Wednesday, September 22, 2010

The Dysfunctionality of Brown's Number Ten

Next week, Dennis Kavanagh and Philip Cowley publish their long awaited book cataloguing the 2010 general election. It's not out for a couple of weeks but I think this passage from the book sums up perfectly the disfunctionality of Brown's regime at Number Ten...

No effective way had been reached of making Brown’s Number 10 function. Brown failed to define clear roles for his staff and was reluctant to delegate. As one of those departing complained, shortly before leaving: ‘Everything is so thoroughly disorganised. Politicians only turn to make the decision at the eleventh hour, and then only when they’re forced to, when there’s minutes to go … You start to feel deskilled working in here, you have to remind yourself that you’ve got good judgement, else it will soon suck all the confidence out of you.’ Or, as another put it: ‘It was distressing to work there. You’d look at it, and weep for the Labour Party.’
Complaints continued from other departments and MPs that Number 10 was not working well – ‘dysfunctional’ was the word used most often – and lacked leadership. One member of Brown’s team admitted, ‘We have a grid but we have no plan.’ ‘On every single issue’, complained one adviser, ‘there is a horrendous period of void, when the thing tumbles into No 10 … It’s like dropping a stone into a well, and waiting to hear how deep it is, and then realising it’s very deep – and anyway, your stone is now sitting on the bottom along with loads of other stones.’ A senior official who had worked in Number 10 under Blair and now advised Brown was aghast at what he found. Complaints about Brown’s personal style also began to circulate widely. Much of this behaviour, those who knew him well claimed, was born out of frustration, with himself, and his failure to achieve what he wanted. ‘There is’, one of Brown’s team claimed, ‘no worse critic of Gordon Brown than Gordon Brown.’ Or, as another of those to work in Number 10 put it: ‘I don’t think he can quite come to terms with the fact that he’s not good enough.’

You can order the British General Election of 2010 (Published on 30 September) in paperback by Palgrave HERE or hardback HERE.


Londonerr said...

Isn't it strange that these former PMs, cabinet members, and ministers having co-created and worked in such a dysfunctional organisation in government, now seek top join top organisations as directors and advisors. Lord help 'em.

Other than their political nous whatever can they give to these organisations in the way of leadership? I wouldn't want to touch these MPs with a barge pole.

Bill Quango MP said...

Not much of a surprise though is it?
We all knew. Look at this weekend quiz we ran back in July 2008.

"Who does this describe?"

His early speeches were seen as going "over the same historical ground so often" that his audience's "eyes glazed over in stupefaction."

He possessed a cold personality and reacted badly to any form of criticism....
.... He had difficulty making up his mind; he was "a man almost wandering through life allowing others to make his decisions for him." But when he did make a decision, he rigidly adhered to it. "Something in his character stopped him short of admitting error. 'I was right,' he said, and would say again and again."

He had the insecure man's habit of immersing himself in petty details. -- and even as Leader he spent hours on the most minute and bureaucratic details of bills...

..Fractious and argumentative, he lacked the communication skills that this high office required. Finding it so very difficult to trust subordinates, the few he did trust were elevated to positions in which they were unsuitable. He would support them again and again.

The only surprise was that the above wasn't actually written Gordon Brown.

Anonymous said...

"‘There is’, one of Brown’s team claimed, ‘no worse critic of Gordon Brown than Gordon Brown.’" is clearly complete twaddle. How could he be critical of himself if he believed he could and did do no wrong.

However the final point sums it up: "I don’t think he can quite come to terms with the fact that he’s not good enough.". Not critical of himself but the learning to appreciate what everyone else knew, that he was a disaster.

Martin said...

Tiresome hogwash, get a Life!

Barnacle Bill said...

Well I certainly won't be buy it, the only thing I want to buy with Broon in is the paper with his obituary in it.
Just to see if this time the MSM will tell us the truth about him!

Unsworth said...

@ Barnacle Bill

"Just to see if this time the MSM will tell us the truth about him!"

Absolutely no chance of that.

Rebel Saint said...

For those of us who've witnessed it or experienced it, it's an awful feeling - knowing you're not up to the job. Especially when you've had such high hopes and aspirations.

I know someone close to me who went through the same experience. It can be soul destroying. But they took the difficult decision to step aside from leading the small social enterprise project they'd established, for the good of the project, for the good of the people it served and for the good of the volunteers who did the serving.

Shame Brown didn't have the humility to do the same for the sake of 65 million people. But maybe that's got something to do with him being an unprincipled tosser.

Opinicus said...

There's quite a good quote from the Hornblower novels where the Lieutenant says "I did not expect to find command easy but i did expect to be capable of it"