Monday, September 24, 2007

Brown Says a Lot But Says Nothing

When I finished listening to Gordon Brown's speech I felt I had been assaulted by a wet lettuce. I am afraid I got distracted at various points so I didn't hear it all, but the bits I did hear could easily have been spoken by a Conservative. The new policy announcements tumbled out like a machine gun rat-a-tat-tat. The sheer audacity of much of it had to be admired, even if the delivery left something to be desired.

I loved it that it took him twenty minutes to spit out the words Tony and Blair in about the least efusive way you could imagine. His tribute to Kinnock contrasted with the scowling look on Glenys Kinnock's face in his tough on crime, tough on immigrants passage. If looks could have killed, David Miliband would be taling over as PM tonight.

All in all, it was an accomplished performance. Did it provide any clues about the election date? Apart from the series of policy announcements, not really. The joy of today has been listening to various political journalists caveat every sentence they utter on election timing. Hilarious!


Daily Referendum said...

This was an election speech. It's a good job he didn't have to travel to an English hospital to get his eye looked at. He would have further to travel because the local A&E has been shut down. And to add insult to injury he would have to pay for the parking.

Chris Paul said...

Hilarious indeed Iain. Even certain Tory Boy Bloggers have climbed back onto the fence and not mentioned an autumn election ... June 2009, June 2009, June 2009. Stand your people down. You are being conned by a master.

JGS said...

What a grotesque joke - after ten years in charge of the taxpayers' cash, Brown tries to arrange proper cleaning of hospital wards.

Anonymous said...

Correct me if I am wrong, but I don't think he mentioned David Cameron or the Conservatives?! Odd. Focus group activity on all sides must be frenetic at the moment. A few possible factors: i) if an election is called, don't rule out a Conservative defection to Labour; ii) October is not always a stable time for global stockmarkets; iii) calling an election during a party conference may have echoes of Kinnock and the Sheffield rally - Brown can wait until next week. If the Conservative's don't 'bounce' he may go for it. However, I suspect he wont, he may hope to panic the Conservatives into making firm policy statements.

Ned said...

Browns speech was very aspirational...Very little substance!...heard most of it before ..a boost for the 'Conservative Party Conference?
HazeL Blears, your remarks about Boris Johnson were misplaced & contemptuously rude.
Now we see the underbelly of the REAL New Labour party!

Anonymous said...

Any view on what is happening in Burma? It won't determine the outcome of a UK election but it could erupt into a major international issue.

M. Hristov said...

Where were the jokes? Answer : In his cabinet.

If we don't use your money we will confiscate it and use it to help push our policies. Very ethhical.

More of the same stuff we have had for ten years X 10.

No flamboyance and mouth frothing rubbish (I am not Tony Blair).

Anonymous said...

There will not be an early election Iain.
More time to paint Cameron as a shallow lightweight.

BJ said...

If looks could have killed, it would actually be Harriet Harperson taking over, for the time being. Frightening, eh?

Anonymous said...

Love him or loathe him, I think you have to agree that Cameron and the Tories need to be at the top of their game next week.

Uncle Dick Madeley said...

I thought the blue background was very significant.

Anonymous said...

"I am the son of the manse... My parents gave me my moral compass..."

This is the real Brown, as revealed in Piers Morgan's Diaries:

Wednesday 10 April 2002;
Breakfast with Gordon brown at the Treasury.

"Ah Piers, come in. I've got something for you."
he pulled out a small tape from his desk.
God, what was it? Blair being spanked by a dominatrix?
"This is a recording of Liam Fox saying he wants to kill off the NHS and make everyone pay for treatment."
"Right, where's that from then?"
"A meeting of Tory members. We, ahem, infiltrated it."
It wasn't exactly Watergate, but it was a good story and I was grateful to have it.
"You keep saying we don't help you, so I thought you might like it for the Mirror."

Good old Gordon. His parents would be so proud of him.

Anonymous said...

Regarding the election timing, someone commenting on the latest ToryDiary entry on ConservativeHome pointed out that Brown committed to an elected second chamber *in the manifesto*. If he's really just 'getting on with business', why not just do it within the next couple of years. Why make it a manifesto commitment?

On the other hand, it is probably just another tease to keep the opposition on its back - sorry, toes.

Anonymous said...

To Glenys 'At the heart of Europe' Kinnock I would say, "Don't worry, love, the killer of Philip Lawrence is soon to be walking the streets of the UK, despite any facile people-pleasing statements El Gordo makes at conference, courtesy of your friendly neighbourhood EU.

Unsworth said...

Chris Paul: "You are being conned by a master"

Dead right. And that, in a nutshell, has been the story of the past ten years. Conning has been raised to a high art form by these con-men.

Brown is starting his election campaign on the basis of a disastrous previous decade and saying he needs another five (or ten) to get things right.

Why should he be trusted? If he can't get it right in ten years how is he going to perform the miracle now?

Anonymous said...

I didn't hear the speech but I assume that as usual he read out LISTS of THINGS.

Vol Abroad said...

I thought the blue background was so they could push in another background later - like maybe him delivering a speech from a aircraft carrier with a big banner saying "Job Done" fluttering above his head.

I hate Gordon, but I thought he did a pretty good job - at least at first. Then he started slipping into his boring mode and I switched to Jeremy Kyle.

Anonymous said...

So Gordon Brown is a conviction politician, I agree, he should be convicted for running one of the most incompetent governments in living memory. The NHS, the fortune spent to little effect, resulting in a service that struggles to provide basic needs to many after working hours, closure of hospitals and unemployed young doctors. An economy distorted by borrowing, not only for home mortgages but also by government overdosing on PFI without entering it on the balance sheet. Armed forces committed to overseas action without the resources they need both in theatre and at home. Police sidetracked by targets that mean little and without funds to prevent real crime, bogged down by unenforceable laws written with so many loopholes in them the lawyers are having a field day. MP’s were not elected to give the governance of our country to someone else, a fact acknowledged in Labours last manifesto but denied now. Finally, taxation driven by petty jealousy and an addiction to spending without responsibility. He says he will not let us down, he did.

Wrinkled Weasel said...

This is the first major speech by a politician that I have deliberately not watched in many years.

Why? Well, Brown is all rhetoric, all spin, a very very well organised Zauberkünstler.

What could he have said that could possibly have any heuristic value? The answer seems to be - nothing.

Labour is at the height of its public relations parabola. It's on a par with the Third Reich and the "Cathedral of Light" rallies designed by Speer and there is Brown, the Fuhrer; his mastery over the Cabinet and the country a paradigm of the Führerprinzip.(Some people will think I am exaggerating for dramatic effect)

When "consultations" are gerrymandered by "ordinary people" being given brown envelopes with £75 in cash in them, so that the votes go Gordon's way I fear for our freedom.

Anonymous said...

bebopper - "This is a recording of Liam Fox saying he wants to kill off the NHS and make everyone pay for treatment."

If that really was the plan, then I for one am bloody glad Brown was willing to spill the beans and shoot that Fox, so that we are now in a situation where the Tories are now committed to MATCHING Labour spending levels on the NHS.

You wouldn't have gotten that under Thatcher...

Newmania said...

. What is starting to bother me is that Brown has literally said nothing about his intentions . No commitment on tax...what on earth might that mean ? Surely he cannot waltz in with a free hand ?
Is anyone going to ask him what his real intentions are. If the Guardian. .(today?) and the new Statesman) last week , have no idea what on earth is it we are talking about.I dread to think knowing what we do about his past and the enthusiasm of Folly Toynbee and the Unions with the acquiescence of the left is not reassuring .

Where are the policies ? Where are e the policy directions even ?

Anonymous said...

Wow! Even readers of the Beeb's HYS have universally panned Brown's speech.

Chris Paul said...

This review is all over the place Iain. It lurches from being attacked by a "wet lettuce" to becoming an "accomplished performance".

Newmania said...

Dull and accomplished do not seem mutually exclusive to me Chris but if rhetoric was important anymore we wouldn`t have the disgusting Stalinist back room manipulator in the first place .

They say he is a Stalin figure but I would say more Nixon.

Ted Foan said...

Wrinkled Weasel (8.32pm):

"... a very very well organised Zauberkünstler"

OK, I Googled it and it was all in bloody German. If it means what it should mean in English - Brown is a c**t - then thank you for adding to my limited German vocabulary.

However, I suspect you were making a deeper point - for dramatic effect! And that would be...?

Brown is a brilliant political operator. He, Blair and Mandelson have stitched up the electorate, the press and we are all doomed. Doomed, I tell you!

Well, Captain Mainwaring (David Cameron) must not panic - although he's not helped by the likes of Pike (verity and her ilk?)

As Corporal Jones might have said: "The don't like it up 'em, Mr Mainwaring".

So, Mr Cameron, you must make a big effort to rally the troops and drive them on to expose the sheer waste of opportunity that Brown and his party has imposed on the British people for the last 10 years. Ten years of inefficiency and lost opportunities that have resulted in so many people having the worst possible start to their lives.

Anonymous said...

Diabolo - do you really not get it?

So, Mr Cameron, you must make a big effort to rally the troops and drive them on to expose the sheer waste of opportunity that Brown and his party has imposed on the British people for the last 10 years.

Rally the troops how? Cameron loves the socialist party which is the party the Conservatives don't want.

"The sheer waste of opportunity that Brown and his party has (sic) imposed on the British people for the last 10 years."

Are you mad? It wasn't a wasted opportunity! It was effective!

How sadly naive you all are.

Anonymous said...

I love you Brits!

The NHS is the worst healthcare system in the world, and even Pommies of intelligence, admit it. Yet you can't stop wishing that a socialised health service can somehow provide excellent care. It is the triumph of hope over experience.

AS your healthcare slides down the league tables and you have the worst hospitals in the Western world, it doesn't seem to sink through that not paying for a visit to a State employed GP is what is causing the problem.

You will all hapily stand aside whilst other great institutions are ruined, but you will all stick like limpets to this hopeless NHS that has only been around for 60 years and is still trying to solve a 1945 problem in 2007.

What a lot gutless twerps you Pommies have become.

The Australian

Geezer said...

"They say he is a Stalin figure but I would say more Nixon."

He looks a bit like Nixon, with a bit of Chimp thrown in.

The BBC's Browngasm coverage was an absolute disgrace. He spouts the same bullsh*t, as they have for the last ten years about their priorities, and no one at Pravda asks why they are haven't achieved anything in these areas after 10 years, despite taxing and spending more than any other government. No critical analysis at all.


Vienna Woods said...

Oh Dear, Diablo I believe you have inadvertently highlighted the real problem in your final paragraph.

Can you enlighten us all as to who, in the 'all chums together' leadership of the Conservatives will effectively slam this dreadful stewardship of the last 10 years. It needs some fire and brimstone, a fierce attack and a demonstrable near loss of temper, before people will show admiration and follow with their votes. The Cameroons just don't possess any strength in any department you care to choose, and it shows! That is why many of us are so utterly frustrated with the antics of the current Conservative leadership, who just cannot connect with people. It's as if they're off another bloody planet!

Anonymous said...

There must be a lot of mileage in the word "conviction" for future Tory campaign posters!

Anonymous said...

"I am afraid I got distracted at various points so I didn't hear it all"

I know what you mean, at one point I actually fell asleep!

"The sheer audacity of much of it had to be admired"

Some of it had me laughing aloud at the blatant hypocrisy of it.

"I loved it that it took him twenty minutes to spit out the words Tony and Blair in about the least efusive way you could imagine."

42 minutes according to Andrew Neil.

Anonymous said...

the French language is useful here: 'il parle beaucoup mais il ne dit rien'.

Anonymous said...

Iain, I think you may have missed the point if you think that Brown 'says nothing'.

If George Jones, who knows an awful lot more about this game than you do, thinks he has connected with 'middle England' [wherever that is..] then it may just be that Brown has succeeded in finding the clitoris of the public at large, while still managing to stimulate enough of the g-spot of the Labour party to win him a General Election - Maybe David Cameron needs to be taking notes for his conference ?

Mark said...

I think someone on Gordon's speechwriting team must (a) be an advocate of neurolinguistic programming and (b) have been worried about the reception the speech would receive. All I can remember from the end of the speech is "stand up [...] stand up [...] stand up [...] stand up [...]". No wonder a vertical ovation ensued!