It has been a week of humiliation for Gordon Brown. First the President of Pakistan refuse to see him. Then the Polish prime Minister told him his economic policy was rubbish. Then he was defeated in the House of Commons over the Gurkhas. And now today, the government has been forced into a climbdown on MPs expenses. Tory MPs have just been paged to say that there won't be any votes on expenses because the Government has accepted Sir George Young's amendment which seeks to refer everything to the Committee on Standards in Public Life. This was seen by the whips as the least worst option as they had advised the Prime Minister than any vote would be lost. At least there won't be any TV pictures of a government defeat.
Needless to say, Harriet Harman and Chris Bryant have been left on their own on the government front bench. No other Cabinet Minister can bring themselves to appear and defend the indefensible.
The stench of decay grows stronger by the day.
UPDATE: Liam Byrne has just appeared on the News Channel claiming that the climbdown is a tremendous endorsement of Gordon Brown's position. Unbelieveable.
How many wheels are left on this waggon? They are coming off and the Indians are starting to circle and take a few pot shots. I expect the main force of braves to be hiding behind that thar yonder bluff and will ambush the wagon in due course.
These really are the end of days for this busted flush government. Just wait until the Euro election results are published. Whooo, hooo!
Bugger, there goes the slim chance of a leadership challenge and an early election.
Didn't see Liam Byrne but it does put me in mind of Sadam's press guy.
Yet another Brown/Balls triumph.
That's it!---"Comical" Byrne
I saw Byrne and he is some liar!
Sopel very nearly skewered him but thought better of it. Maybe he had a flash of his desk being cleared and saying goodbye to his work colleagues.
Ah yes, Liam Byrne, the man with the memory of a fruit fly. He is a mutant.
I'm sure it isn't humiliating for him. You have to have some humility for that.
I wonder if Nokia shares are on the up. No doubt Downing Street will need to be ordering some more soon.
Liam Byrne has just appeared on the News Channel claiming that the climbdown is a tremendous endorsement of Gordon Brown's positionWhat do a people do when its whole ruling elite is seen to be completely decadent and corrupt?
It is like a cabbage rotting at its roots.
The Dail Mail and the Standard are reporting that...
1) Brown is refusing to give MPs a vote on banning ministers from claiming for a second home at the taxpayer's expense if they live in a grace-and-favour residence.
2) The Prime Minister has decided to give himself the power to rule on cases where ministers are accused of pocketing second home allowances while living for free in grace-and-favour homes
If this is true - then Brown really has lost the plot. If he thinks that the public will accept him delivering a not guilty verdict for Jacqui Smith, then he is delusional.
One final point - according to the BBC, some votes are still going ahead. Namely the 2nd income vote. Brown is pplating party politics with thsi issue and it stinks.
On a lighter note, Sir George Young once dropped my baby sister on her head during a visit to Coventry in the late 80s.
Are you saying Jacqui Smith is living in the G&F apartment WHILE claiming to live at/sharing expenses with her sister.
If this is true, it deserves much greater exposure.
If it's not, the Iain you have published a real libel.
THIS IS EXCELLENT NEWS !! FOR GORDON BROWN !!
( http://ask.metafilter.com/111261/Why-is-it-Great-news-For-John-McCain )
Since the property which used to be the Home Sec's grace and favour residence has now been on the open market for some time, I suspect Anon @ 3.38 is merely confused.
BBC News, reporting:-
'The government has won the first three votes on the surviving parts of Gordon Brown's proposed expenses reforms'
I thought the vote had been cancelled?
BBC now reporting that the govt. has "won all its votes" on expenses.
Current BBC headline:
"Brown wins expenses reform votes"
Strictly accurate, but entirely misleading.
I agree about the BBC. One would have thought it a great triumph for Gordon.
Brown manages to mess up Swine Flu.
Brown used his political skills (foot in mouth) or just wanting to be a control freak. Parents are angry that the first they heard about the outbreak in the Torbay school was on the news at lunchtime after the Prime Minister announced it in the Commons at PMQ.
I’m in charge alright, don’t panic, don’t panic Gordon is in charge.
And to think we pay the BBC to pump out this rubbish.Brown Broadcasting Corp wins again,
The channel 4 news interview is priceless. Having watched the Parliament channel, Gordon in his No10 interview denies reality. Telling the interviewer he got all his facts wrong. Gordo deliberately lies on the interview. The BBC then has the headline that the second London allowance is scrapped another lie.
How is it possible the only political correspondent who said Mcdoom has come out of today quite well is Nick Robinson?
Discounting the bias of course
This story is utterly wrong now isn't it Iain? Only one major omission from the order paper, being the 2nd homes allowance and the like.
Strangely enough this is something of a victory for Brown I'd say. Looked like another grey day, but turned out fine.
Chris Bryant agreed to meet members of Unite, which represents MPs' staff. He utterly disgraced himself by defending MP's practice of hiring spouses by saying that there was nothing wrong with it as it saved marriages! He said it with a straight face! As if I or any of the other disbelieving people in the room gave a toss!
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