I'm watching Andrew Rawnsley's demolition job on Gordon Brown on Channel 4 +1 at the moment. The programme is titled WHERE DID IT ALL GO WRONG? Indeed so. I have seen a lot of programmes like this in my time.
I have never seen a documentary which is such an effective obituary of a government.
I have also never seen an obituary written before the corpse has stopped twitching.
I have also never seen a whole host of Cabinet Ministers appearing in a documentary about their own government while it was still in power.
I have also never seen serving Cabinet Ministers openly criticise their own government and their own Prime Minister, seemingly without fear of the consequences.
Damn I did not notice that was on.Are you not tempting Nemesis with all this gloating Iain?
Andrew Rawnsley didn't so much stick the knife in as drop a nuclear device on Gordon Brown. With many present and past cabinet members joining into press the button.
The whole program was written as a post-mortem, it was entirely in the past-tense, including any reference to Mr Brown.
It was written in the same, tone, tense and style of the what went wrong with Major and the ERM documentaries. Only Major was out of office when they were broadcast.
The question he didn't ask is where will Labour go next? surely not back to the cold-war / class-war struggle. Labour lost a grip on it's soul to get elected and in doing so let go of a touchstone from with to evolve social equality in the 21st century. The Tories have never made such a sacrifice.
I can not for the live of me fathom why any cabinet member would have gone on that show, it is truly astonishing.
Crikey. I thought only Michael Cockerill [sp?] did hatchet jobs like this. And this is a guy who has had a ringside seat over the New Labour project through his book Servants of the People.
Is the game up ?
It was rather amazing. And I thought that cabinet ministers were most concerned with governing the country not talking to documentary makers.
Maybe useful in the future to use when they want to avoid the press.
That's exactly what I thought, Gordon will less than impressed, can honestly say (as an Alan) " Your cabinet think little of you, your public that you are supposed to serve think even less and that you are just an er...there's no lead where your cocerned Gordon, You're Fired....."
Oh to not to have to put up with 2 more years of the Flucking Cist but hayho, better late than never....
I watched this too, and had a similar reaction - I couldn't believe Alistair Darling and Jacqui Smith had appeared on a program called Where Did It All Go Wrong!
Anyway, as I put on my blog, two quote spring immediately to mind: I can imagine Gordon Brown is thinking something along the lines of Mark Twain's "reports of my death have been greatly exaggerated".
Meanwhile the rest of us are thinking "If you hadn't nailed him to the perch, he'd be pushing up the daisies!"
I don't think so at all.
It gave Brown a lot of screen time to explain himself.
He does contrition and fallibility well (and he has got a lot to be contrite and fallible about).
But I came out of the programme
thinking he's going to get buried when he recovered ground as someone misunderstood.
On the very plus side, the programme reminded me that the Conservatives have some unfortunate performers, most notably Osborne.
He'll have to do some work on that nasal whine.
Pretty interesting stuff and I've booked my seat (wife allowing) for the Alan Clark Diaries, yes I know I should get a life. It's like the end of the Conservatives in 1996/7 I wondered if some Labourites had been placed in the party as "sleepers" and then suggested ideas guaranteed to loose an election. Makes you wonder who advises them.
freedom to prosper
I do believe the fat lady just cleared her throat...
Call me suspicious (suspicion not allowed, I know, if it's not the Beeb we're talking about) but perhaps some of those involved were not given the whole picture.
Do we know that the programme was pitched as 'where did it all go wrong' could it not more likely have been 'a year in the life' or somesuch.
Do we also presume that those interviews only gave 5 minutes of interview, it all negative, rather than half an hour or an hour of interview some positive, some with hindsight and that it was used to it's own end on the show.
A fascinating tale of a brilliant technical specialist becoming an over-involved and overwhelmed chief executive, a man who simply doesn't have the political and managerial skills needed to be prime minister.
A couple of standout comments:
* "The house has noticed the prime minister's remarkable transformation in the past few weeks - from Stalin to Mr Bean." Vince Cable, LibDem deputy leader addressing Parliament.
* "(Gordon Brown's) worst wounds were inflicted, not by the Conservatives or the media, but by himself." Programme presenter Andrew Rawnsley's closing words.
I only remembered it was on the minute it finished (and my C4+1 signal is so bad there was no point even bothering) - do you know if Channel 4's going to upload it onto their web site (as they do quite a few of their programmes now)?
Maybe Andrew knows something that we don't know?
Amazing - Tory week on the beeb and death of Brown 9politically) on channel 4. Last week, Milliband made to look like a fool on Question Time - begs the question who is behind all it all (over the last few months in fact)? I 'll say this now and maybe you'll remember in the next few months as Brown is booted out, that Jack Straw has been manoeuvreing behind the scenes and preparing to make his move.
David Cameron will have a lot of ammo to go on at PMQS, all from cabinet members
Sorry i missed this masterpiece but anything that heralds the downfall of this unmitigated shower of shit is fine by me...
First poll after the Tory MEP/MP finance fallout and the Tories still increased their lead.
A good sign.
Seen the latest Populus poll? Tories 45 (up 5), Labour 25 (down 4), and Liberal Democrats 20 (up 1).
Put simply, Labour is in freefall.
Not sure if this was really the impact of this. In some ways it looked like an attempt to draw a line under events.
Why would Smith and Straw ( especially Straw ) appear in such a prog - unless authorised.
Labour lost a grip on it's soul to get elected and in doing so let go of a touchstone from with to evolve social equality in the 21st century. The Tories have never made such a sacrifice.
This is well put and wise , nice one Javelin
Damn, I missed it. Any chance there was a glimpse of Gordo's Vision-thang? My breath is still bated ...
What does Rawnsley have against the PM. I will start digging. The PM fought back against losing an eye and against losibng a child. He will recover. Rawnsley it is my suspicion is english facist who hates the PM purely out of nationalism.
Indeed. The word obituary kept flashing before me throughout. Given that Rawnsley's always been a Labour insider, wtf is going on?
I'll be 4ODing that tomorrow then. I watched the Portillo thing on BBC4 -- yegods, David Mellor's hair!
Anonymous at 1015pm!
Good Evening, Prime Minister.
Obituaries are usually written before the corpse stops twitching, but it is not often that they are published so soon. It is amazing that the Chancellor, the Home Secretary and Lord High Chancellor should have had a hand in writing the obituary of a Prime Minister.
Available free on 4OD.
I thought Jack Straw had Judas Iscariot to a tee.I am charitably assuming that neither Darling nor Jaqui Smith knew the title of the programme and simply trusted Rawnsley.
I bet some mobile phones were flying and desks sailing through the air at No 10 last night.
The Home Secretary's bright-eyed enthusiasm disturbed me most. Like the Head Girl in a comp. Does this betray a lack of critical judgement with his nibs?
I just finished reading Richard Overy's brilliant book 'Why the allies won' - and there are some serious lessons for Brown on leadership.
For all their individual weaknesses, each of Roosevelt, Churchill and Stalin emerged as great leaders within their own empires and, crucially, appointed fiercely competent chiefs of staff who were anything but 'Yes Men' (Marshall, Brooke, Novikov).
Hitler, by contrast, was arrogant, out of his depth, unable and unwilling to listen, unable and unwilling to delegate, fussed with details whilst ignoring grand strategy, treated subordinates with contempt, was unable to face ugly truths and respond appropriately, was cold and unapproachable personally and ultimately had no clarity how he was going to achieve his objectives. Nazi Germany lost through administrative and leadership failure.
Now I'm no 'Brown is Hitler' nutcase - but reading the book during today's political climate really impressed upon me how many of the core strategic weaknesses and psychological flaws they both share. There are just certain attributes that succesful leaders cannot live without - and Brown does not have them.
Alex, indeed obituaries are written before the corpse is still, but post mortems are not usually conducted on the seriously ill
Then they will all do as they are told and vote for the 40+ days.
Gordon probably thinks it's another rousing vote of confidence in his abilities.
"We've recieved a clear message that the media and my cabinet colleagues think I am the best man to lead the country through these difficult times."
If it weren't so pathetic it would be hilarious.
The PM fought back against losing an eye and against losibng a child. He will recover.
The fact that he has dealt with personal tragedy is irrelevant. He is completely incompetent.
He cannot fight back because he will never accept that his control freakery, and Gordon knows best attitude is the problem.
Iain, you know how it is.
All that Gordon has to do to climb the polls is nothing. No (new)policies, no questions answered, nothing. That is the answer.
It works for Dave (who is up one million points-today!) and this the man once hated by his own party.
What's changed for Dave, what's changed for Gordon?
Dave wins by default (are Tories unquestioning imbeciles? of the clap happy sea lion variety?).
Gordon loses because someone lost a disc and petrol went up.
18 Months to go and Labour turns the screw of questioning, Dave in your absence as well as unveiling a new ten year plan.
I count that as six Months longer than it took, Dave to become acceptable (but not intellectually acceptable to Tories).
I really do feel a bit of leftness coming on and a move to the departure lounge of concensus politics within the centre ground of political confusion.
My people are bored with middle groundness and want a bit of Socialism, the older way, to be initiated.
My first reaction was to think of the BBC's "Yesterday's Men" critique / hatchet job on Harold Wilson & co, but that was broadcast after Wilson lost the 197 election, so it's not in the same category.
Bottom line is no-one would dare make or participate in such a film if their was any life left in Brown as PM, it is in itself evidence that the Westminster village coroner has already certified the corpse, even if it is still walking a few more zombie steps.
my god jacui smith came across as a total idiot. which of course she is.
It will be lovely to this dinner lady go down to defeat over 42 days
How can people see this again who missed it due to supporting Conservative PPCs at the Kennington Tandoori last night, Iain?
And where were you? Simon will be upset!
Can some techno bod I Player it on a website?
FYI for anyone that has the 'Virgin On Demand' available on their TV, the programme is available for the next six days on their catch up on demand facility. I've just watched it in Tuesday morning. a great way to start the day:-)
dirty european socialist: said...
"Rawnsley it is my suspicion is english facist"
Then at least he is English, you thick foreign dirtbag.
"I have also never seen serving Cabinet Ministers openly criticise their own government and their own Prime Minister"
The thing is, they don't realise they are being critical. The entire nulab apparatus is now almost entirely divorced from reality. We are witnessing the end of the Labour Party. These fools really believe that they are just going through a bad patch. They really think they have only to get back to real socialist policies or push on with the 'modernising' agenda, or be more 'voter friendly' (i.e. smarmy sleaseballs). Then the voters who love them will keep them in power forever.
Truth is they are despised by the people who used to vote for them. There will be no recovery. When the SDP broke away from Labour it took most of the best activists with it. Labour voters tended to have some attraction to the SDP but in the end Labour did just enough to keep going. The position now is that the Labour voters have left; they will not be going back.
There were parts of the programme that obviously tried to portray Brown in a sympathetic light. It was very effective for a couple of nanoseconds. Then I, as a former Labour member, remembered how those wretches remaining in that organisation have betrayed everything, destroyed Britain, and ruined the lives of myself, my relatives and most of the other working class people I know; then the sympathy was quickly ejected by implacable hatred. Losing the next election is the least of their concerns.
Interesting point 'Dirty' makes accidentally which is what Rawnsley , a lefty , has against Brown. Little Bobby Piper was also complaining that the pinko BBC was against Brown and I have noticed the New Statesman being decidedly luke warm .
I think it is this .Brown operated a ten year campaign within the Labour Party as the candidate of the left during a period when labour had to provide its own opposition.
Since his immaculate re-conception as New Brown has immediately back peddled on any left move alienating his old support as well as deeply offending Liberal England. His attitude is now against the spirit of the age which is for looser control , mixed response and horizontal management . The Blairites know this and they dislike him more than ever.
Obviously the right cannot stand him despite ridiculous Union jack pants but what we forget is that his Labour Support is also fragmenting fast. Only the sheer horror of gainful employment is holding that constituency together giving us the most sordidly pointless administration in living memory
Why do you have an advert for the scientology channel?
One suspects that under Alistair Campbell, ministers would have been given an edict not to appear on such programmes, as 'it is rarely helpful to the Government' and if they dared to step out of line he would have given them a 'Malcolm Tucker' style rollocking..
Oh,very good Gary, that was really very good.
'What does Rawnsley have against the PM. I will start digging. The PM fought back against losing an eye and against losibng a child. He will recover. Rawnsley it is my suspicion is english facist who hates the PM purely out of nationalism.'
Usual socialist drivel - let's shoot the messenger.
So Mr Brown has lost a child and lost an eye. I know of people who've lost their sons and their sons have lost their legs and arms because of Brown and his lying mate Blair
Rawnsley Revival Attempt?:Cathy Letts talking about Brown being chased by 15 women! - If they'd caught him it would have been 'Letts not'! He stated Brown had 10 good years as Chancellor (If you remember,it was after Panorama ((The BBC)) asserted that Brown stole £5 BILLION a YEAR from our pension pot that his popularity declined).DIFFUSION OF THE USERY OF THE TROOPS OUTRAGE:Rawnsley stated that the problem was with Brown making an announcement during the 'Tory' conference.MY anger (and I'm sure many others') was about the fact that he used the enforced acquiescence of our brave and voiceless soldiers to do it!!! The Left (90% of the media) know they're stuck with him and will do anything at all to prevent their agenda dying a death.
If you missed it on C4 last night you can watch it now by clicking HERE.
Gary - for once, if I have interpreted you correctly, I agree with you.
I don't agree with Socialist theory, but there should be a Party that represents that view with honesty and intellectual clarity. Brown never fooled me that he was a genuine Socialist, but he appears to have fooled others.
But Labour should not reinvent itself as the 'working class' Party - going for class division is stupid, as well as historically inaccurate.
Blair, of course, was never a Socialist, but then he wasn't a closet Tory either.
June 10, 2008 9:38 AM As usual the coward insults me without lesabing his name or address or telephone number. I have postgraduate qualifications so I need no lectures from a cowardly bore like you. Yessssssss And since when was British foreign your traitoress facist.
Very interesting programme, one thing really shone out for me - Brown has no problems making decisions about taxing or spending (thing that effect other people), but he has real issues sorting anything out about his own personal / political choices.
There's probably a bit of reverse psychology going on - whilst Smith ain't the sharpest tool in the shed she'll have advisors who can tie their own shoelaces. Rawnsley's been around for ages and has some serious qualifications and sagaciously pens every Sunday. Brown & Rawnsley go way back and Brown briefed him all the way through Blair.
Let the voters think it's at rock bottom and when in the gutter you can see the stars. I wouldn't be surprised if this is just a poker game.
Patrick @ 8:44 - excellent comment (excellent book, too)
I (and of course many many others) have been inclined to see Stalin in Brown, but your view may point to a better analogy
(BTW, before I forget, you win the Godwin's Law award!)
Channel 4 + 1 is NOT Channel 5. Hope that clears up any confusion you may have had.
"As usual the coward insults me without lesabing his name or address or telephone number. I have postgraduate qualifications"
Obviously not in English
12:26 You forgot to put a full stop at the end of your sentence. Bang, bang, I may not be an expert in English. Yes science is my strength. But you most certainly are not an expert in anything other than being a coward Yessss back of the net. And why do you keep insulting me all the time. I hate your guts. calling me Dirt bag again you are bullying bigot facist. All i do is give a different opinion you you and you scream abuse at me. I hate your guts. Atleast leave your name so i know who the heck you are,. You piss me off. You are just an bully.
I know I'm very good, so don't waste bandwidth reminding everyone.
Truth is that Dave is clearing out the 'light fingered with dodgy accountants' and Gordon is taking everything that is coming at him.
Ok, let the dust then settle and lets have a fair fight.
Gideon will have to come out of his little hidey hole soon enough and rest very assured, we will be waiting for him.
Europe is no vote winner, just ask UKIP;So William is counted out for the duration.
Tories like a war, so best not go there.
Immigration? Thatcher, Major, say no more.
Nuclear Missiles? Ok, I concede to Liam Fox's inner desires and I beg for mercy on behalf of the world.
So bring on Gideon, let's see what he's got. Up to now, he's got nothing and is a shadow chancellor, that's all.
Just where we put him, not you.
I am fed up with this bullying bigotted facist who keeps on calling me dirt bag. He is a bullying facist. All i do is give a different view to him and gives me some hate filled racist abuse calling me a foreigner and a dirt bag. The guy is a bullying coward facist nazi. I have had it up to here with him. If he is typical tory supporter then you lot are evil.
My can you not tolerate different views without shouting facist bullying abuse at people. Then he keeps getting at me spelling. He cannot argue on facts so has to resort to insulting my English. Why does the coward not admitt who he is. I will find out. He really winds me up. It is the same insult over and over again. He must be a trained bully. Only the most trained and pro bullies know that the same insult over and over again get to people. I will hunt this #### down.
12:26 I have just looked back and found you are A BNP supporter so you are just an evil racist bigot coward bully. Get lost creep. Who cares what an evil thug like you thinks. You just proove the BNP also hate anyone who is not English either. Evil biggoted facist scum. And you do not have the guts to admitt who you are. So like all BNP creeps you are a bunch of cowardly bullies.
@ dirty foreign socialist
I agree, "facism" is terrible. Judging people by their faces? What an outrage. Do you share my horror of "hippocracy"? I hope so. Rule by horses? What the hell next?
I don't think you are being bullied here, I think it's just that because English is obviously not your native language, you miss a lot of the nuances in what people say. The dyslexia can't be helping you much there, either.
Nick @ 12:00,
Godwin's Law Award?
Nick Drew said...
Patrick @ 8:44 - excellent comment (excellent book, too)
And let's not forget it was the centralising control over the economy that led to the Axis actually producing less per person than the Allies throughout the war.
The free market approach produced unbelievable dividends and created a Superpower out of the USA.
The Germans approach to micromanagement of the economy to deliver scarce resources didn't really work well.
Not helped by the disastrous bureaucratic muddle the Nazis created.
Big government of left or right is just never going to be efficient.
You can watch this again on Channel 4's website 'catch up': www.channel4.co.uk and then go to the drop down box and select "Dispatches: Where did it all go wrong". I had to upload an 'upgrade' to my windows player.
Enjoying it now!!
Quite a remarkable programme. The Titanic officers decide that the Captain should have retired early!
1:33 you are bullying me. You keep insulting me all the time.
Anyway I can insult your English.
"Rule by horses?" Why would that have a question mark? It us statement not a question, you utteroaf. Maybe an exclamation mark.
I quote you again:
"I don't think you are being bullied here, I think it's just that because English is obviously not your native language,"
Then you put commas where full stops are better.
So your English, is not all you claim it to be. By the way I know you are too thick to know this but Britian is in Europe. Bulls eye. Back of the net. The hippo is cauight feathed and tarred. Yessssssssss!?,"';';>,./ Full stop question mark.
How annoying to have missed this. I can't see it on the "catch up" because my computer at home just gives the message "Buffering" for ever (I let it "buffer" all night and it still couldn't access it) and my computer at work says I have to install new software, which I am not allowed to do. Does anyone know whether Channel 4 intend to repeat this, perhaps late at night and with the deaf and dumb person waving their arms about in the corner?
Nick @ 12:00,
Godwin's Law Award?
June 10, 2008 1:35 PM
Godwin’s Law (also known as Godwin’s Rule of Nazi Analogies1) is an adage formulated by Mike Godwin in 1990. The law states:
“As a Usenet discussion grows longer, the probability of a comparison involving Nazis or Hitler approaches one.”
The first user is said to have won the Godwin`s law award.I also like that comment.Brown seems to blend Germanic rigidity with Italian bravery though. Is he not partly El Duce as well ?
It all went wrong when they had a coronation for Brown rather than a proper contest, that would have shown his weaknesses.
Serves them right!
Broon's Talking Bawgie You insulted my English and then made huge errors like putting a question mark after you horse statement. LOL. You are the hippocretain. LOL. LOL LOL LOL. I assure you there is more brains in a typical bogey than in you. LOL LOL LOL.
Patrick - consider yourself rapped over the knuckles for not knowing how to use a search engine !
but (because I liked your earlier post), here it is on a plate
Gary, you're on a roll today- most impressive.
Watch it here:
@ dirty foreign socialist
I totally did not insult your English. I think your English is very good. Your spoken English would probably betray a heavy accent though. I'm guessing you're Flemish-speaking Belgian, Danish, something like that? Or maybe you're from Luxembourg?
As for your written English, well, you know, we have native born English kids of 5 or 6 years old who can't compose a sentence or spell as well as you can.
So congratulations for taking the time to learn a foreign tongue. Speaking of Gordon's bawgies did you know the Dutch word for "snot" is snot? Actually you probably did know that, if you're Flemish. You Walloons kill me.
What other languages do you speak?
Its been done by Ch4, which is full of left wing permissive dogma.
So we can see where this programme is coming from and why.
Who has it got in mind to replace Brown - and if Brown goes how much sychophancy will his replacement get from Ch4.
In the medium term will enough Labour MPs act like turkeys voting for Christmas? Daring Brown to resign or call a vote of confidence?
And patrick 8.44, you are right. It was Mrs thatcher who famously sais 'every PM needs a Willy' and when Whitelaw had to resign she became more politically isolated.
I agree with your sentiment Bill Quango,"centralising control over the economy that led to the Axis actually producing less per person than the Allies throughout the war.
" -- but bombing Essen flat might also have had something to do with it.
I really do try to be patient and read posts very carefully since speed-reading a post and completely misunderstanding some months ago – quite embarrassing!
Today I have been trying ever so hard to get my head around the posts of ‘Dirty European Socialist’ (Dirt Bag, Dirty Euro and whatever else he is known as?).
As he’s such a clever bugger ( a scientist no less!), I am intrigued to learn what “Lesabing” means. Never heard of the expression myself, but I’m willing to learn.
Dear, dear, dear, before I can get a word in edgeways he’s off again. Is he using real words, or would he rather communicate in his mother tongue. I’m sure one or two of the nice people here would be able to translate, that the rest of us may understand him properly.
Please “Dirty – whatever..” be so kind and take a deep breath and start over again as I firmly believe you have wrongly assumed you were being insulted and ridiculed.
Vienna Woods I have postgraduate qualifications.
The PM alllready has willy. Thta is why he has two kids. And the other kid who died. But you need a willy to make them. Thacther did not have willy she was a woman.
Broon's Talking Bawgie I have just picked my nose I pulled out a small bogey and it still got more brains than you. RFLOL.
@ vienna woods - that is my take on him exactly. I think he is probably a native speaker of Flemish, or Danish, or some such obscure tongue, and he is gamely doing his best to discuss stuff with us in a language he can barely write.
It's impressive that he even makes the effort. You wouldn't get a British 14-year-old logging onto eg a Danish political blog to discuss Danish politics (do they have any?)...When was the last time you were browsing Het Sven Dale Dagblad or whatever and you came across comments -in Danish!- posted by Billy Benefits from Accrington?
So I applaud this plucky little effort by our plucky little foreign friend.
gary elsby stoke said: "My people are bored with middle groundness and want a bit of Socialism, the older way, to be initiated."
Is that why "your people" elected the BNP candidate instead?
Repeat is on More4.
Wednesday 11th June at 23.05
Many thanks indeed, peeky. That's really helpful, and I am sure others will be glad to know of this too.
dirty euro fights back again said...
"You piss me off. You are just an bully."
Your first language is obviously not English.
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