In twenty minutes Gordon Brown will take his monthly press conference. He's not been lucky with these, has he? Last month's was also dominated by subjects he'd rather not have discussed.
This was supposed to be the relaunch. It won't be. There will be three topics for discussion - party donations, Northern Rock and Disc-gate. It will be facinating to see how he copes with an hour of (presumably) hostile questioning. Blair would have been in his element. I somehow doubt Brown will be.
UPDATE 12:17: Has anyone noticed the several occasions when Brown put on a huge grin (as if someone had told him to smile occasionally) and then one second later he had an intimidating glare on his face. He's losing it.
I expect he will blame the Tories for "breaking the consensus on party funding reform".
This is the man who won't take responsibility for his decisions taken in the last ten years (except BoE independence - and that was Blair), should we expect him to take any responsibility for the crises of his tenure?
Still, at least he can say that he is restoring faith in politics and politicians at least as much as Blair did.
He will say:
a) It's not a big deal and that the resignation should be the end of it.
b) State funding of parties is the way forward, but the Tories smell so aren't interested.
c) Lord Ashcroft is a poo-poo head.
d) I have a vision for Britain... aspirations of the British people... blah, blah blah...
e) The previous Conservative government had 18 years to pass a law to prevent the Labour party doing this, and they didn't. The Conservatives are soft on crime.
f) I have not been hiding in a bunker sucking my thumb and eating my nose content.
g) I don't read opinion polls or apparently know anything about anything that is going on during my tenure as leader of the Labour party.
h) Who is David Abrahams?
Any or all of the above, probably ;)
Can someone please tell me how much reviews cost? Everytime something goes wrong in Government (Mr. Abrahams secret donations, diskgate), or when the Government scrambles to fix things (like the NHS), a review is announced. Temporarily such reviews divert attention but for how much longer if the public may end up paying for Government incompetence?
I ahve also noticed he is trying to make tittle-tattle with teh correspondents...
"ooo, haven't i asked you one before."
"I thought it was your turn next"
he's trying to take the stink out of it.
What the hell does Bona Feedee mean? LOL
Yes, one needs to observe the standard Brown trick and react. Brown will of course admit something has gone wrong and agree with the resignation (not his - unfortunately!) and will announce an enquiry. The only thing is, it will be an internal enquiry within the Labour party and we will only be told what they want us to hear. Everything else will be brushed under the carpet and everyone caught on the fringes will be allowed to get away with it. The difference between Brown and Teflon Tony is that Blair always announced that his ministers enjoyed his full support, then knifed them! Brown, on the other hand keeps the walking wounded which will ultimately cause his downfall.
About that grin, I thought exactly the same thing myself. It is as if it is a silly smile for the camera and then when he thinks the camera is off him and lets his guard down. Either that or he cannot think and smile at the same time.
The message from Brown is clearly "You lot are on your own". Does anyone think the investigation will turn up any other guilty party than Mr Watt?
What will Gordon say?! Heck- i think the words 'sorry' and 'this should never happen again' plus 'inquiry- with independent people (no way connected to Labour!)' come to mind! Perhaps Gord should have that Enrique Inglesias song 'hard to say I'm sorry' as background music to his press conferences!
I'd say Harman is a goner
It probably isn't funny, and perhaps I should be ashamed of my frivolity, but this press Conference which I'm still watching is the most hilarious bit of unintended comedy I've seen for ages. Trouble is, those people could easily get re-elected.
I hope poor old John Major allows himself the occasional wry smile, the sins of the tory party he led were trivial by comparison with the present shower
Brown fails to convince, claims he cannot recall or recollect meeting Abrahams.
Which does not mean that it didn't happen, just convenient recollection.
Browns popping the odd, gurning, grin into the press conference to give the impression that he's not troubled by any of these developments. He's also hoping that these are the photos the Press will use on the front pages. The problem is, it just makes him look shifty and sly.
I'm puzzled - if I want to open a bank account or move large sums of cash, I'm obliged to produce ID and jump through hoops in compliance with money laundering regulations. Yet, huge sums of funny money from individuals are sloshing into Labour bank accounts and nobody bats an eyelid. What gives? Why are the banks complicit in these actions? Does the law not apply in this case?
Browns struggling to get out of this - I really hope it takes him down.
I bet the Tories are crying their eyes out.
3 papers carried the headlines for this amazing affair. The Times ran a piece on independent schools nicking the places at university, the Indie ran a piece on the Oxford Union!
In John Major's days screaming headlines announced the news that a Tory MP had a lap dancer sit on his , er , lap.
This is a clear case of criminal activity on the part of the Labour Party. (If Watt were an employee at NatWest involed in money laundering, Nat West would take the rap, not the employee). There is circumstantial evidence to warrant an investigation into ministers actions with regard to the planning permission.
And the press and BBC reaction?
Move along no, nothing to see...
Ashes to Ashes
The truth behind all the Labour Party funding scandals and I include the £10 million modernisation bung recycled by the Unions is what they would call systemic .
When it finally became clear that socialism had had its day Labour Part ditched it . After the Blackpool conference half (literally ) the membership left and it ceased to be a Mass membership Party , it simply became a branch of the new Market lead consensus . The remaining Party activists never accepted this and there has been a slow but sure slither back to the old errors . In particular Brown`s support are of this cast hence his dropping NHS privatised provision and Academies etc....already the inevitable cock up festival is in full swing ...ah me back to Callaghan * goes misty eyed*
Nonetheless it ceased to be the thing which called it into being ,. It had been a political voice for Labour as against Capital . It was always clear that Capital would have far more money but they combated this with numbers who together were able to compete sometimes via the Unions hence the anomaly of Union influence. Ditching its past made the Party electable but it ditched its own source of grass roots support and became cut off from real people in the country it was also cut off from funding by becoming a patchwork confederation of progressives , Public sector workers , Celtic and some Northern old Labour and Immigrants , welfare , etc. the vast mass of working classes are now lower middle class would have little to do with these people. They had the mass money. Incidentally this same social change made England naturally Conservative which again labour have avoided by exploiting the anomaly of Scotland’s position. The next fall back will be PR
It was exactly at this point that honours began to be sold for cash . A close association was formed with wealthy individuals in Russian style Ecclestone , Private Equity, it is pretty clear that the property developer Abrahams mixed business and poltical pleasure at least and this was of course , on Blair`s doorstep. Brown knows all about it . I would be more worried if he duidn1t he would have to be a congenital idiot. In short Labour cheated .Meanwhile the Conservative Party has continued as it has always been . it was never a mass movement like the labour Party and always had to spice up the prospect of joining with dating agency activities and so on. It retains a large number of middle sized contributors and the focus on Ashcroft is really a device to distract attention from Labour’s problems . That is why Cameron is happy for there to be a contribution limit but this must clearly include the Unions whose members may very well not be Labour voters and are no longer a political organisation themselves .
To be fair to Labour, I believe it was a heroic organisation for large parts of the 20th century . My family were all in Unions until about the 1960s and I cannot conceive of an England without an NHS in some form .albeit with private provision and an enabling government role , for example .Its job is done though and the difficulty it now has attracting funds directly reflects its political bankruptcy. Ordinary people , who it claims to represent will not join it and they certainly will not give even a small amount of their own money to it .
That being the case in the absence of cheating we would be watching its coffin lowered with the dignity I admit it historically earnt , into the ground
Resquiat in Pace Labour
He paid a lot for those scary white teeth and he wants to show them off at any and every opportunity.
Just watched it. Dead things don't squirm.
You'd think there was enough ammunition against Brown without allusions to his mental health.
I take it Iain that you've never had a down day in your life and regard mental illness as a sign of weakness?
mental illness as a sign of weakness?
No no mental instability is exactly what you want in a Prime minister. I `m suprised there isn`t a loon MP target there is for everything else
Gordon seemed determined on the extract Radio 4 played at lunch time. He using the usual tatic of borrowing other people's respectabiliuty to decontaminate Labour with the people called in the review.
But the interesting part was when he hung his own party out to dry by showing how 'his leadership campaign' had only taken donations from people they knew ( not that he had much of a battle on his hands anyway ).
He forgets he's not president with his own electoral mandate but leader of that party that got one in 2005. ( He of course has no mandate for his current position. )
Also agree Harriet Harman = toast, or at least will own her soul to Gordon after this mess.
The Times headline is: "Labour chairman accepted disguised money"
talk about spin!
I don't know why you are all so down on Harriet Harman. She appears to be a very nice lady, always smiling pleasantly and she is clearly very clever. I think you just dislike her because she is working class, but the joke will be on you because she will do a fine job one day as Britain's first woman prime minister.
So there we have it - Gordons explanation of "The Abraham's Affair" was:-
1.Although this guys been giving us donations since 2003 It's nuthin' to do with me,guv. I only heard about it on Saturday evening whilst I was watching "Strictly Come Dancing(ok I made the last bit up)
2. Actually I also returned the donation of £5,000 that Miss Kidd gave me during my leadership campaign(unlike some other people I could mention but won't as I'm sure you can know to whom I refer) so's you've nuthin on me.
3.I totally believe what I've been told by Harriet and I have every confidence in what's she's told me(You can keep asking me whether I have confidence in her but I'm not that stupid I don't know what else you lot know that I don't)
I don't know why his advisors tell him to grin so much. Politicians don't grin. The public expect them to be serious. Cameron only ever smiles mildly. It just makes him look artificial and stupid.
Harman making statement 3.30pm. Please God it's her resignation as Deputy Leader and Chairman of the Party !(but somehow I doubt it !)
What's the point of a review? If I understand it, the rules were clear and they were broken. The remedy is to sack those who broke the rules and make it clear that in future the rules must be strictly applied. Or am I missing something?
Did I hear right? Have they asked a retired High Court judge and a bishop to conduct the review? Bloody fools, both of them, if they lend themselves to this political charade.
Watch Brown at PMQ's, he tries to copy Blair's mannerisms like smiling when under attack from Cameron. He does not pull it off!
GB's smiling sends shivers down Calliope's spine, and she's been dead for a couple of thousand years.
dirty european socialist can Calliope use you for anthropological experiments? your unfolding textual blend of vitriol and delusion is really amazing to behold. In fact Calliope thinks she might even fancy you just a little bit.
Fancy me do you love, I dont blame you, you oxbridge types like a bit of rouogh to sort you out dont you, want a real man instead of some posh la di da hunting type. well hard cheese love I dont do toreis.
des at 2.15pm - you're having a laugh - you cannot be serious, no one is that naive.
Harriet Harman's not working class (she's not clever either, but that's not the point). She went to a very posh Girls' School - did you think she took elocution lessons to get that accent?
No one cares what class she is anyway, they can't stand her because she is a patronising hypocrite who always talks absolute crap.
By the way, calling her a "very nice lady" makes you sound somewhat dorkish, yourself.
"Fancy me do you love, I dont blame you, you oxbridge types like a bit of rouogh to sort you out dont you, want a real man instead of some posh la di da hunting type. well hard cheese love I dont do toreis."
You don't do spelling either, do you, you daft twat?
Am I the only person to think that Gordon is looked a bit haggard these days?
Look at the most recent photo of him and decide for yourselves.
So I wanted to view the press conference on the Number 10 website but:
Film versions of the press conference are usually posted on the PM's site but will not be included this month due to issues of content and the Civil Service Code. The transcript has been edited for the same reason.
Any ideas what this Civil Service code is all about? The link on the Number 10 website for more information on the Civil Service code is broken.
The trusty BBC have the press conference though.
In what way is it appropriate to speculate about Brown losing it Iain? I thought you were the proud upholder of the old play the ball not the man?
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