"The Prime Minister cannot bear anyone who challenges him... People want the security of confidence about where we are going. They are fed up with a stop-go, chop-and-change approach, taking up things and then dropping them... Voters don't know where Labour stands.... I have to start a debate about all this because it is only two and a half years until the next General Election, and it is imperative that there is a discussion of Labour's future before it has no future and is obliterated.... At first, I had thought it unlikely he would give me a Government job, but then, when he became Prime Minister, he said that he had nothing personal against me and he asked me to be a special envoy to him in certain roles. I wrote to him about what such a role might entail and got no response. So, after about six weeks, I said 'no'. I told him my natural role was as a minister and not as his envoy.... Someone has to bring the subject up," he says. "We are conveying a sense of drift and uncertainty. Only Gordon can change this - if he is capable of doing so. Unfortunately, he hasn't the confidence of the country because of the things he has done.
He is a man who has to control. In a Prime Minister, this is not a good thing... I remember the picture of a batty Margaret Thatcher walking in St James's Park, picking up litter because she was on her litter crusade. She wanted the image to show that she personally could sort out all the litter in the country. But you can't. Gordon still feels he has to do everything. It's in his personal history.
I have heard that he shouts at people such as typists. He can certainly be very cold. I've seen him do that with Tony... Sadly, as far as I have learned, his relationship with the Treasury has not improved at all. The senior Civil Service, as a whole, is very pessimistic about the way he is running the country. This is something else he must address. The art of politics is about fast reactions. When something comes along, you have to respond very quickly or it runs away from you. You saw it with David Cameron over MPs' expenses when he was out, very fast, dealing with the situation. Gordon must stop being a ditherer. He lacks courage. He looks at his papers, dithers and isn't sure."
There is a very big problem in Gordon's mind. He is always thinking about Tony Blair. It's a strange, tormented thing. He is tormented by the idea of Blair. It's almost a love-hate thing. He wants to be anti-Blair, rather than post-Blair. He wants to revisit things that Blair did, like casinos and cannabis.
It's hard for anyone to change, especially at 56. This is the one million dollar question. The answer is: he has to change.
I don't think it's a dislike of Brown. It's a lack of respect and do you blame him?
Charles Clarke is speaking for himself not for us. I admire him for his honesty.
Iain, Don't laugh - this could be the heffalump's attempt at a coup d'etat..Clarke certainly doesn't want to help CCHQ - he wants to avoid CCHQ having a head start at the next General Election by having the Great Ditherer 'Bottler Brown' in charge. CC must know that there is a very narrow window [say 12 months] of opportunity to ditch GB.
He is certainly ambitious enough - although I see it being more of a case of throwing in the initial 'shake and bake' grenade to throw Gordon off balance.
Then there will follow some 'Shock and Awe' of bunker-busting attacks from those that have had knuckles rapped over the Lisbon Treaty/'I want a referendum' nonsense.
Closely followed by parking the aircraft carrier Clarke somewhere off Downing Street, then sending some tanks onto the lawn of No. 10 in the form of David Miliband, Andy Burnham and James Purnell to say that 'This is no country for an old man', and it is time to hand over power to the Young Turks of Junta El Presidente.. [That's quite enough inappropriate military metaphors..]
"...have heard that he shouts at people such as typists..."
There is one word for someone like him, but I don't think our esteemed host would allow me to use it on this blog. But it rhymes with 'banker'.
Clarke's continued isolation from the corridors of power have clearly made him a rather sad and embittered soul... but at least he hasn't let that totally addle his memory or cloud his judgement of Thatcher. "I remember the picture of a batty Margaret Thatcher walking in St James's Park, picking up litter because she was on her litter crusade." Absolutely spot on.
Thanks for including that bit Iain, wonderful, it warmed my heart.
What a tit!
Behaviour like this didn't help the Tories in the early and mid 1990s. So now Labour has a death-wish. Good!
Gordon does seem to be like watching your dad dancing at a disco , you know he is trying his best but all you want to do is tell him to stop.
There isn't going to be time to get Brown out before the next election. Labour will be in the great position of no chance with him, and no chance of ditching him.
Just where Mr Cameron wants them.
And Charles Clarke confirming a split party is excellent.
Charles Clarke is only saying what most people think already. Gordon Brown is hopeless. Absolutely hopeless. Brown is not a leader - he is a flawed coaster...
Perhaps now is the time for David Miliband to challenge Brown?
Maggie and litter. Symbolism? It sent out a clear message. She cared enough to do something basic like picking up litter. She was the ultimate leader. Knew what was right and wrong, and which direction she wanted things to go.
She got frustrated with the Europhiles who thronged the party hierarchy in her day, and rightly so.
Clarke's got leadership qualities. Shame he's also a raging europhile. If he'd break ranks and join in with IWAF and the Gang Of Four, then he'd be worth listening to. As it is he's just pissing in the wind.
The socialist government is so faceless and lacking in charmisma that the only one I can recognise is the God-awful Gordon Brown. On close inspection of a photograph, I could probably identify Harriet Harman, especially in a perps' line-up. That little Blears flea. But that's it. The rest of them are faceless in a Sovietesque sense. Drab. No personality. No presence.
" the answer is , he hs to change "
he can't, Asperger's is a genetic disease . Thats it.
Interesting allusion at the end; I've often wondered whether at some point Blair-Brown-Mandelson were a triangle.
can we be clear on charles clarke? he's a proven incompetent and a global-level bullshitter. i'm happy to listen to cogent criticism of brown or anyone, but clarke is so deep in sour grapes, he can barely see over the top. he has a huge problem, that he cannot accept that he isn't labour leader and PM, can't accept that the rest of the world doesn't share his opinion of himself, which is as grossly inflated as his stomach.
At least this stinking gang hate one another. It is the only good thing about them.
David Milliband? As PM? And what exactly has he done in the 3 or 4 years since he shed short trousers?
Mind you, they are all a bunch of useless, self-serving apparatchiks.
Shouting at typists - isn't that work place bullying and a sackable offense?
Who would give him his first verbal caution?
Hennessy in today's Sunday Telegraph puts Brown's response to Clarke's attack on him:
Outburst about Gordon Brown spells end for Charles Clarke
By Patrick Hennessy, Political Editor
So, Anonymous 2:30, setting your personal views of Clarke to one side, are his comments untrue?
Or is this the usual Piperesque ad hominem rubbish?
I wonder what Charles Clarke's opinion on Tony Blair is? A lying religious sanctimonious PC waffling gob-shi*e perhaps? I suspect once out of power Labour will implode -like their Scottish counterparts- once the civil service & the trappings of power are taken away we will see how utterly shi*e and venal they are. Makes you wonder how people so stupid get elected in the first place!
A classic from Brown yesterday, offering his opinion about proposal to play some Premier League games overseas...
"It should be up to English fans to decide". Priceless from the betrayer who won't let us have any say at all on being ruled by Europe or even decide which degree of mendacious Prime Mininster we want in our country.
Bob Piper - what on earth is "batty" about picking up litter? If more people did it, this country would be a rather better place.
I've noticed before that crazed lefties attack Margaret even when she does something they'd consider praiseworthy if anybody else did it.
I'm baffled by this whole Brown thing. Like DearieMe, I have wondered about the very bizarre triangle of Brown, Blair and Mandelson. What does it all mean?
And there is no way anyone as purely unappealing as Brown could ever win an election, outside his own constituency where his family is known, on his own account. So what is he doing being PM of Britain? None of this hangs together.
And that gruesome marriage at the manse,where they pushed the dining room table and chairs back against the walls and had the ceremony there.
This man has no leadership qualities at all. He has no personality. He's unpleasant and resentful of something - God knows what. This fellow has to be the eeriest prime minister in British history.
Gordon Brown is mad , pathetic and inadequate. When the Labour Party is obliterated as under his leadership, as it certainly will be, then perhaps Bob Piper might credit Clarke rather than feigning facetiousness which fools no-one. I also seem to remember a brawny Bob Piper boldy and confidently assuring us what a successful and talented Prime Minister Gordon Brown would be. The laughter resounds....
The detail about his behaviour to the junior staff is troubling and I take it as confirmation of the rumours .Some time ago I blogged as follows :
"The Secretaries at Number 10 are known as “Garden Girls” for some reason. I watched Winston Churchill’s now elderly assistant recalling his humour and determination her eyes still shining with affection only last year. All the recent PM`s were adored by the Garden Girls . John Major , of course , but equally Tony Blair and most of all Margaret Thatcher. None of theses PM`s were ever other than courteous and considerate even under enormous pressure . .Only Gordon Brown has vented his frustration on his secretaries . He has often shouted humiliating abuse and physically turfed a girl out of a chair to use the keyboard himself . I believe this account of intemperate conduct . I believe it because the theory that is true and it was honestly told to the Mail columnist is infinitely the most likely explanation I can come up with .
Winston Churchill had the Second World War to worry about and yet ., with a little champagne and Brandy was able to “Keep buggering on” and show the humblest worker respect. In fact his relations with the war cabinet at times of life and death for the nation were a balance of the collegiate and the decisive. What a good way of conducting the nations affairs …"
Brown is simply unfit for the office and his personal problems will do for us all if we let him grab that nectar ..power.
I agree with Newmania that Brown is a nasty piece of work. He is a very inadequate human being. I personally think he is bordering on the insane.
I don't writing this lightly. I think the man is not fit to be a head of government. Any government. There is something wrong with him and it is astonishing that he should have got into Downing Street without having had to appeal to the voter. The whole Gordon Brown thing gives me the creeps.
Perhaps Clarke is doing us a favour by provoking a public discussion.
Thanks Verity , it was Peter Oborne ( who Iain knows well ) who was the source and one had the impression there was a lot more that he knew, as well as similiar tales from Civil servants.
Seeing this confirmed by Charles Clarke opens up a whole new 'Brown problem' concerning his ability to deal with pressurre.
It also clarifies what was meant by the persistent references to his psychological problems over the years.A dark and worrying man whose demons might better be faced in private life.
This is an occasion I entirely agree with Newmania and Verity. Brown has a personality disorder and those that work closest to him must know it. Now if Dave had the job he would undoubtedly carry on the proud tradition of Churchill Thatcher and Major - the garden girls will love him.
What I find rather weird about this is why Charles Clarke decided to air this view in a newspaper. If he has a party political problem he should be airing it in some Labour Party forum or other - does Broon ever meet his MPs as a group - and if he wishes to make a nonpartisan comment about drift then he should do it in the House of Commons.
I don't remember Geoffrey Howe knifing Thatcher in the press. I don't remember Lamont telling a newspaper that the party was "in office but not in power". They at least had the cojones to say this stuff in the House of Commons. Why doesn't Clarke?
Inane quadrangle braying does not a "discussion" make.
Just goes to show how pathetic Cameron is to be only just ahead in the polls.
Inane Quadrangle Braying? I think I've got their first cd...
Troll at 12:42. Could you identify who's "braying"? The only things I detect being raised onthis thread is concern, not voices.
I for one think it perfectly possible that Brown may snap. He is not. normal. He was dead set on being prime minister because he thought he was entitled to it - not because he had any mission (however misguided and communistic) to implement. He wanted to live in No 10 and he wanted to be PM.
He not only has nothing to offer, but I think he is flawed in a major way, and dangerous. I think he has a genuine psychological condition. I think Tony Blair knew it and is now taking malign pleasure in watching Brown crash and burn so spectacularly.
That he should have promoted Brown at all gives us an indication of the regard the unlamented Blair has for Britain and his countrymen. But we knew that, didn't we?
Amazing. Charles Clarke makes a vituperative, embittered, frankly nasty attack on the Prime Minister - no doubt borne of his resentment at being passed over the post-Hain reshuffle - and all anyone can say here is that it shows how psychologically-flawed Gordon is.
I think the lesson I would draw from this is that the PM made a very good call in leaving Clarke to fester on the backbenches.
Embittered ? perhaps, but also, unfortunately for us, bang on.
Amazing. Charles Clarke deserves recognition for refusing to cow to the abominable Gordon unlike every other MP and journalist who fawned and extolled his virtues in stark defiance of the harsh reality , Clarke at least has been consistent in his contempt for Gordon. Amazing indeed that a brutal, bullying control freak clearly lacking in leadership qualities should have been able to intimidate and plot his path to power I'd contend Paul. Poisoning colleague's careers, skulking fo ryears in darkness with a poisoned and unfounded sense of entitlement. Gordon was embittered and harmful always and without cause.
Gordon would know all about embitterment and festering in the darkness though wouldn't he Paul?
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