Friday, April 24, 2009

Gordon's News Sandwich Short of a Picnic

Rob Hutton and Kitty Donaldson have written a searing analysis of Gordon Brown's premiership on the Bloomberg website HERE. Here's the most revealing paragraph...
The strain shows, say current and former Brown aides: Among other things, it has inflamed a temper that has always been the subject of gallows humor among those who work with him, they say. The prime minister, 58, has hurled pens and even a stapler at aides, according to one; he says he once saw the leader of Britain’s 61 million people shove a laser printer off a desk in a rage. Another aide was warned to watch out for “flying Nokias” when he joined Brown’s team. One staffer says a colleague developed a technique called a “news sandwich” -- first telling the prime minister about a recent piece of good coverage before delivering bad news, and then moving quickly to tell him about something good coming soon.

What a pleasant working environment Number Ten must be. Still, relief will be on the way soon.

UPDATE: Paul Waugh has Number Ten's response.


Lord Snooty said...

It's hardly a 'searing analysis of his premiership'. Just a repeat of the old and well-known story that he's got a short fuse sometimes. So what?

Chris Paul said...

FFS Iain. Smears smears smears. Rumour and hearsay. Your blog is better than this surely?

The Brown is Bonkers smear is surely better left to Guido and that bunny boiling charlatan psychobilly analysist with the dodgy CV.

No, no not Draper.

Anonymous said...

Ah, the old $h!t sandwich approach - how many husbands have wives who have used that to cover up their bad credit card bills ?

Dungeekin said...

Erratic behaviour, uncontrollable rages, delusional and megalomaniacal episodes...

What has gone wrong in the PM's head?


Lord Snooty said...

No hat-tip to Guido who had this up before you? Interesting that the two most prominent right-wing bloggers are leading on the same old non-story just 2 days after one of the most significant Labour budgets of modern times. Has the weak Tory response taken the wind out of your sails?

Iain Dale said...

Hadn't seen Guido this morning. He probably got the same email as I did...

SteveH103 said...

He is a serious embarrassment to this country.
Quentin Letts was having a go at him today in the Mail, describing his woeful Commons performance during the Budget and how he shows such contempt for Cameron that he cant listen or look at him so goes into this weird routine of gurning, talking to anyone alongside him, and making that sinister grin. Does he think that the current shit situation that all of us are in is funny? Letts described him like a naughty schoolboy with special needs during a boring lesson. I dont know why Cameron doesnt make more reference to this so that people can see Brown for what he is, an arrogant, rude bully who should go for all our sakes as soon as possible.

Lord Snooty said...

If I were mean, I'd say this shows that the bulk of your blog is just recycled emails you get off proper news outlets, bulked up by a few lists and the odd bit of schoolboy smut (think 'beaver'!)? But I'm not, so I won't.

Cynic said...

This is the man who has his finger on the button of our Nuclear Deterrent.

If this is any way accurate, is he fit to be let near those codes?


This is a wretched government led (?) by an unelected, unelectable, arrogant and totally incompetent Scot.

Not one of the Cabinet could get a job in the private sector.

We have a Home Secretary who charges the taxpayer 88p for a bath-plug, a glove-puppet Chancellor who delivers a budget based on fantasy economics and envy, a PM who considers it normal to work with unelected labour supporting thugs such as Whelan,Campbell and Mcbride...I could go on!

It's time for the men from Pickfords to "remove" the

The "Third Way" party is well and truly finished. The hangover will be long.

A final thought. Funny how quiet T. Blair is!!!

Anonymous said...

Die hard Labourites like Chris Paul,think that El Gordo is an angel, a statesman and an economic wizard. They should read particularly the comments in Scotsman from time to time by El Gordo's class mate at Edinburgh U to know more about this infernal person at No 10. Even beter, they should ask the ex-colleagues who had the misfortune to work with El Gordo at Glasgow College of Technology where he was a Sociology lecturer. Of course they will dismiss it as smear, it is tribal Labour.

Dick the Prick said...

Does he have to pay for these printers and stuff?

Gurkas been screwed again - unbelievable. How this ever reached a minister's desk other than for a quick signature is completely beyond me

If you could do a separate thread on this I'd be yer bestest bud.

Anyway - must dash, those beers won't drink themselves!!

Anonymous said...

Well you could claim that this is smears, but I've worked with Bloomberg news before and they have very extreme policies on sources.

In general every source is named, even if it's just the media spokesman from a company.

They rarely use unattributed source, but when they do, they have to go through even more hoops. They have to have at least 2 separate sources and it needs sign off from quite a senior editor.

This is about as far from rumour as you can get.

Shamik Das said...

"So what?" He's only running (or should that be ruining) the bloody country, that's what!

Lord Snooty, are you Ed Balls in disguise?

The description of the Prime Mentalist makes the Hitler's Downfall parody appear, to quote Dolly, to be "the understatement of the century!"

JuliaM said...

" of the most significant Labour budgets of modern times.."


Significantly what..?

Lord Snooty said...

Norman - you are wrong about Labourites. Many think Brown comes across as an unpleasant person. Many also think he's making a bit of a balls-up of being PM, albeit in decidedly testing times. He suffers of course by being the immediate successor to a political genius. I guess what people like Chris object to is the rather grubby smear that Brown is mentally unbalanced. As he says, Iain should leave that stuff to guttersnipes like Guido.

Pienomics - 'unelected', 'unelectable'? I think you'll find Brown has been an elected MP since 1983. And if you're referring to the fact that he wasn't elected as PM, that's the way the system works (e.g. John Major). As to whether any minister could or couldn't get a job in the private sector - in what way is that a relevant or even demanding test? As we've seen with the banking calamity, there are as many idiots and incompetents knocking around in the private sector as there are in the public sector. At least the latter are generally motivated by more noble aims than personal enrichment.

golden_balls said...

it must be a slow news day ian
if this is all you can come up with

Plato said...

If you haven't heard Joanna Lumley losing her temper BIG TIME over the Gurkhas - I've stuck it here.Phil Woolas got a totally new one on R5 after Victoria just let their solicitor take over.


Anonymous said...

Well the country is such good shape, well funded, so many jobs, they don't have to work for him, they can get another job. If left alone long enough he might do the right thing. Governing the country is not one of the options I would allow him.

Bob said...

So the spokesman REFUSES to say it is a lie.......

So an admission of truth, but the I did not see variety.....

Wrinkled Weasel said...

Last night, "This Week" played a cut version of all the fake smiles that Gordon gurned during his You Tube appearance.

If everyone posted it on their blogs, there would not really be a need to campaign for the next election - res ipsa loquitor.

Lord Snooty said...

@Oliver Drew & JuliaM

I didn't say it was a great budget (it wasn't), just that it was 'significant' given the economic situation we're in. Don't jump to conclusions just because you think all lefties are blinkered to the failures of the government!

@Shamik. Your point is silly. I don't think having a short fuse and running the country are mutually incompatible. Get real. I'm sure he can spend 5 seconds chucking a mobile phone and still have plenty of time left for being PM. It might not be desirable or attractive behaviour but it can't sensibly be said to interfere with doing his job.

Anonymous said...

With the trolls coming out to protect the reputation of Brown's sanity, shows that the comments must be hitting home. How long before a majority of the public understand that he did not get the nickname of McMental for nothing?

Jimmy said...

"He probably got the same email as I did..."

So this is today's grid?

Ho hum

Plenty said...

A good spoof would be for this: Gordon tells aides, 'you have to pay for my destruction, don't expect the public to'...

Iain Dale said...

Oh Jimmy, you really don't get it do you? We both got an email from Bloomberg alerting us to their piece. No doubt they sent it to Ben Brogan too, as I see he's covered it.

When I do what I consider a particular good piece, I too email others to alert them to it, in the hope it may be mentioned. It's called marketing.

Unknown said...

Just seen this on GFs blog from Anonymous - I think it’s a brilliant idea...


Brown’s childish 50% tax trap was pathetic, transparent, baby politics. It sums up the man that he thinks that sort of thing is clever. The Tories would be completely stupid to fall into it. They can deal with it after the election.

Once elected they need to impose a BROWN TAX SUPPLEMENT - and call it that. The BROWN TAX SUPPLEMENT should be added to pay slips and marked exactly like that to remind people who and what they are paying for.


Lord Snooty said...


Whenever I get called a troll, I know my points are hitting home.

Let me put it like this. The economy is in tatters, a mediocre budget is delivered and what are Iain and Guido posting on? A rather grubby and boring smear. If pointing out that this is an odd state of affairs makes me a troll, then I really don't know what that word means any more. Or, if you still don't get it, let me try this: what is the difference between insinuating that the Labour leader is mentally ill and what McBride was contemplating insinuating about the Tory leadership? I thought Iain was better than this but obviously I was wrong.

Anonymous said...

What has Gordon Brown's temper got to do with things. Churchill was also known for having a volcanic temper and doesn't Mr Dale have something of a reputation in this area?

Any other Draperesque smears to get off you chest

Dex said...

Spotted Dolly here:

Where now for Labour bloggers?

Cynic said...

Golden Balls

You don't think its a big issue that they PM is alleged to be so out of control that Bloomberg claim he throws objects at staff and has thrown publicly funded IT equipment off his desk?

Would you employ a member of staff who did that? In my firm it would amount to gross misconduct and he'd be out the door immediately, suspended pending a dismissal hearing. Above all we wouldn't allow him to subject staff to this behaviour.

And this is the man who can send us to war or launch a nuclear attack?

Get real. The PMs stability or lack of it is a major issue. IF this is true, is he up to the job?

Shamik Das said...

Lord Snooty,

How about a quick straw poll: has anyone's boss thrown a mobile phone at them or been prone to violent rages?

And let me repeat, he's not just any old boss, he's running the country. And no, I don't think having someone as clearly out of it as this is compatible with being Prime Minister.

If he needs help, he should get it.

Here's someone who may be able to offer it...

Lord Snooty said...


You repeat the unpleasant (and ludicrously inaccurate and exaggerated) smear when you say 'someone as clearly out of it as this'. I don't think mental illness is a suitable topic for personal attacks (or 'humour') like this. What sort of people do you want as politicians anyway? Politically correct automatons? Passionless technocrats? Next you'll be saying a PR man could do the job effectively...

My view is that this is all irrelevant. The only question worth asking is whether Brown's any good as the PM. I might even agree with you on the answer!


Lord Snooty,

I remember working with Paraffin lamps on my desk.

I remember the tax bills my father paid.

I remember the madness of Labour.

Please don't try and tell me that Coopers, Balls Smith et al are motivated by anything than their out of control egos.

This shower are quite simply wretched.

I'll repeat it again. This lot couldn't get a job in the private sector.

Sure there are idiots in the private sector but they don't last long. Yeah, I know what you are going to say. Look at the bankers. My riposte is very simple. It was the politicians who allowed the credit bubble to get out of control. It suited them at the time. "Reflected Glory" and all that.

New Labour was never anything more than smoke and mirrors. TB/GB have wrecked the economy. If your Labour chums are so "high principled" in their objectives perhaps you'd like to tell us why Brown has emptied the piggy bank and oor Jacqui thinks it's fine to charge the taxpayer for her bathplug.

No, these people see politics as a career and when their stint as a politico finishes they dream of a tax payer funded idyll in a pointless quango.

We've had enough of your sound-bite driven idiots mis-managing the country.

Will the Tories be any better? I don't know. But they couldn't be any worse.

I suppose you can always sing the Red Flag in the bathroom to cheer yourself up!

Spartan said...

This government have no morals or decency whatsoever ... they've stuffed the Gurkhas again!

l'm ashamed of our country and so is our army

Evertime you think Brown can do no worse ... he does.

Raedwald said...

Google search on "gordon brown" +mad gives 474,000 hits

Google search on "david cameron" +mad gives 105,000 hits

I.e. over 4.5x as many hits for Brown.

The wisdom of crowds?

Anonymous said...

Lord Snooty: I do not control the Blog, the fact that my comment came immediately after yours is in the luck of the draw. However, you obviously have a guilty conscience over the accusation of Troll, therefore in all probability you are a Troll.

The Military Wing Of The BBC said...

What does the Royal Navy man with the Trident codes/briefcase do during such games of hardware ping pong?

Anonymous said...

Brown will be like one of his mobile phones at the next election: Crushed and the wiring will have gone haywire.

Lord Snooty said...


I can almost see you frothing at the mouth! Calm down!

I scarcely know where to begin in responding to you because you say so many silly things. Just a selection:

- Your recollections of Labour governments past are fun but what about the 3 day week under Heath? Or 15% interest rates under Major? Governments of all colours have had their fair share of disastrous times.

- 'TB/GB have wrecked the economy'. Open your eyes. The world is in recession. How can you seriously claim this is all the fault of the British government?

- They are not my 'labour chums'. I'm not a member of their party and in fact I've only occasionally voted for them (looking just at General Elections, I have voted Labour in less than half of those in my adult lifetime).

- I don't know whether the Tories will be better either. But I suspect they will be worse because the heart of their Government - Cameron/Osborne - is so lightweight, shallow and inexperienced.

- My comparison was between the public and private sectors. I wasn't just talking about politicians. Most people in the public sector (doctors, nurses, teachers, social workers etc) have good intentions and are motivated by a public service ethic. Most people in the private sector are motivated by making money for themselves. Simple facts. Whether today's politicans have lost the public service ethic is an interesting question but not one that I raised or passed any comment on.

Lord Snooty said...


At the point that I saw your comment, I was one of only about 3 people who had commented 'in support' of Brown and I had done so on more occasions than anyone else. I assumed you were referring to me. Perhaps I was wrong.

I am intrigued though - what you you actually mean by 'troll'?

Anonymous said...

Could we not petition the Queen to dissolve parliament in these troubled times and call an election.
Surely if enough of her subjects request it she might actually do what she must surely want to and it would be quicker than waiting for a vote of no confidence in the House?

Squiffy said...

The Register website is now publicising a new petition to make this PM resign. It won't make a difference as the man has no shame, but it would good to get a million signatures!

Here's the website address.

Anonymous said...

If you say "pay no attention, its a smear" at what stage are we allowed to pay attention to it? When a Downing Street spokesman is authorised to make a statement on the record that Brown is a fruitcake? That seems to be leaving things rather late. And as to lack of substantiation, if the MPs expenses video of 3 days ago isn't evidence of madness then what is?

Oh and let's be clear: Mrs Brown is mad would be unacceptable because irrelevant, as would Mr Brown has an embarrassing disease. Mr Brown is mad is another matter.

wild said...

So let me get this straight

1) Brown has temper tantrums

2) Brown does does not have temper tantrums - it is journalist making up stories

3) Brown does have temper tantrums - but it is an old story and therefore boring and should not be repeated

4) Brown does not have temper tantrums - it is a grubby Tory smear

5) Brown does have temper tantrums - but it is irrelevant and does not matter

6) Brown does not have temper tantrums - people only claim this in order to imply that he is mentally ill which is wrong

7) Brown does have temper tantrums but this does not make him mentally ill

So that is clear then.

Pogo said...

@Lord Snooty: Most people in the public sector (doctors, nurses, teachers, social workers etc) have good intentions and are motivated by a public service ethic. Most people in the private sector are motivated by making money for themselves.No. Most people in the public sector, like most people in the private sector, are motivated by earning a living sufficient to support them and, if they have them, their families.

There is undoubtedly a greed for money displayed by some of those at "the top" of the private sector, equally there is an alarming greed for power at "the top" of the public sector.

...Simple facts.Only to one as simple as you.

wild said...

Lord Snooty,

Yes, this is a bad government, and no, having your wages funded by the taxpayer does not ipso facto make you work harder or more efficiently.

Lord Snooty said...

Come, come, Pogo. You will need to do a bit better than that.

The purpose of the private sector is to make money. Fact. I did not mention the word 'greed', that was you.

Having worked in both, my experience has been that the vast majority of people in the public sector entered it with noble intentions, even if these diminished over time. Yes, of course, they also do these jobs to earn a living. I didn't say otherwise.

Lord Snooty said...

Wild said:

"Lord Snooty,

Yes, this is a bad government, and no, having your wages funded by the taxpayer does not ipso facto make you work harder or more efficiently."

I'm not sure why you're directing this at me. I haven't said anything to the contrary. And, for the record, I agree with both your points.

Jon Lishman said...

That was pretty strong stuff of Bloomberg. You get the impression that No10 has completely lost control of the news agenda and the briefing: the 'message'. The Smeargate effect?

Mind you, I have a tiny bit of sympathy for Brown. Since he has completely destroyed the British economy he has every right to feel bloody angry, just like the rest of us.

Next stop: General Election (and I still reckon it will be this year; it will be out of Broon's hands). Then we can wave goodbye to the smug, bankrupt socialist tripe frequently spouted by toadying hoons like Paul and Snooty on these pages.

Can't wait.

Lord Snooty said...

Sorry to disappoint you, Denverthen. After the next General Election, all these 'toadying hoons' as you so charmingly put it, will be highlighting the car-crash government led by the shallow lightweight Cameron and his team of second-rate duffers.

Also, just to clarify - in what way am I a 'toadying hoon' given that on this thread I've agreed that this is a bad government (explicitly) and that Brown is a poor PM (implicitly). Are you a 'thick hoon' or can you just not read very well?

Catosays said...

Anonymous Lord Snooty said...

I don't think mental illness is a suitable topic for personal attacks (or 'humour') like this.

Well, well, that's really funny because McBride and Draper did.

Lord Snooty said...

"Anonymous Lord Snooty said...

I don't think mental illness is a suitable topic for personal attacks (or 'humour') like this.

Well, well, that's really funny because McBride and Draper did."

Yes, but I don't. Not sure what the relevance of McBride and Draper is to my opinion, Cato.

wild said...

Lord Snooty,

You assert that people in the "public" sector are generally "motivated by more noble aims than enrichment" unlike those in the private sector. You argue that most people in the public sector have "good intentions" unlike those who are motivated by making money.

When it is pointed out to you that people who work in the public sector also work for money (and do not work any harder than in the private sector) you respond that you never sought to deny it.

When it is pointed out to you that the Labour government is doing a bad job (because it is spending more than the nation can afford on "public services") you reply that you do not deny it.

Let me put it to you that politicians on the Left are keen on "public" rather than "private" services not because they think that people in the public sector are more efficient, or give a better service, but because they know it gives politicians more power.

I suggest that the Trade Unions are keen on the public sector not because they are more "noble" (as you put it) but because they can make demands (for example for higher staffing levels or higher pension demands) that the private sector could not afford because the extra costs will be funded by the taxpayer.

In short I suggest that people in the "public sector" are thinking less about the "public" and more about themselves.

JoeF said...

yep, by the time Conservatives win next election, will need to fire the civil servants, sell Downing Street to raise funds and work out of nearest coffee shop on a laptop.

Lord Snooty said...


You 'suggest' many things. Let me put it to you that you are talking a load of cobblers.

The original point to which I was responding was that it was some kind of devastating critique to say that most ministers would never get a job in the private sector. I merely made the point that that is hardly a demanding test (see banking idiots) and that slagging off the public sector is to ignore the many good things that go on there.

Your claim that 'left' politicians love the public sector because it gives them more control is particularly ironic. New Labour has been massively criticised by many within the public sector because it has been so keen to contract services out to the private sector. You really are talking nonsense.


Lord Snooty,

Frothing at the mouth from my sun filled patio, I don't think so.

Just expressing my despair at the wretched people that inhabit the corridors of power.

We can debate public versus private till the cows come home. The bottom line is that without a wealth creating tax paying private sector a country cannot pay for all its social services.

It's not rocket science. It's called budgeting for the future. Did your parents never tell you to put something aside for a rainy day?

Brown and Blair believed all the crap about the" third way". About a land of perpetual milk and honey.

It's utterly laughable. It's also rather serious, not to say sad, that the UK finds itself burdened with such eye-watering debt.

Labour's management of the economy has been utterly catastrophic. Sure, the recession is worldwide. But if Brown had been doing his job properly the effects of the recession would be less damaging.

If it was a Tory or Lib Dem who had so mismanaged the economy I'd be letting off at them too.

It's just that Labour have "form" when it comes to screwing up the economy.

And where's Mr Blair as his New Labour project melts like a jelly. Oh I forgot, people go and pay to listen to his speeches. Sad souls. He and his New Labour crew have nothing of interest to say.

The bottom line is that Jacqui and her 88p bathplug encapsulates the end of Labour.

However, let's not kid ourselves, the incoming government will go the same way. They all do.

wild said...

Lord Snooty,

It would be wrong to suggest that Labour ministers could not get a job in the private sector. As I understand it the bloke who ran the NHS used to run a small bookshop. That was what the market judged to be his level of expertise.

Of course politicians on the Left strive to exercise as much power as possible. Why would a small thing such as ignorance stop a politician from thinking they know best.

You seem to think that you ought to be given a gold star for observing that some people in the private sector are not very good at their jobs. Let me point out to you that if you find out that a builder is no good, you employ another builder. If however the government take away your money, you have to rely on what "public servants" give you. I would prefer it if I could spend my money on who or what I think is best for my needs.

By the way a big proportion of the money extracted from the taxpayer goes on the staff who administer the "public services" i.e. they take money (on the grounds that it is to help the poor) and spend it on themselves. It is why Guardian readers (who generally work in the "public services") are so keen on higher taxes. It redistributes money from the poor to themselves.

For some reason ignoring the wishes of the user leads "public servants" to have a reputation for inefficiency, over staffing, poor service, and high cost. It is a mystery - especially since (as you point out) public sector unions are so public spirited.

By the way "contracting out" is not a "Leftist" policy, which probably why most Labour Party members were (and are) opposed to it.

The Grim Reaper said...

That's why he's known as the Prime Mentalist, after all!

Lord Snooty said...


Your responses to my comments consist either of just repeating what I said or else refuting points that I never made. I'm not sure that we are going to get very far. It is also rather tedious for everybody else. So I will sign off here. Have a good weekend.

wild said...

So Lord Snooty, you assert that

Brown is short tempered, but it is a non-story.

That Brown is not short tempered, it is a grubby smear.

Can you spot the contradiction?

You claim that the "public" sector workers are not motivated by making money for themselves.

Then you note that "public sector" are of course motivated by making money for themselves.

Are you following this?

Then you claim that it is "ironic" to claim that the Left love the public sector because New Labour has been "massively criticised" for their contracting out policy.

When I pointed out that the criticism has been from the Left your response was that I am

"just repeating" what you said, or "refuting points" you "never made."

I am curious, has it occurred to to you that you are, how can I put this in words you understand, rather stupid?

Jimmy said...

"I remember working with Paraffin lamps on my desk."

But not, apparently, which party was in office at the time.

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