Wednesday, February 24, 2010

It Wasn't Brown, It Was Balls! (Probably)

So, Gordon Brown has gone on the record on GMTV to deny he authorised briefings against Alastair Darling. Let's, for once, take him at his word. So if it wasn't him who told Dastardly and Mutley - sorry, Whelan and McBride - to sully the Chancellor's name, who was it?

Oh dear, there's only one other person it could have been. Step forward, Ed Balls, the man who was desperate to take on Darling's job.

Someone should ask him the question directly. If he denies it, we will know that either he or the Prime Minister is telling a Brownie, as Fraser Nelson would put it.

There is of course a third possibility - that Whelan and McBride did it off their own bats.

Nah, I don't think so either.


Charlie said...

Who ordered the briefing against Darling isn't relevant. The point is that Brown created and presides over a culture that encourages this kind of thing. He could stop it if he wanted to.

Cynic said...

Ah...the Bart Simpson defence

Bart was an under achiever too

Roger Thornhill said...

Has anyone seen Ed Balls and Nick Griffin in the same room together?

Tweedle Dee and Tweedle Dum.

Hail Spodes!

Praguetory said...

Did you notice that Fiona Gordon (partner of labour whip Steve McCabe) was touring the studios spinning for Brown. Her consultancy (Gordon and Badley!) do spinning work for Ed Balls out of his communications allowance.

Anonymous said...

'scuse me, but weren't Porgy & Bess Brown's bitches? Would Balls have had the, well, balls, to do it without the Great Leader's blessing?

Well-trained dogs wouldn't dream of obeying a command from anyone but their owner.

Anonymous said...

UMM what about david Camerons history ?Here's just a wee recap of Randall's assessment back in 2005:
"I wouldn't trust him with my daughter's pocket money.
"In my experience, he never gave a straight answer when dissemblance was a plausible alternative.
"Whether he flat-out lied I won't say, but he went a long way to leave me with the impression that the story was wrong. He put up so much verbal tracker you started to lose your own guidance system."
Since then, Cameron has dumped Labour's spending pledges and Jeff has been sufficiently impressed to give his backing. It's a good job he switched tack before tonight....
*FOOTNOTE: Randall's withering assessment was apparently backed up by City journalist Ian King, who called him "a poisonous, slippery individual".
"He was a smarmy bully who regularly threatened journalists. He loved humiliating people, including a colleague at ITV he would abuse publicly as 'Bunter', just because the poor bloke was a few pounds overweight.
"He was a mouthpiece for that company's charmless chairman, Michael Green, who operated him the way Keith Harris works Orville."

Wyrdtimes said...

Does that make Brown the hooded claw? Sounds about right to me.

Anonymous said...

A pretty pass.
Brown is having to deny an awful lot of things lately. He cannot smear the conservatives with this one.

He has had to deny smearing Darling, he has had to deny bullying, he has had to deny taking medication, he has had to deny writing insulting letters to bereaved, he has had to deny the 'Mcbride smear the tories plot' ....

He will be denying abolishing boom and bust next, selling gold cheap, taxing pensions, setting up crap financial regulation, impoverishing the poorest with the 10p fiasco, introducing over 100 stealth taxes, running up deficits.

Stepney said...

Don't forget they work "in an open plan office; we're a big happy family at No 10",

G.Brown GMTV 23-02-10

So, open plan come he didn't know? Had no idea about the that briefing? How come Ed Balls, in his own words, "didn't really know about the work of Mr McBride" ?

It really is time someone fixed the gang of Four: Balls, Whelan, McBride and Brown.

In it up to their necks and linked by an umbilical cord of lying and bullying.

Do we actually have political journalists in this country?

Do they not see the really big story? And, if they do, why won't they go after it?

Anonymous said...

The man is at the edge of the abyss.

Just one little push on the right place and he is gone.

Has Cameron the cojones?

I don't think so somehow.

Maybe he really wants Brown to win?

Anonymous said...

Is Darling doing the same as that famous episode where Geoffrey Howe accused Thatcher of:
"It is rather like sending your opening batsmen to the crease, only for them to find, as the first balls are being bowled, that their bats have been broken before the game by the team captain".

will 'forces of hell' assume the same significance.

Paddy Briggs said...

Has anyone seen Ed Balls, Nick Griffin and Liam Fox in the same room together? Even spookier!

Alan Douglas said...

Would have thought that "attack the offender" would be on total auto - so no need for any specific targeting ?

Alan Douglas

DespairingLiberal said...

I have to say I tend to think it was done on a nod and a wink with Brown or someone like his PPS.

I suppose there is a chance though that Whelan and McBride felt they knew their Masters Voice so well that they could auto-anticipate what he would want them to do. Personally I find this explanation even more creepy and odious than them getting a direct brief from Brown or Balls. Therefore it is probably the right one!

A dismal commentary on life under NuLab that Whelan is still in post, but I things are now do degraded in politics that Party Loyalty seems to play third fiddle behind ego rivalries and point scoring.

DespairingLiberal said...

Simon, given Randall's thinly-veiled love of all things Ukip, I would be inclined to be wary about many of his statements. I happen to know some people who worked at Carlton in the 90s and had dealings with him - they tell me he was just the usual cut-and-thrust PR guy with rivals, no better or worse than many, but they say he generally had a positive reputation in the company. This is borne out by Chris Mullin (who one wouldn't expect to pull any punches) who praises Cameron's work with him on the Home Affairs Select Committee and seemed very positive towards him. Clearly, whatever else he is, Dave is a better man than you portray him.

My main concern about a Cameron PM'ship (if it happens - presumably it will) will be if he can control the Euro-bashing neo-Ukip backwoodsmen in the Party. We might be in for a rerun of Labour's dogfighting in the late 70s with the Ashcroft-selected neo-Ukip Young Maddies playing the Bennite role to Cameron's Callaghan.

Hope not as we will need strong, determined government over the next decade.

statechaos said...

So you believe Brown when he says he didn't order the briefing? How can you run the country when you don't know what is going on under your nose? And how many fair-minded people now believe that no-one else at No.10 knew about McBride's nasty e-mails. I'm afraid McBride and Whelan are just the fall guys.

Moriarty said...


A very pertinent interjection..... a thread about David Cameron.

Unless of course you're argument is (1) Jeff Randall has written badly of Cameron in the past therefore (2) what Alistair Darling said last night must be untrue.

Even Gottlob Frege would have problems formalizing that logic.

Dave H said...

Gordon Brown on GMTV:

"I would never engage in divisive or partisan politics."

Breath. Taken. Away.

Iain, it would save you an awful lot of typing if you only reported when he tells lies that are remotely plausible. It would be a rare accident, admittedly.

BTW His first name isn't Gordon. He fails even to be honest about that. Probably his finely tuned operating system told him that James sounded less normal.

Bartleby said...

Why not ask Philip Webster of The Times and others who received the negative briefing in the wake of Darling's 60 year comment? The journalists who reported the smears have been remarkably quiet on who exactly was conducting the negative briefing ('Alistair Darling’s job on the line after recession blunder' ran The Thunderer on 1 Sep 2008)

Mick Turatian said...


a salutory intervention. Like everybody else, I just need to hear the name Cameron to undergo an instant flushing of my critical faculties as they might apply to the Prime Minister and his friends.

Well done. Post often, post widely: you perform a much needed public service.

Sir, I salute you.
© Georgeous George)

Anonymous said...

Simon - come on, lets ignore Cameron doing his job as a PR consultant - quote Randall's assessments of Brown. And complete the quote - which praises Cameron as a settled family man.

And tell us - what about the Brown stories about how he runs his office. aAe they true? The entire lobby believe them (know them) to be true.
There are no allegations about Cameron as Tory leader.

People who put up smokescreens usually have something to hide.

Anonymous said...

PS, Guido points out that Jonah Brown visited his curse on the Coles last year.

Gareth said...

trevorsden said: "PS, Guido points out that Jonah Brown visited his curse on the Coles last year."

He visited his curse on us Proles in 1997.


Iain all this crap about bullying and briefing just shows what an utterly execrable bunch too many of our senior politicians are.

The country teeters on the verge of bankruptcy but the powers that be spend their time feuding amongst themselves. Brown V Blair, Brown V his demons, the spinmeisters against Darling. It's tragic.

Sadly Mr Cameron is not nailing Brown to the cross of his awful financial record.

All Dave has to do is to remind the electorate ad nauseam that Brown and Blair have totally trashed the growing economy they inherited in 1997.

I cannot understand why he is pussy footing around the issue. We all know the economy is f****d. All Dave has to do is to batter Brown with his desperate record and tell the voters that hard medicine is on the way. What could be simpler?

I have a terrible fear that this lack of clarity from the Tories is going to result in a hung Parliament. The worst possible outcome.

Do you think for a moment that if Brown was in opposition he would be so gentle about the economic mismanagement? Of course not. He'd have ripped the Tories to bits.

Dave really needs to get a grip. Ignore the academics and spell it out in words of one syllable.

New Labour have destroyed the economy and I'm going to have to administer nasty medicine to pull us out of the mess. The electorate is sufficiently adult to accept that.

It's inconceivable that such a wretched bunch of politicians might get another chance.

If you have a hotline to Dave tell him to wake up.

Wilson Cotton said...

No doubt Mr Balls is witty and charming in social situations, friendly to small children and kind to animals, not knowing the man I am unable to pass judgement, it is just that he has an unfortunate sturmabteilung look about him. I had always thought that he was probablyrather thuggish, until today when I watched him being interviewed on Breakfast Time by the affable Bill Turnbull and Sian Williams. The more I reflected on it throughout the day, the more I recognised genuine menace in the way that he dropped his voice to say "Sian, Sian." It is no wonder that she responded by becoming rather more forceful with him. Not a nice man.

kasou said...

a famous quote “As Albert Einstein said: the world can be an evil place, not because of those who do evil, but because of those who look on and do nothing.