Monday, April 13, 2009

Dangerous dogs and Gordon Brown's culpability

Just what is it with Gordon Brown and apologies ?

All he has to say is he's sorry and regrets any distress that those he selected to work for him have caused distress and offence. That's the decent thing to do, it would even improve the general public's image of him ( though not mine as I'm now beyond reconciliation with the idea that Gordon Brown is a decent honest man ).

We have Alan Johnson on the media right now with the spin de jour that ""Gordon Brown had nothing to do with this. You apologise for the things you are responsible for," see the BBC here.

Right oh Alan, lets see if I can lay this out for you:

Brown is closely, very closely, associated with McBride. He came over from the Treasury and is widely seen as an attack dog - his transfer with Brown after the coup against the elected prime minister shows he's Brown's attack dog. Brown knew what sort of man he is. (We can't tell if Browns intense interest in anti-Tory tactics had him discussing these things with McBride and Draper - who has been invited to chequers to discuss Labour's failure to control the Internet ).

If you own a dangerous dog and don't control it then you are responsible for what happens. The dog bites and savages because its in his nature - the owner is responsible.

The same goes for attack dogs.

You would have thought an ex-postman would understand that.

PS I assume the likable Mr Johnson was wheeled out today as one of the last Labour minister not universally despised in the country. He's wasting his good name on this issue.

Update: It is always worth paying attnetion to the precise meaning of words used by Labour spin doctors and their number ten tax payer funded colleagues. The Guardian reports number ten saying "Neither the prime minister, nor anybody else in Downing Street, had knowledge of these emails.".

That does not equate with a denial of knowledge or even instigation of a plan to smear senior and popular Conservatives.

Number 10 needs to make itself available for a series of questions with truthful answers ( not Gordon Browns standard issue evasions from his PMQ tractor production stats performances ) about this affair, as well as delivering a full apology.

Developing: Brown has now almost contradicted Alan Johnson, but deploying the following ploys:
1) Writing to Sir Gus O'Donnel and demanding standards are raised ( they do this every time ).
2) Saying he's written to those who were the targets of the smears (does this amount to an apology ?)
3) Claiming no ministers were involved, including the one who sits next to Damian McBride and has previous for nasty videos which made suggestion about what David Cameron would do to be popular that I'm not going to repeat here - but they were shameful . ( Has Brown asked each one individually ? Has he received assurances ? Are any of them more honest than the ones his mate Derek Drapper has given in the past ? Why should anyone believe this statement ? Will Brown resign if it turns out not to be the case ? )

As I said before pay careful attention to any weasel words you hear. They will try to imply denials with words they know will be misunderstood or construed to say something else than they actually do.

Lets remember Brown is now being forced to do what he's doing by the bad publicity and advice of political advisers. Its not the instinctive reaction of a decent man - the time for such reactions was a few days ago.

PS Expect the Labour spin machine to try and turn this one around and widen its scope to lose the focus that's giving them so much trouble. They could even try to make Tom Harris' April fools joke look like prophecy in time.....

On the positive side a number of Labour bloggers have clearly shown their disgust with these events. See Mike Ion for an example, Tom Harris or Alex Hilton. As I said earlier I'm afraid I can't share their belief in the underlying morality and decency of their leader, but the greater good will be served by the actions they suggest - even if they are forced from Brown.

Turns out - the "hand written letter of regret" that allowed Brown to spin last nights news was just a statement of regret about the damage done to politics - see Iain Dale's report here. They are beyond even the simplest decency and honesty. Are they trying to apologise, bcause it looks like they are just trying to spin their way out.

PS Beeboids - don't think we didn't notice your attempt to muddy the waters by using Michael Heselltine last night, inviting the follow on about the "New Labour, New Danger" campaign.

See also today's Telegraph view here "Gordon Brown can't pretend he did not know about the Damian McBride scandal"

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I'm confused. Isn't this the same government that wants to make parents totally responsible for the actions of their children?