Gordon Brown’s Economic Gamble

You know what, I have now heard more than enough about how much Gordon Brown is enjoying this recession. Every time you read about the Prime Minister, they tell you that his mood is getting better and better.

Having been known as a gloomy old nail-biting misery-guts, he is now presented to us as a man “in his element”, the life and soul of the party, a smile or a witty aside never off his lips.

They say that he was giving a speech the other day, and his mobile phone went. “Aha,” quipped funster Gordon Brown, “that’ll be another bank going bust!” Isn’t he a scream?

According to Alastair Campbell – who is now back offering his Luciferian advice – the sheer gravity of the downturn has “brought out the best” in the Prime Minister. It is something to do with the humbling of the capitalists and the brutal necessity of government action – a reordering of our political economy that has put this manic meddler where he wants to be, at the very centre of the stage. “Gordon,” pronounced Campbell, “is a round peg in a round hole.”

Well, folks, I do not presume to comment on the geometry of Gordon’s pegness, but there is no doubt that Campbell is right about one thing. He is in a hole, all right, and a hole very largely of his own digging.

He yesterday asked Parliament and public to approve a series of estimates for public borrowing that amount to a humiliation for himself and his Government. He is proposing to run a budget deficit of £128 billion by 2010 – that is, eight per cent of GDP. Overall government debt, currently running at 40 per cent, is going to hit 60 per cent of GDP by the same year, more than it has been ever since Harold Wilson was in No 10.

He is like some sherry-crazed old dowager who has lost the family silver at roulette, and who now decides to double up by betting the house as well. He is like a drunk who has woken to the most appalling hangover, and who reaches for the whisky bottle to help him dull the pain.

And the reason he is taking such a frantic and unprecedented gamble is that he has no option. He is running out of time. The electoral cycle is drawing to a close; he funked the election in October last year, and ever since the public have threatened to punish him at the polls. He needs the economy to perk up fast; he needs some signs of life before May 2010, and with the patient prone on the slab, he needs to perform an emergency operation, no matter how risky it may seem. And he may yet be proved right, of course.

Perhaps we will all respond to his fiscal stimulus, like a bunch of overweight and exhausted lab rats shown one last piece of cheese. Perhaps we will all scamper off in the direction of the prize, and boost consumption, and keep the economy moving. Perhaps the news that everything has been reduced by 2.5 per cent will indeed cause the tills to ching for the next 13 months – which is the duration of the VAT reduction.

Perhaps there are millions of people out there who will rethink their plans for a credit crunch Christmas. Instead of giving each other presents of home-made chutney and second-hand books, perhaps they will be so filled with hope and confidence by Alistair Darling that they will pour out to Woolworths (if it still exists), and lash out on the traditional British Yuletide tokens of fealty – Wiis and Nintendos and Plasma TVs.

Perhaps they will think it sensible to buy now, while the tax holiday is there. We must hope that they do; that is, we must hope that all those who have disposable income will spend it, because otherwise the economy will simply seize up; and that, indeed, is the essential argument in favour of some kind of fiscal stimulus by government.

When credit has dried up, when confidence has collapsed, it is the duty of the Government to keep the economy moving with sensible and affordable investment. That is why it is vital to push on with the big infrastructure projects in London that will not only deliver jobs and growth in the short term, but which will help to make the capital and the UK economy better placed, long-term, to compete.

The tragedy of our current predicament, and the tragedy of Gordon Brown, is that by his previous profligacy he has left himself so little room for manoeuvre.

The Government may treat the public like laboratory rats, but they are not entirely idiotic. They can see that this respite is only temporary. They can see that the tax rises are round the corner, and even as they tiptoe towards the cheese, they can see Alistair Darling waiting with his cosh.

They may decide that they are better off keeping their money, and not spending it in the next 13 months, in order to protect themselves against the future rapacity of the Chancellor and the Prime Minister.

We now know that to fund this fiscal stimulus, taxes are going up on incomes over £40,000; we know there are going to be huge increases in national insurance that will hit employees, employers and the self-employed. How on earth is that supposed to boost job creation?

Might it not have been better, if you were going to splurge £20 billion in tax cuts, to spend it on cutting National Insurance and helping business to keep people in work?

There is nothing wrong in principle with a fiscal stimulus. What makes the remedy so desperate is that Gordon Brown managed to squander such eye-watering sums when times were good.

It now emerges that of all the jobs created since 1997, two thirds have been in the public sector. No wonder the country is broke. The more Gordon Brown swanks and preens and claims he is the man to fix things, the more he recalls the firefighters in that American movie called Backdraft, who tried to claim credit for heroically (and abortively) attending an inferno that they had ignited.

[First published in the Daily Telegraph on 24 November 2008 under the heading, ” Why Gordon Brown the manic meddler had to take such a massive gamble”]

72 thoughts on “Gordon Brown’s Economic Gamble”

  1. A round peg Gordon is not. As a matter of fact he couldn’t get more square! His fake nonchalance fools no one.

    As a recent graduate I’ve worked hard to start making a decent living, but I must admit I am nervous in this climate. Several school and university friends have been made redundant – could my job be on the line too? Its nerve racking.

    Now I’m told that if I do manage to wrestle my way through and come out the other end of this bog of a down turn then in a few years time when I am finally earning some serious money I will be paying half my wage in tax!

    I’m resigned to the fact that life isn’t meant to be easy – but come on! When is the let up?

  2. “Who on earth d’you think you are….

    A superstar? Yeah, right you are!”

    Clink on the above link of the song, because it is so appropriate it just isn’t true!

  3. A round peg Gordon is not. As a matter of fact he couldn’t get more square! His fake nonchalance fools no one.

    As a recent graduate I’ve worked hard to start making a decent living, but I must admit I am nervous in this climate. Several school and university friends have been made redundant – could my job be on the line too? Its nerve racking.

    Now I’m told that if I do manage to wrestle my way through and come out the other end of this bog of a down turn then in a few years time when I am finally earning some serious money I will be paying half my wage in tax!

    I’m resigned to the fact that life isn’t meant to be easy – but come on! When is the let up?

  4. It is pathetic. They don’t live in the real world – prices are down 20-30% in shops – what difference will another 2.5% make?

    The only people affected are small shops who have to waste time and money, at the busiest time of the year, changing all their prices.

    I suppose an income tax cut would have been more difficult for the leftists to take back.

    I wander whether the duty on petrol, tobacco, and alcohol will come back down in 2010…fat chance.

    Osbourne was excellent yesterday, and looked even better after that bland “speech” by Darling.

  5. Fantastic article Boris, and I am glad that there is some one here to stand up and say these things for every one of us in the general public.

    Gordon’s body language in that announcement was alarming and certainly opened my eyes widely. I feel Gordon’s time is at an end there.

  6. Cutting VAT was such a mistake. To make any difference to people buying stuff the shops will have to pass that saving on – an assumption, especially as they are already cutting prices. And those hardest hit won’t be spending. So here’s a socialist taking care of th rich. Oh hang on the rich are getting hammered too. Here’s a socialist taking care of no-one. Figures!

  7. After yesterdays speech even the most financially myopic can’t be left in any doubt about the economic disaster that awaists this country. Loved the bit in Darlings speech about it all being the American’s fault. Perhaps if the captain of the Titanic was alive today he could have used the Brown/Darling defence, and told the board of enquiry into the loss of his ship that – yes, I was in charge, yes I was on the deck, yes I took the credit when the cruise was going well, but the ship sunk because of an Amercian iceberg!

  8. Hi Jaq, naughty girl! Cutting VAT WAS a mistake, I’d like to cut off Gordon’s head with a blunt cleaver.

    Evil g, I agree with you about the performance of George Osborne. Very fiery and passionate, totally convincing. Well done George! He is a sterling character, and we need as much true sterling as we can lay our hands on in these hard times.

    The above speech has made headlines in today’s standard, “Mayor’s stinging attack amid fears for London economy”.

    The Superman outfit is going up in flames to reveal the pathetic figure beneath……

  9. Of course, Gordon doesn’t want to help people by just simply reducing their income tax; that’s an unseen thing. He prefers something more obvious and he prefers to take people through the maze in order to confuse them, to make them believe that he is helping them at last. But if we work out his cuts, we’ll see that nobody will be better off. It’s just Gordon and Labour’ tricks again.

    The new 15% VAT is not applied to essentials like food which is what oeople need right now; not new clothes, new handbags ( even if I need a new one, I mean my wife does ), new TVs, DVDs… The new VAT cheered (?!!) shoppers and retailers but was quickly dashed by increases in petrol, alcohol ( Boris won’t be happy ) and tobacco !!!

    It’s said the move by Labour to charge 45% income tax on £150,000 year earners is a trap to entice the Tories into appearing to side with the rich, if they oppose it. But Tories said they were not walking into it, their main concern was to reduce taxes for the lower paid. Quite right there.

    ( Folks, it is not necessary to understand things in order to argue about them ! )

  10. There will be no honey moon for Obama on the Axis of Evil, though he campaigned on a promise to talk to American enemies whom Bush had once shunned, including erstwhile members of his Axis of Evil – Iran, North Korea and Iraq.

    They responded by pre-emptively hardening their bargaining positions.

    North Korea welcomed Obama by saying that it had not agreed to fully open its nuclear sites to international inspection, even though the Bush administration said it had.

    Iranian President backtracked from a warm letter he had sent to Obama by demanding that America furnish ” mutual respect ” – in other words, an assurance Obama won’t seek regime change and will accept Iran’s nuclear program.

    Evil communist Russia promised to station missiles in Belarus if Obama does not rescind Bush’s plan to station an antimissile shield in Poland.

    And Qaeda leaders tried to dampen Muslim enthusiams for the president-elect by dismissing Obama as a ‘ house Negro. ‘ Oh dear.

    ( Early shot at Obama by Adam B. Kushner, Newsweek, Dec 1, 2008 )

  11. Whatever Gordon is on, whatever medication the evil twins are feeding him, the happy pills are bound to wear off eventually. I don’t want to be there when the laughing stops.

  12. I’m still trying to work out the ramifications of what looks like a short-term tactical budget with long-term downsides so here’s an easier question:
    Picking up on Boris’s operating-table patient allusion to ‘Prufrock’, who is Prince Hamlet? Mandy? To save you looking it up, here’s the relevant section of the poem:

    “No! I am not Prince Hamlet, nor was meant to be;
    Am an attendant lord, one that will do
    To swell a progress, start a scene or two,
    Advise the prince; no doubt, an easy tool,
    Deferential, glad to be of use,
    Politic, cautious, and meticulous;
    Full of high sentence, but a bit obtuse;
    At times, indeed, almost ridiculous—
    Almost, at times, the Fool”

  13. By the time the Conservative party gets in this country will be so donald ducked it’ll be like trying to revive a eunuch in a brothel – lost interest.

  14. Nicely succinct, Jaq. Personally, I got fed up with GB at PMQs today. He was spinning so hard he should have drilled a hole in the floor. Unfortunately, they seem to have bought very good hardwood for that floor.

  15. Fun y’know FUN ..like after the restoration of Chales the second when old whats his name died ummm Cromwell? (moralising old bas…D him). There will be loads of laughing, wenching and quaffing .. for all!! yes a bit like vin chaud and tariflette I suppose.

  16. Jaq only in a nice way and nobody has been talking at all. I am the soul of discretion myself and if you gossip destructively about others, this is damaging karmically.

  17. Gill was Boris referring to the Prufrock poem definitely? Because in that case, I should guess that he was referring to Alastair Darling as The Fool.

  18. Will everyone please do me a favour and read what i have written under the CULTURE VULTURE thread, headed HAMMER OF THE SCOTS? I am making some very important points there about Gordon Brown, points that I want everyone to take seriously and think about solemnly, because they are IMPORTANT FOR THE FUTURE OF THIS COUNTRY.

  19. I am thrilled to hear from Boris’s diligent and devoted aides that our Mayor does indeed watch films from popular culture and he has in fact seen and laughed at DODGEBALL.

    I notice that he refers to another good popular film this week, BACK DRAFT. In Boris’s accurate analogy with the economy, the firemen are claiming huge credit for putting out fires that they in fact have started.

    You may all remember that when the firemen are fighting a fire, if one slips and falls and another fireman grabs his hand and then a fireman grabs HIS hand so they form a chain, the fireman right at the bottom gasps “Guys! ‘I don’t think I can make it”.

    Then the fireman trying to save him shouts desperately “IF YOU GO, WE GO!”

    I feel that someone should say this to the Labour Party as they abandon prudence and gamble all on one economic throw of the dice. “IF YOU GO, WE GO!”

  20. Secret plans for swingeing rises in council tax and VAT were exposed in Treasury documents last night.

    Budget details revealed that ministers expect council tax to rocket by an inflation-busting 10% (!) over the next 2 years.

    And a leaked (!) document laid bare plans for a hike in VAT to 18.5% after just 1 year reduction (!).

    The VAT hike was revealed in a draft document mistakenly put on a quango website yesterday.



    and read 2 very interesting articles; the latter is full of real-life stories from struggling hard-working families under Labour’s rule. To be honest, you’d be better off being on the dole – everything is paid for by the government.

    Looks like Santa Brown has come early this Christmas! Hohohoho!!!

  21. http://aolsearch.aol.co.uk/aol/search?query=For%20now%20Boris%20my%20old%20enemy%20I%20salute%20you%21&invocationType=sb_uk

    There is such a sweet, genuinely warm hearted article in the Standard today.

    I was in the audience when Boris was speaking at the Standard event during his campaign for Mayor and Yasmin Alibhai-Brown refused at first to sit next to him because she thought awful things about him and totally disapproved of the upper crust rascal!

    Yasmin was booed by the audience and I felt so sorry for her, I e-mailed her and we had a bit of a chat.

    Yasmin is now honest enough and good hearted enough to say that she is warming to our Mayor. She believes he is brave and right to consider an amnesty for illegal immigrants – I totally agree. She welcomes his plans for affordable housing and applauds his arts programme (LOVE the sound of that). She also applauds his green ambitions.

    Yasmin, I am so happy, I knew at the time that Boris was not the disgraceful, uncaring scallywag you seemed to think, he is working his socks off and your respect is something worth having.

  22. Angela – are you saying that I’ve gossiped destructively? And you haven’t ridiculed my declaration on the previous thread – you can be very cruel.

    Personally I think it quite disgraceful for yasmin to refuse to sit next to someone like Boris, it’s not like he’s a diseased axe murderer. Wiki has it:

    She is strongly criticised by Douglas Murray in his book, Neoconservatism: why we need it, for having written about Iraq that “there have been times I wanted more chaos, more shocks, more disorder to teach our side a lesson.” Murray called her attitude “destructive and inexcusable” and wrote “the vindication of her own opinion is of more importance to her than the lives of British and American troops and Iraqi civilians”.

    In 2008 she referred to some Asians and Blacks who supported the British Conservative Party as “Uncle Toms”.


  23. Jaq you are totally getting the wrong idea. Of course I didn’t mean you have gossiped. You asked why I said naughty Jaq, it was because you said you fancied John Sergeant. Then I just wanted to reassure you I wouldn’t gossip about you so I said to do so means bad karma.

    It is good Yasmin has changed her mind, she obviously had the wrong idea about BJ as I tried to tell her when we e-mailed but she has realised the truth for herself so no harm done.

  24. ps. by saying “if you gossip destructively….” Imeant people in general, not anyone in particular, and I do hope this clears things up because Ihardly know you so am not in a position to make such remarks to you even if I wanted to, which I certainly dont.

  25. Listen, society,
    We must learn to be creative, not destructive, and little, mean arguments, sometimes are big things that only result in destroy ourselves!
    We must learn a good lesson from what was going on and what currently happens. How many of us take a look at the reality of what we were at for a such a long time, we know that crises do not happen over a night; we have been laying in the mud for a long time and since the balloon got so big it busted, we found ourselves in a crisis caused by a chain of debts. Now, some of us are angry arguing with others because of the fear that we would not be able to afford some luxuries (as we were a few month ago), some of us do not want to accept the reality thinking it is a dream that will finish, some of us are confused and don’t know what else will happen tomorrow, and some of us are hopeless probably because they lost their job or their house was just repossessed.
    The last bill proposal is an imaginative help (some of us still do not realise what it means!). What was this ‘give with one hand / take with the other’ – the hypnotising change of figures and numbers as a Christmas gift! It is just as real as Santa Clause! What was the whole bother for, we will not be better off, at least for the next 5 years (an optimist would say!), why we are not really getting the oil price arranged fairly? It was going down, and that was a reasonable step to prevent excessive spending, why it never reached the price point of the time before the whole oil price rising? Certainly, somewhere must be a mistake! The oil price reflects on the food prices to a large extent, and food prices must be carefully considered especially in crisis times, all of us need to eat.
    Another issue is, about the jobs, in these difficult times we would have to consider on taking ‘uncomfortable’ jobs which we usually did not want to do (such as cleaners, carer assistants in nursing homes, farm jobs, or looking after our own kids instead of paying to au pairs) which were given to people coming from abroad because of a deficit of people, in our own employment market, who would be ‘happy’ and willing to take these types of jobs. We might as well, rightly expect the day when we will see that this type of crisis, that we live in, will emerge a radical change, and the population living on dole money will probably somehow disappear.
    We have to understand that the times when we were living comfortably, and when we were avoiding to do some jobs by paying for them to be done by someone else, are not in our present time anymore and should learn to live with it. It was a dream world anyway and now we have to wake up and put ourselves in gear by altering the time of our watches to the real time!
    By the way, while living in crisis, no one takes an advantage by having strict shopping times. If we are concerned about and want to help with so the trading improves, why we do not keep the shops open from 8 or 9 am until 10 or 11pm including Sundays – having a double shift so employing more sales assistants (who will not work more than 8 hours per day), so anyone including the other working people who can still afford to buy, would be availed to shop at a time suitable for them!
    Maybe it is time for us to consider ‘little’ things like this to keep us going. Other countries which do not have restricted shopping times have better trading standards. I have to admit, I have seen enough, it is the third crisis in my life!

  26. Shop assistants are working to the max. anyway at the moment. Stores do not wish to take on more staff, so they are overloading the staff they already have. These people need to have some time for themselves, because retail hours are long. Many stores now focus on late nights for all staff, and if you have a family, that means you have no life at all. At Christmas, many girls often only have ONE DAY OFF, that is Christmas Day, in London. They used to have Boxing Day, but now stores trade on this day as well. It is hard for people with families.

    I am therefore not in favour of increasing retail trading hours – the shops are not busy in the time they are open now, and it will just make it much harder for staff, and mean bigger wages bills for the owners.

  27. Gordon Brown as Chancellor inherited a rising economy when he took on the financial responsibilities of this country. He subsequently boosted the government coffers as follows: sold off our airwaives for billions of pounds; removed in excess of 5 billion pounds each year from the pension funds of our citizens which has emerged as a pension crisis; he sold off our gold reserves at the bottom of the market; to name a few With all of this massive boost to the government coffers, he has borrowed more money than ever recorded. How can anyone even consider him as a successful economist?????

  28. Yvette Cooper is as dishonest and as evasive as Gordon Brown when questioned on the present economic crisis.

    When directly asked last night by a BBC interviewer why this country was the least prepared of all the developed countries to deal with the crisis. Ms. Cooper totally failed to give an answer. She prevaricated by discussing events in America, and then, worst of all, said “We are giving pensioners £60 next year to help with the crisis”, waving this like a bribe, to avoid having to explain why this country is the worst prepared.

    When will the Labour Party ever give a direct answer to a direct question? It is just not good enough to deflect questions onto the Conservatives, and to talk about the money they are using to gag the worries of this country.

    Why did the interviewer not nail her by saying “You are not answering my question” why does the BBC allow KLAbour ministers to get away with this?

    Is it any wonder people in this country do not trust the government? Or respect or trust the BBC? WE ARE NOT FOOLS AND DEEPLY RESENT BEING TREATED AS SUCH.

  29. Nathalie and Angela are bang on the nail. Gordon Brown inherited a healthy economy, he has spent like a drunken sailor, and now we are supposed to thank him, as our Mayor points out, for creating the mess and spending massively to solve it.

    The Labour Government are treating the country like fools and Yvette Cooper is a disgrace and totally unconvincing.

    David Cameron and George Osborne are far more straight forward, they do not duck questions and they couch their answers in language we can understand. They do not make a virtue of being incomprehensible.

    George Bush Jr. too inherited a zero deficit and the US deficit is now in trillions. No wonder Goerge Bush is reported to be in a deep depression, shattered by the country’s view of him as the worst US President ever.

  30. Angela – thank you, you are correct that I was being a bit naughty in my comment about John Sergeant and have to admit that I do not in fact lust after the man. I simply like the fact that he had a go, and had a go so cheerfully.

    Purple – I have to disagree with you: we collectively employ (for it is now a career) people to administrate our society. These are politicians, the civil service and local government. The politicians are elected into office to act on our behalf. When they screw things up it is not enough to reassure ourselves that things will probably turn out alright and that we have to go through a bit of unrest for good things to happen – “the population living on dole money will probably somehow disappear”. (How? Starve?) We don’t. The great reform was an example of that. We do not NEED revolution for the politicians to get things right and do the right thing. People do not HAVE to suffer as they invariably will because of Gordon Brown. All this is not good and not necessary. Gordon Brown screwed up. He should leave office. Now.

  31. Jaq, completely agree on your account. For the dole people, not to starve though, just put them back to work, there are plenty of things – ‘uncomfortable’ jobs to do; for instance why should we ever need to import carer assisstants, for the nursing homes, from abroad?! We have a good number of unemployed people, if they want to eat they should consider to take any positions available, without thinking if it is comfortable or not.

  32. Glad to see Boris is better than Gordon at taking real-world economics into account and is calling a halt to the London congestion charge zone extension. That will help businesses. The non-Londoner (apart from being charged heavily) was pretty much left out of Ken’s thinking and – strangely enough – non-Londoners don’t like spending time trying to work out if their route includes a congestion charge, figuring out where to pay it (never by unencrypted mobile!!) and then getting a massive car parking charge as well. It’s cheaper to take the Chunnel and have a fun day out in Normandy.

  33. Gill it is great that Boris is listening to the voice of the people regarding the congestion charge zone extension.

    The government could take a leaf from his book and listen to the voice of the people by calling an election and then getting out, WE SHOULD BE SO LUCKY!

  34. Danny wake up, you might learn something.

    With regard to an earlier comment about George Bush Jr. being the most unpopular US President ever, if we were holding a vote here, the most unpopular Prime Minister ever would have to be the disgraced, disgraceful Gordon Brown.

    Never mind Gordon. At least you are first in something.

  35. Purple – I agree with your response but the problem has been mass immigration. We don’t need to import anyone but they’re here!

    Incidentally universities get more money for foreign students and the fact they don’t speak the language seems to be no barrier – I know one student who was doing his degree for 6 years and he still couldn’t speak english. Eventually they passed him for turning up and paying. And colleges get funded from central government for putting on courses like learning english or basic IT. You know, something an immigrat might find useful (and free). Relevant courses for natives cost money.


    uH oH! Looks like Gordon’s plan to establish himself as the world leader of the great economic solution is coming off the rails. It isn’t just the Conservatives who think he is thundering down the wrong track. German Premier Angela Merkel has “attacked his soaring borrowing”. (today’s Standard).

    “In a move that sets up a bruising EU summit in Brussels next month, Mrs. Merkel also appeared to criticise Britain’s VAT cuts and his calls for a huge “fiscal stimulus” to ease the downturn.

    The German Chancellor accused the UK and America of rpeating the mistakes that led the world into its credit chaos. “Excessively cheap money in the US was the driver of today’s crisis” she said. “I am deeply concerned about whether we could find ourselves in five years facing the same crisis.”

    Mr. Brown claims his £20 billion spending package of tax cuts and spending rises funded by an unprecedented increase in borrowing is vital to kickstarting Britain’s economy. He suggests every country is following the UK’s lead.

    But Mrs. Merkel and President Sarkozy rejected a British proposal this week for an EU wide VAT cut.

    Steffen Kampeter, Mrs. Merkel’s budget expert, attacked the hectic crisis management in America and Britain, adding “How good is a policy package if it has to be changed every other week?” ”

    Can’t get a link on this so typed it out in full.

    Is it true that if this spending spree doesn’t do the trick, the next plan is free bingo games for pensioners instead of their pensions and no more social security, they can’t afford it, instead you get five weekly lottery tickets?

  37. I really do admire that in spite of all the massive problems that Boris Johnson has on his plate at the moment, he has found the time to come out fighting pro George Osborne and ante the Gordon latest suicide mission. Boris could easily just get on with what he has to do and God knows that is plenty, but he still wades in to deliver a stinging attack on Crash Gordon.

    William Hague, we love you, but where are you, Ken Clarke has spoken up, Nigel Lawson has given his views, David and George are busting their butts. Other lesser lights have also weighed in. William? Any thoughts at all? Anything?????

  38. Who authorised the arrest of Damien Green? i didn’t see the political programmes last night, all I have caught is Dianne Abbott saying the police would not have acted unless they received the OK at a political level.

    Boris, as Mayor, spoke up against this. (He was notified previously).

    It seems to me that it is the intention of this goverment to conceeal anything they wish to conceal, and to gag anyone who wishes to speak up against them. They are strangling free speech. Look at how Gordon Brown tried to smear and cowe David Cameron when he asked for an independent enquiry on Haringey Council! This seems to be similar to that.

  39. The police story is beginning to look like very peculiar. The BBC had a story this morning with a headline saying the Met Chief was ‘forced to quit’. That story was lower placed than the Damien Green arrest – an arrest that strikes me as being bizarre at best. The fact that Boris had complained in ‘trenchant’ terms before the arrest was made was reported within the story. That may not have cheered the police but presumably they felt he had some right to know as they warned him of the impending arrest rather than reporting to him after the event. They acknowledged a role.

    The Met Chief story has now had its headline as ‘Met Chief warns over mayor’s role’. Sorry BBC, he’s no longer the Met Chief. Sorry, Sir Ian, you had a hefty parting payout and clouding the story that Damien Green was arrested is not good.

  40. What a disaster changing the VAT, do the government not realise that businesses selling goods will have paid the 17.5% on their goods to the taxman and will not be reducing these goods to 15% until they buy new stock in which they will pay 15% on. If they have paid the full vat and if spending is as bad as they say there will be a lot of businesses with plenty of stock they bought for an original value of 17.5%, brilliant work chancellor, let the good times roll.

  41. Gill, absolutely. Labour MP Dianne Abbot said on Andrew Neil’s show last night “Civil servants have been leaking stuff to politicians since the dawn of the photocopier. The Met. would never arrest a member of the public without some form of political cover”.

    Michel Portillo added that in any case, it is in the public interest to know these things, and he also does not believe that Home Office had no prior warning of the arrest.

    The whole thing reeks and Gordon Brown’s expression as he denied knowledge to Adam Boulton in the exclusive SKY interview was bad acting par excellence. I am sorry, I JUST DO NOT BELIEVE IT.

    Gordon’s smile was the frozen smile of the KGB torturer turning up the current. His smile is probably freezing because his situation is far worse that it was two weeks ago. All the headlines are about his chronic spending, not his lordly munificence. Merkel and Sarkozy have whipped the rug from under his feet, and the Tory attack is really biting.

  42. Mr. Cameron, Boris Johnson and the Speaker of the House of Commons, Michael Martin, were all informed about the raid and arrest of Damian Green.

    Are we honestly supposed to believe that Jacqui Smith, our Home Secretary, in whose side Damian Green has been a thorn, knew nothing? Are we supposed to believe that Gordon Brown also was not informed?


  43. We all have a good side and a bad, weak side.

    By recalling Peter Mandelson and Alastair Campbell, Gordon Brown is activating his bad, weak side and far from resurrecting him, they will bring about his ruin.

  44. I bring you good news, brothers and sisters- The Times today says that support for Gordon Brown as the right leader to deal with the recession has fallen sharply over the past fortnight, according to a poll for The Times.

    Peter Mandelson only backs John Sergeant to make himself endearing to the public according to a poll for The Sun. I doubt Mandelson has time to watch TV at all.

  45. danny, there is even more pathetic news than that regarding Labour’s attempts to suck up to and buy off the general public. Apparently, Gordon Brown writes letters to the contestants in X Factor, giving his support, commenting on their performances etc. He wrote to Daniel, (I don’t know what this singer was like) who was then immediately evicted.(THE CURSE OF GORDON STRIKES AGAIN, THANK GOD HE DOESN’T ATTEND SPORTING EVENTS)

    Does Gordon Brown think he is fooling anyone with this sort of ridiculous behaviour?

    Great news about the polls though! it was only a matter of time……


    It was obviously timed to coincide with various news items so they hoped they could get away with their disgusting strong arm intimidatory tactics without too many of the electorate noticing! I HOPE DC BEATS HIM TO A PULP IN THE HOUSE ABOUT THIS AND MY GUESS IS… HE WILL!!

  46. The way this has been handled is an absolute disgrace. To enter Damian Green’s home, rifle through his things, remove all his papers and describe it as a crime scene, to arrest him and question him for 9 hours, this smacks of Nazi Germany.

    As Michael Howard said, if it was illegal to listen to whistle blowers and make use of the information they provided, Gordon Brown would have spent half his life in jail. There is footage of him smirking and talking about a mole giving him information that “was in the public interest”.

    We do not want such a despicable man as our Prime Minister. Boris Johnson’s judgment in getting rid of Sir Ian Blair (it all happened on the last day of Sir Ian’s tenure) has been totally vindicated, except that we all knew how right he was before.


    This is an outrage.

  47. This is far far too heavy handed and a total abuse of government power.

    What are the Opposition and angry critics from other parties, INCLUDING THE LABOUR PARTY, going to do to defend democracy, because they should do something?

  48. I do not believe that the Home Office and Gordon Brown had no knowledge of the arrest of Damian Green. Why are the Home Office keeping the civil service who has not yet been arrested under their “protection” for his own good?

    And all this on the last day of Sir Ian Blair’s tenure as head of the Met?

    This is all totally out of order and something radical should be done to prevent such undemocratic bullying every happening again. How can Gordon Brown and Jacqui Smith treat the country like fools and deny they had prior knowledge of these events?

  49. Angela, do you know who the spin doctor Mandelson and Gordon are using is?

    Is it Sarah Brown- because they used her at the Labour Conference and at the Glenrothes by-election campaign and thought they could do it again using the same method?

    It’s so comical, fake and unsincere.

  50. Excellent, Boris! First time I’ve looked at your blog and you have hit the nail on the head. What a scandal, though, about two-thirds of the jobs created since 1997 have been in the public sector… no wonder final salary pensions are no longer viable!
    I thoroughly agree with your views about using other ways to stimulate the economy – unfortunately those very measures were given short shrift and we’ll be looking down the barrel of an economic gun in 12 months and Gordon’s hole will be his political coffin and the wake will be utter penury for many.

  51. Hi, yes I’m gay and proud of it. I don’t know who the spin doctor is, but i do know that Alastair campbell is back as an “Advisor” and when he was asked oh SKY t.v. if he was getting paid, he replied “not to my knowledge”.

  52. I didn’t think that the Labour Party could possibly sink any lower in my estimation, but with the treatment of Damian Green and their responses to questions about it, they have managed it.

  53. You too Mr. B. x

    Mr. B. I was talking to “I’m gay and I’m proud of it” or was this a windup, if so I am laughing.

    ps. On the other hand, Martina Navratilova looks pretty damn good!

  54. Oh wonderful! This is off-topic but so symptomatic of this government that I’m sharing it: baked beans (in the original ring-pull top tin) destined as a present are officially an offensive liquid when travelling by plane. And yes, the government is ultimately responsible for the restrictions but no doubt they will blame BAA.

  55. Gill, there are so many things wrong with this country since the Labour Party came into power, I wonder anyone can eat anything without feeling nauseous.

    Sir Robert Peel, the founder of the Metropolitam Police, who became Home Secretary in 1822, in the reign of Queen Victoria, must be turning in his grave!

  56. ‘Dark arts’ Mandleson & Brown’s mutual glee is shown in photos. As sinister as Darth Vader’s ‘chortlings’ in his war on decency and civil liberties.

  57. angela,

    I agree … Sir Ian Blair’s untimely sacking followed in a short time by a ‘paramilitary’ style raid on the ‘mother of all Parliaments’. As the saying goes, ‘to control the troops, you must first shoot their commander’ …..

  58. Well, on the economic front, did you expect anything different from the Labour party? Always a party of spend now, borrow later, and let the next Government sort out the problems. Nothing has changed has it? Brown is now finishing off what Harold Wilson couldn’t: the destruction of the United Kingdom’s monetary system. Why is it we always get complete idiots running this country? And how long before Brown is ousted from his seat? Not very long in my opinion. At least, before the next English Civil War breaks out I hope!

  59. Hi Boris

    All this discussion is fine but irrelevant to us.

    Doing the right thing is pretty easy. Just do it!

    kind regards

    Rohan Tillekeratne

    57 years old

  60. What William Wallace failed to do to England with the sword Brown is doing by tax and stealth. He is, of course, only carrying on where Blair left off!
    He is enjoying himself sending all our money back home, and should be treated like an illegal immigrant.

  61. Dear Boris,

    The weekend begins with another hostile call from my left-wing friends. Woolworths is gone, but Newcastle United are still solvent, they claim. I’d read your article, and asked how the laboratory rats were doing. Apparently they don’t just stand in the wrong place these days, they play for the wrong team. I asked whether this meant the Catholics, but they mumbled something about the ‘Timelords’ and rang off. There must be hope there, they’re not often lost for words.

    Though you haven’t done that badly in your analysis of Labour’s election 2.5% VAT cut, the end of boom-and-bust, you may need to be reminded of some of the other issues. What about the 44 billion pounds of Labour borrowed debt, you could repeat that a few times? Brown isn’t like a sherry-crazed dowager, he is like a cold-blooded murderous psychopath, like the rest of his colleagues. Unless I somehow missed 100,000 civilian deaths in the Falklands Conflict, when Argentine forces led by ‘dirty war’ criminals invaded British territory? I’d also suggest you avoid firefighters as a motif, the Conservatives remain awful in terms of media literacy, try foot-and-mouth instead. It’s more obvious.

    Outside Newcastle and Scotland, people hate Fraudon Brown and grumble that they didn’t get to vote on decimalisation either, and within the decade we ended up in the IMF. What they don’t realise is the simplicity of his scheme, if the banks make bad loans to Arctic Ocean Bubble schemes the state makes bad loans to them. So instead of the pipedream of the ‘stakeholder democracy’ we get Gresham’s vision of the ‘fraudholder democracy’. If we built 200 aircraft carriers for the money then at least we could link them across the channel for a second ‘Things Can Only Get Better’ party- it would be psychotic but there’d be work in the shipyards, better than sponsoring a hundred thousand Indian call centres. Where the blind dine on court investigations into their own DNA, the one-eyed man is a goat-legged pitchfork wielder. Five hundred billion pounds- but is Cameron sure that it isn’t just some awesomely expensive trick to support the Newcastle Quayside renovation and Labour’s election advertising…?

    Bloody good work on that rotter Blair, before the police could get their bloke onto Celebrity Big Brother, thanks.

    Best wishes,



Comments are closed.