Tuesday, March 20, 2007

Another Lord a' Leaping

The indescretion! Lord Turnbull, a former Head of the Civil Service who spent 4 years at the Treasury as a Permemant Secretary, has chosen to lift the lid on the M.O. of the Chancellor. And, comble de malchance!, has done so just in time to spoil Brown's budget speech tomorrow.

Brown's Treasury, we are told, surprises by "the more or less complete contempt with which other colleagues are held". Brown himself takes a "very cynical view of mankind and his colleagues"; does not allow "serious discussion" with colleagues; and in enhancing Treasury control over domestic policy, had done so "at the expense of any government cohesion and any assessment of strategy".

The Chancellor also has a "Macavity quality - he is not there when there is dirty work to be done". He also uses denial of information as an instrument of power. And just to make sure we all get the message, Turnbull goes on to conclude that "You can choose whether you are impressed or depressed by that, but you cannot help admire the sheer Stalinist ruthlessness of it all."

It's a devastating critique, all the closer to the bone for its echoes of what Brown's opponents in the Labour Party have been saying about him for years. Given Milliband's reluctance to challenge for the leadership , perhaps Blair's favoured successor really is the man charged with responding to, rather than delivering, tomorrow's budget speech.


Richard Havers said...

Well none of what he has to say about Broon comes as a surprise. It's just nice to hear it from someone who has had the misfiortune to be up so close.

I guess though after dinner with Kylie and the fact that he knows who Jade Gody is, will help in softening that iron Brown image of his.

No, I thought not. He's a truly awful bloke who unless he was in the position of power that he is would not get an invite for dinner anytime, anywhere.

Richard Thomson said...

Even when one of his colleagues tries to say something positive about him, it sounds forced and unconvincing. He's just been damned by half an hour of faint praise on Newsnight, for instance.

It might be better to be feared than loved as a leader, but once the fear goes...