Tuesday 23 September 2008

Novice Brown

I watched Gordon Brown seeking the political emulation of Germaine Greer's description of Suzanne Moore. He spent an hour pouting and posing, his focus almost entirely inward-looking, ticking the boxes for internal party approval rather than looking forward to what Labour might be able to offer in years to come. Ms Greer's contrast between the ages could easily apply to the Labour party - world-changing ideas reduced to a parody of themselves.

The speech was aimed at 'pressing the buttons' of delegates and Labour members in order to preserve his position as Leader of the Labour Group in the Westminster Parliament, so there are some bits which are a bit strange but I'm told they work in internal Labour discussions. Let's have a wee look at excerpts Broon's oration with my comments interspersed to relieve the tedium (all maliciously edited, of course):
I want to talk with you today about who I am, what I believe, what I am determined to lead this party and this great country to achieve.
Hasn't he been in the public eye long enough to have shown this without having to lay it out word by word? Surely actions speak louder than words? Haven't we seen where this current incarnation of Labour wants to go?
And where I've made mistakes I'll put my hand up and try to put them right. So what happened with 10p stung me because it really hurt that suddenly people felt I wasn't on the side of people on middle and modest incomes
Never reversed it though, did he?
the side of hard-working families is the only place I've ever wanted to be.
Subsistence farming? Isn't that where you'd find a hard-working family? What about hard-working single people - do they not matter to Gordon Brown? If the Great Leader is so keen to stand beside hard-working families why is he so obsessed with people who don't have to work hard?
And from now on it's the only place I ever will be.
All this time he's been denying himself ...
The British people would not forgive us if at this time we looked inwards to the affairs of just our party
Which is a pity because it's exactly what this speech was all about.
And so it falls to this party and to this government, with its commitment both to fairness and to business, to propose and deliver what after recent events everyone should now be willing to accept - that we do all it takes to stabilise the still turbulent financial markets and then in the months ahead we rebuild the world financial system around clear principles.
I thought Blair was a megalomaniac, but this takes the biscuit. Gordon Brown sets himself up to decide on how the world's financial systems will work? Is no-one else to have a say? Might I suggest that his record in the financial system is pretty poor? The changes to regulations since 1997 encouraged the massive expansion of personal and corporate debt, made credit easier to get and easier to give and removed restrictions on the financial sector. Credit crunch, liquidity freezes, bank runs and associated problems all have traces of Brown decisions and the decisions of his counterparts in other countries as each of them paid lip-service to Prudence while none of them honoured her.
removing conflicts of interest so that bonuses should not be based on short term speculative deals but on hard work, effort and enterprise.
I see he cut 'endeavour' in favour of single syllable words, but is there not a range of questions to be asked here? Let me try a few:
1. Is it right for Government to interfere in the rewards offered by private firms to their employees?
2. If it is, why is it just bonuses he's concentrating on?
3. He's never been a banker or a stockbroker to the best of my knowledge, how does he know how much endeavour, effort and enterprise goes into speculative deals?
4. Should hard work, effort and enterprise be rewarded even when they are misdirected and cause harm? Is he trying to ask for rewards for his endeavours even though they have caused us all sorts of trouble?
5. Is he talking about extra tax on bonuses?
It's all a bit Frankie Howerd is it not?
I am asking the climate change committee to report by October on the case for, by 2050 not a 60% reduction in our carbon emissions, but an 80% cut
That's an SNP Government policy - keep coming Gordon, it's always right to follow the SNP.
service one million new jobs.

Sorry, couldn't resist that.
I know that this can be a British century and I'm determined it will be.
I know I've heard something like that before ...
And so we will be the party of law and order.
That's it - that's his big vision for justice, Labour will be the party of law and order. I suppose we should be grateful that a party that is holding the reins of executive power doesn't intend to be the party of crime and disorder. He also made similar statements about pensioners and families (the party of the family, indeed). I think we're just going to have to trust him because he's a regular kind of guy...
The challenge of these new times demands a truly progressive government
That's a shame then.
it's what a government chooses to do when it's tested that demonstrates its priorities and reveals its heart.It is not the arithmetic of statistics but the fabric of people's lives.
Increasing tax, engaging in illegal wars, spending billions on new nuclear weapons, dodgy backroom deals on bank mergers, introducing tuition fees, Terrorism Act 2000, Regulation of Investigatory Powers Act 2000, ID cards, extradition, extraordinary rendition, 10p tax rate, increases in capital gains tax for businesses, PFI/PPP, et cetera, et cetera, et cetera. I see what he means.
And fairness is why Harriet is introducing the first ever equalities bill.
Would have thought he'd remember the Sex Discrimination Act of 1975 or the Equal Pay Act of 1970 or the Race Relations Act 1976 (or its update in 2000) or the DDA or the Carers (Equal Opportunities) Act 2004.
And so today I announce my intention to introduce ground-breaking legislation to enshrine in law Labour's pledge to end child poverty.
Ban poverty! Why didn't I think of that? If only we'd had this genius at the helm all along! down with bad things, praise the good things! Fluffy bunnies for all!
So today I guarantee to parents two fundamental rights:Because every child should leave primary school able to read, write and count, any child who falls behind will not be left behind - but will now have a new guaranteed right to personal catch up tuition.And because all parents should see their children taught in schools which achieve good results at GCSE, our pledge today is that any parents whose local state school falls below the expected standard will have the right to see that school transformed under wholly new leadership, or closed and new school places provided.
Excellent ideas. I look forward to the Barnett consequentials coming Scotland's way. I also look forward to seeing how the London Government does this. Perhaps it will quietly disappear like other Labour schemes.
we want to make the National Health Service more personal to people's needs - patients more involved in their own health care with more choice and more control than ever before.
Everyone their own medical expert - why do we need doctors, after all? I can see it now
"An appendectomy? I think not, I'll have my cataracts removed instead."
"But you don't have cataracts"
"Exactly! It's bound to be a successful operation."
And so in April a Labour Britain will become the first country in the whole world to offer free universal check ups for everyone over 40.
Did he forget that health is devolved? Universal check-ups - any doctor want to comment on the absolute uselessness of the concept? The reason you can get them in private health provision? Hmmmmm, let me think ...
And so I can announce today for those in our nation battling cancer from next year you will not pay prescription charges.And this is not the limit of our commitment to a fair NHS in a fair society. As over the next few years the NHS generates cash savings in its drugs budget we will plough savings back into abolishing charges for all patients with long-term conditions.
Why not just plan to get rid of prescription charges and get on with it?
Jacqui Smith and Jack Straw are introducing a landmark reform in our justice system - to put victims first. In consultation with victim support we will create an independent commissioner who will stand up for victims, witnesses and families - the people the courts and police exist to serve.
Victims shouldn't come first in the justice system - justice should. The courts and the police exist to serve society, not a part of society, all of it - a Prime Minister should know that.
I am proud that Britain will honour our obligations to provide refuge from persecution.
About time - does this mean that NASS will go along with dawn raids and locking children up with criminal deportees? Will extraordinary rendition cease now?
What has become clear is that Britain cannot trust the Conservatives to run the economy.
Nor Labour, apparently.
Everyone knows that I'm all in favour of apprenticeships, but let me tell you this is no time for a novice.
True, true, Brown has proven that this is no time for a novice a mere year and a bit in office, but I never thought I'd hear him agitating for Blair's return. Actually, in politics everyone worth knowing is always a novice - when you've learned it all you know less than when you started out.
And we pay special tribute to the heroism of our armed forces, as Des Browne said yesterday - to their service and sacrifice in Iraq and in Afghanistan and in peacekeeping missions around the globe. Quite simply the best armed forces in the world.
So why not provide them with the equipment they need to stay alive and decent houses to live in when they are not on one of the recurring turns of duty forced on them by Labour's foreign adventures?
He pressed those Labour buttons, he satisfied his immediate audience, and he'll still keep slipping away because he doesn't understand, Labour doesn't understand, that people are tired of them, tired of the pontification, tired of the lies and the lack of thought, the lack of foresight and the lack of commitment. The chance to renew has passed them by - it was with the change of leader - and they are spiralling now into history, the end of a once great movement.

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