Tuesday, 14 April 2009

McBride story has legs

The McBride story continues to dominate the MSM this morning; top of the news on R4 and leading all the online dailies. But if Tom Watson is hoping for something to turn up that will push it off the front pages, the Sun's editorial will make gloomy news; "McBride is gone. If Mr Brown is sincere about cleaning up politics he will take the next step. And sack the equally poisonous Tom Watson, whose position as Cabinet Office minister is a stain on the Prime Minister’s judgment and his government’s credibility." The Sun stops short of accusing Watson of complicity in the email scandal - cautious perhaps in the face of rumours that m'learned friends are involved on the Minister's behalf.

Dominic Lawson writes in the Indie and concludes with a finding that has been rumbling around the blogs for some time;
The sad thing is that Gordon Brown is indeed, as his friends insist, frequently high-minded and seized with the idea of a life devoted to serving the people. His flaw – and it is apparently uncontrollable – is to believe that anyone who stands in his way is an enemy of the people, and must be destroyed. Instead, it will destroy him; it has already all but destroyed his party.
Rachel Sylvester in the Times echoes Brown's Jekyll and Hyde character;
Mr Brown is in many ways a high-minded politician. He genuinely wants to change the world, with a global new deal and a strategy for combating poverty. The recession has played to his intellectual and ideological strengths. But as well as waving his moral compass, he has always wielded a dagger and surrounded himself with thugs who are not afraid to use it on his behalf. Ministers speak of there being a split between “good Gordon” and “bad Gordon” and when the Prime Minister feels vulnerable it is Mr Hyde who triumphs over Dr Jekyll.
And this is perhaps at the heart of the deep 'psychological flaw' that loyal Blairites warned against. Brown's deeply conflicted personality makes it almost impossible for him to make good judgements. McBride was a Treasury civil servant who overstepped the requirements for political neutrality. That should have set off warning bells. Instead of distancing himself from McBride, Brown embraced him as 'bad' Gordon's hired thug, and he segued seamlessly from 'impartial' civil servant to political SpAd.

When Christopher Galley approached Damian Green with leaked documents the Tories had an exquisite dilemna. Politically partial civil servants ought not, as a matter of principle, to be encouraged by politicians. On the other hand, the leaked documents promised a cornucopia of embarrassing riches. I doubt there's any future for Galley in the Conservative party, as a future SpAd or otherwise. He's proved himself disloyal and incapable of maintaining professional integrity. When McBride exhibited the same traits at the Treasury, Brown should have disowned him. Such men are not to be trusted, not to be elevated into positions of power. They are to be used and discarded. The fallout for Brown from all this is entirely of his own making; 'bad' Gordon's inadequate judgement welcomed McBride as an ally, rather than requiring his Permanent Secretary to put him on final notice for misconduct.

Brown's smokescreen of revised SpAd guidelines cannot hide that it was his own deep psychological flaws that caused this crisis, not inadequate rules.


Blue Eyes said...

Brilliant post Mr R.

Letters From A Tory said...

I agree. As I was saying yesterday on my blog, Brown was the ultimate cause of Smeargate - the fact that McBride sent the emails that got published is not the real issue here.

Newmania said...

I see this probolem as one that is in the DNA of New Labour , that was a good post R , been on hols and just caught up

♥♥♥♥♥ Jennifer™® ♥♥♥♥♥ said...

your blog is very good

Budgie said...

Brown's "flaw – and it is apparently uncontrollable – is to believe that anyone who stands in his way is an enemy of the people, ..."

He is Stalinist, then.