Thursday, January 17, 2008

Gordon Must Learn to Schmooze - It's Part of the Job

A correspondent tells me of a reception in Portcullis House last night for service veterans. It started at 6pm and the Prime Minister was good enough to put in an appearance, along with his combative PPS Ian Austin. However, he left shortly after six o'clock while most of the veterans were still queueing to get into the building. Gordon Brown had only met the sprinkling of MOD officials in the room and spoke to hardly any veterans. As Brown walked out of the building he walked past a long queue of veterans - some of WW2 vintage - but failed to acknowledge them at all, let alone engage any of them in conversation. How crap is that?! Tony Blair would have at least schmoozed the queue! Several of them reckoned afterwards that it would have been better if he had not gone at all but had sent a message.

Schmoozing is part of the job of a modern day Prime Minister. Time and again Gordon Brown shows he is SO unsuited to the finesse part of the job.

UPDATE: Justin Webb reckons Mitt Romney has a similar problem.
UPDATE 2: Oh dear. What have I started? Adam Boulton has a tale of some disgruntled businessmen who are travelling with El Gordon to China today.


Anonymous said...

As a Scot, I am shocked at Beans lack of manners!

Well, what do you expect, he was brought up in a byre!(Sorry, manse)

I will never know what you sassenachs ever saw in him!

Not that Nick Wood said...

Why segregate the finesse part of the job.

Anonymous said...

Oh come on Dale, talk about having your cake and eating it. If Gordon did do Schmoozing you would complain about that.

Remember him Schmoozing with the troops a few months ago, you lot went potty.

Bernie the Bolt said...

Given that Brown has spent the last ten years doing a first-class job of 'rotting out' Britain's armed forces, one can understand his embarrassment in such a setting. But if he is that uncomfortable in the presence of veterans, why accept the invitation in the first place?

Which bright spark in his private office thought it a good idea for him to depart the function at its commencement? It looks like contempt, because that's pretty much what it is.

Regards - Al Dente

Anonymous said...

Schmoozing is regarded as part of the job nowadays only because schmoozing was all Blair could ever do. Blair was never anything more than a second-hand car dealer and he used a meet-and-greet style to cover up his complete lack of substance (and ideas and any meaningful policies).

I agree that Brown was rude, but if he's actually getting on with the job then I'm happy to overlook the fact that he doesn't seem to share the grating condescension of his predecessor.

Unsworth said...

Indeed, "Noblesse Oblige".

There are cultured Scots and those who are not. Much the same as most other races, I suppose. But the deliberate and constant denigration of 'The English' is a Hibernian obsession.

Anonymous said...

Don't be toooooooooooo harsh on Gordy, Ian. He has, afterall, agreed to forego his gold plated pension until he is 65, saving us hundreds of thousands of pounds.

Anonymous said...

Another example of Brown not being up to the job of being PM. He is the biggest disappointment since Eden. And we have another 2 years to go before an election.

Anonymous said...

It's jimbo who is having his cake and eating it. Mr. Bean broke the tradition of not doing those types of events during the oppositions conference and he broke his own promise about announcing important decisions to parliament. Get you facts straight.

Old BE said...

All that "leadership" stuff is anathema to Brown, all he cares about is jerking those levers.

Anonymous said...


"There are cultured Scots and those who are not."

And those who are not are prone to eat snot...

(anyone want to suggest the next line?)

Anonymous said...

He must have got a few tips from his old mate Rhodri Morgan on how to treat veterans. You know the one who chose to attend a Golf weekend with that well known Hain donor Sir Tel Mathews rather than attend the Normandy DDay Celebrations with the Veterans. NuLabour or the New Contemptables

Anonymous said...

It's not about "Schmoozing" it's about showing some respect.

What an ill mannered oaf the bottler is.

Edward said...

To be honest I dont give a damn if a PM schmoozes or not. What I would prefer is that they get off their arse on sort out this country. Surely the whole idea of having a royal family should be for them to schmooze and for the PM, Govt and Parliament to get on with their jobs.

Anonymous said...

Read Peter Oborne - the Triumph of the Political Class. Contains story after story of Brown's legendary rudeness.

Anonymous said...

Anyone noticed that the pictures SKY are using to highlight the Home Secretary plan to crack down on extremist websites show the site of Hizb Tirir?

Thats the organisation that Brown knew nothing about when asked by Cameron at his first PMQs and that was supposed to have been banned but hasnt. Now being used to highlight extremism!


Anonymous said...

"There are cultured Scots and those who are not."

And those who are not are prone to eat snot.

next Line? Is this not a Clerihew?

Bolod peter hain likes to keep secret money.

But when he's discovered, people see that he's phoney.


Gordon Brown looks down on the guns, foot and horse.

Except when he's rocking his own, of course.

Anonymous said...

Yet another demonstration of Gordon Brown's lack of political skills. Surprisingly, for a man who has got to the top, he is a very bad politician.

He will pay the price. When the chips are down he will find he has made very few friends and scores of enemies.

strapworld said...

Jimbo said..misses the point. Our Prime Minister, presumably, was invited to an occasion to honour our Veterans (NOTE the spelling Iain), he made a great splash about how we should honour, quite rightly, our veterans.

He is there as OUR Prime Minister. Not the rude, nosepicking, arrogant bully that he is as a person.

He makes the headlines but cannot carry out the most simplest of tasks in talking to ordinary people. Perhaps he knowns that they may tell him some home truths.

That, presumably, is why he prefers to be seen around little children more often than not.

The man is an absolute disgrace to his position. He cannot make a decision. He allows law breakers to remain in his cabinet and lives a life of lies and subterfuge.l

The sooner he is carried out of Downing Street the better.

Paul Burgin said...

I think some of it is down to shyness, it takes guts to shmooze (well I find so), and he is probably like me in finding it hard to go up to strangers and engage them in conversation. I remember having to force myself to do that in the times I stood for election, complete with the feeling of dread that the people I was about to chat with might be Tories' with a loathing towards Labour candidates.
So to be fair, it might be a similar case with Gordon Brown, but that doesn't mean that he isn't a warm person and that he doesn't care, or a reflection on how he does his job. In fact, he is probably more gregarious than Ted Heath was with strangers.

Anonymous said...

This behaviour from the man who tries his best to associate himself with courage. We keep hearing from some quarters about how clever he is. How clever are you if you behave in ways which so blatantly contradict the image you are (utterly dishonestly) trying to create for yourself? We don't have to wish he could lie more effectively to despise him for being so crass.

Anonymous said...

In the US no presidential candidate can survive without being able to schmooze every journalist, broadcaster and editor. Hillary has hit a few problems along the way and it has made things a lot harder for her.

Anonymous said...

Schmooze - "To converse casually, especially in order to gain an advantage or make a social connection."

And there you have it. Gordon could see no personal gain in talking with the EX-soldiers, so he didn't. That is schmoozing as defined above.

Anonymous said...

paul burgin [11.05 am] Oh boy! Gordon Brown more gregarious than Edward Heath. Praise indeed.

Conversely, when Brown gets the old heave-ho we shall see a decades-long sulk which will make Edward Heath look like Ken Dodd.

Anonymous said...

There are cultured Scots and those who are not
And those who are not are prone to eat snot
Whereas those who are, boast with glee
To be all for British fraternity.

So which is Bean? Answer: he doesn't do glee.

Anonymous said...

dearieme said:-

There are cultured Scots and those who are not
And those who are not are prone to eat snot"

There are (few) cultured sassenachs and these who are not

And these who are not are prone to smoke pot(a lot)

Anonymous said...

Schmoozeing is smooth and slick? Gordon is sticky with perhaps a little grit.

Anonymous said...

Gordo the Ineffectual didn't schmooze as he knew he would get a few home truths, possibly a smack or two, but any photographer would have got the piccie of the year.

Gordo is incapable of human emotions/intercourse and is very uncomfortable with the real people, unless they have a love of rocking horses.

In any event, i personally would take severe umbrage at having that tosspot condescend to me.

Anonymous said...

I don't think "schmoozing" is the right word.

What he needs is just a bit of politeness and respect for his elders. Or indeed, for anyone.

Mulligan said...

Paul Burgin.

So the glorious leader is shy is he?

Well that's alright then. Bless

Anonymous said...

One only had to watch Bliar laying a wreath at the Cenotaph to see the regard senior members of NuLab paid to those they so blithely sent to war.

Astro-Turf Lawnmower said...

He didn't have to schmooze or show political skills. He just had to show some respect to people thoroughly deserving of it. Shaking a few hands, saying thanks, a few words here and there would have made the day for a few old soldiers. He might even have learned something from people who have actually shown real courage at some point in their lives.

As it was he decided it wasn't worth bothering with some old people who couldn't benefit him.

The man is beneath contempt and I hope noone bothers to speak to HIM when he is just another political has been in a couple of years time.

Anonymous said...


Anonymous said...

He doesn't need to schmooze. He just needs to show respect. It is obviously beyond him. So he deserves none in return.

Anonymous said...

Er, where I come from Brown is a Sassenach, as might be Anonymous @ January 17, 2008 9:38 AM, if he's a Lowlander

Name calling is only wise if you know what the names mean.