It’s not been a good few days for… (UPDATED)

Variants on the question “Is Gordon Brown finished?” continue to dominate much political commentary, with The Guardian today running a fascinating first-hand account of what it’s like working with him:

When Gordon Brown used to hold meetings at the Treasury, coffee would be served with the milk already added. I always thought that summed up his style. Such was his eagerness to get on to business that he had no time for the 20 seconds it would take to pass round the jug and the biscuits, a ritual that broke the ice across the rest of Whitehall.

The pieces goes on to detail many aspects of working with Brown, including the government by temper tantrum approach that seems so popular amongst much of his camp. Well worth a read. Meanwhile, The Week magazine rather pithily sums up Brown’s indecision, drawing on an account in the Financial Times:

He raised expectation of an election, then called it off. He signed the Lisbon Treaty but skipped the ceremony, thereby annoying everyone. He received the Olympic flame at No.10, but refused to touch it. British troops in Iraq are holed up at Basra airport – both staying and withdrawing.

Meanwhile, although it’s not that uncommon for a politician to be told that what they’ve said is all “lies, lies, lies”, it is a bit unusual for it to be the Labour leader of a council making the comments and directing them at his council colleagues. Jonathan Wallace has the story.

To round off the list Labour MP Rob Marris has been arrested by the police over the manner in which he appears to have boarded a bus. But in the spirit of political balance, I should also point out that former Conservative Minister Rod Richards has also been arrested over allegations that he punched a canvasser.

UPDATE: Meanwhile, in Liverpool a Labour councillor (Ben Williams) has been charged with downloading indecent pictures of children from the internet. UPDATE 2: Ben Williams was subsequently tried and acquitted.

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7 Comments

  • Hear, hear Rosalind.

    An unusual action by Mr Marris, but I can understand his frustration.

    Wilmslow was particularly bad for cars being parked in a way that obstructed bus access – in fact I quickly realised that BMW stands for “Buses Must Wait” !

  • Mr Marris has been charged with causing criminal damage, not with climbing over a vehicle.

  • Chris Paul,

    democratic politics is neither about convenience for the one at the top, or done at the behest of their whimsy.

    Both could otherwise be summarised as economics, in which case Brown is in the wrong job.

    Democratic politics is about leadership and drawing the connection of that lead all the way through to the tail – something Brown is inherently incapable of doing.

    From his style I can only say Brown would have a far more productive relationship with Bismarck than JFK.

  • Gordon is in a bad way,but events can change his prospects. Remember Maggie Thatcher was extremely unpopular until the Falklands War, which some might unkindly suggest was precipitated by her leaving the islands ill-prepared to be defended following cuts in the navy. A week is a long time in politics!

  • The news about Ben Williams shocks me. I was taught by him in college a few years ago. I simply can’t believe that this is true.

    This really brings home to me that behind all this tittle-tattle that we engage in on the blogosphere (and, for my sins, I am a fully paid up Lib Dem) there is always a person behind the headline. We would do well to bear that in mind.

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