation of their repugnant disdain for the people they govern - but by god it's a manifestation too far.

David said...

What is worse is the way the BBC et al are highlighting the deaths of British soldiers but for some reason not saying much about the losses to the Taliban. Some 600 have been killed since May. 46 were killed yesterday! Pakistan has been capturing and killing the top Taliban for weeks now and not a thing on Al Beeb....I'm not saying we're winning - we've only been there for a few months- but the situation is certainly not as bad as the Beeb keep claiming.

Anonymous said...

David, above...

Re: the Taliban - the word "Hydra" springs to mind from my G.C.E. Biology O level days.

Paul Evans said...

He doesn’t seem especially impressive or commanding. Still, rather difficult to take lessons from a party which actually had Jerry Wiggin as a Defence Minister, a man whose corruption was only outweighed by his incompetence… and having finally sacked him, then brought him back into Government…

Anonymous said...

David, I don't know why you bother with the BBC as a source of 'news'. The leftist slant is so blatant and over-the-top that it is painful to watch without having to fight back the urge to throw things at the screen.

Anonymous said...

David said:
"some 600 have been killed since May. 46 were killed yesterday! Pakistan has been capturing and killing the top Taliban for weeks now..."

...and STILL they keep coming. Is there not something wrong with your assumptions? In any case, if pakistan is so efficiently killing the "top Taliban", how ome they are still operating and getting stronger?

Anonymous said...

Des Browne is another reason why Scotland needs independence............with nonentities like him they would be back begging the English to take them in as they did the first time round after the Darien Scheme failed

Anonymous said...

As a Labour activist, I was disgusted to see Browne promoted to Defence Secretary (he was, as Iain says, out of his depth as Treasury Chief Secretary). Hillary Benn would have been far better (a likeable politician with real gravitas and sincerity).

Hoon was bad enough as Defence Secretary - giving Browne the job was just taking the p*ss. At least Reid and Robertson looked the part.

Anonymous said...

Des Browne should be careful using that particular excuse..... or does he want us to draw the conclusion that a Scottish MP can't be effective as a minister because his constituency is too remote....?

Anonymous said...

Redeye

Have any of Mr Blair's ministerial appointments been a success? Please don't mention our GLC.
We will leave AFghanistan with tail between legs as we will Iraq. It is up to the locals(Muslims) to sort out their own affairs. Our stupid efforts to introduce western type democracy is a misguided project. Hubristic and doomed to failure.

Tim Daw said...

Anonymous - I think the Hydra you were thinking of came up in your Greek GCE - killing it was the second labour of Hercules - The teeny little hydra you may have studied in Biology, while they do bud off offspring are hardly a fearful many headed monster.

Anonymous said...

According to the Government spokesman, Des Brown was "holding a constituency surgery" that afternoon, so couldn't actually turn up in Parliament. However, the brand-new Junior Tom Watson who was shoved up to the Despatch Box in his place knew by 9am yesterday he would have to speak, so that explanation is obviously rubbish. Believe they have those useful things called aircraft in Scotland don't they, which Ministers frequently employ to take them where they want to go.

This was what's known to "ordinary people" (Labour-speak for the voters) as a bottle job - Brown bottled it because he is a crap speaker and all-purpose useless prat. Our service men and women deserve better than this useless toady.