(That's Gordon's 'GOATS' to you and me)
Watching Allistair Darling doing a passable impression of a 'dead man dead', yesterday, it sort of struck me just what a group of talentless losers Gordon Brown's Cabinet actually are. Far from being the much heralded 'Government of all the Talents' - they are little more than a gang of remedial no-opinioned school boys, hanging on every growly-voweled word and control-freaked diktat of the Great Leader. Darling, Balls, Cooper, Miliband and the rest would more at home in short pants and reading the Beano rather than delving into government boxes..... None of them has a decent original thought between them.
Aside from the LostCDGate scandal, the list of woes has an air of calamitous government about it. Who knows, someone might just invent a new word for the English (sorry, British) language that will sort of define a complete balls up on a monumental scale. "Oh dear, you appear to have made an utter Brown of that, haven't you?"
Brown's dithering fingerprints are all over the Northern Rock debacle. Last week, super-special, Brown-appointed security expert Sir Alan West dramatically changes his mind in the space of half an hour and a brief 'chat' with his Boss over the question of how long terror suspects should be detained prior to charges being brought. Apparently, his proclaimation that he didn't believe in detention of more than 28 days was a 'misquote' - even though he said it live on Radio 4.
At the weekend, Foreign Secretary David Miliband's big new speech on Europe got the red pen treatment from Gordon Brown. Rather embarrassingly, it was only altered after the Foreign Office had circulated the original to the country's news agencies. Last week, Jacqui Smith, our chunky Home Secretary and part-time Rugby League prop forward, stood at the Despatch Box and told us about the 20,000 illegal immigrant security guards working for the state. Apparently, the reason why she didn't tell us about it in July was because she wanted to work out what to do about it first.(And she managed to say all that with a straight face!)
This Summer's Surrey Foot and Mouth outbreak was tracked down to a leaking underground pipe from a Government research laboratory. The pipe was due to be replaced a couple of years previously, but budget cuts from Brown's Treasury to government agency Defra meant that the pipe was left to corrode, fracture and contaminate....
The north of England floods, occurring just days after Brown's coronation, was a complete balls up. The Prime Minister had barely appointed his new team of special regional ministers for England, yet Caroline Flint the minister responsible for the flooded area did nothing for over 2 weeks. Only when the great God Gordon cruised into town in his big flashy 4 be 4, dodging the beached sofas and flat-pack flotsam did Flint show her brassy boat.
Gordon, ever the prudent fool - especially where northern English folk are concerned, pledged a pathetic 14 million quid for 'relief'. Caroline Flint, standing a respectful 5 paces behind, swooned in adoration. The guy from Hull council rolled his eyes and complained that the damage ran into many hundreds of millions of pounds - and that 14 crappy million was not even loose change.....
Then there was Immigration Minister, Liam Byrne's performance on 'The Daily Politics' last week. Anchorman, Andrew Neil first pulled all his legs off, then his wings, then stamped him into the concrete. Byrne could not, would not admit to official figures of immigration published by his very own department. Byrne could not, would not admit to anything, full stop. He blathered and said "errrr" a lot. After 10 minutes of relentless questioning, Byrne's excuse for not knowing anything much about immigration was because he had left his folder at the office.
He knew the figures all right - the only problem was that he couldn't actually say anything of note, just in case a member of the Gordiban was in the wings, taking notes.
Brown's performance at the Despatch Box since he took over from Blair has been woeful. His body language, his shaking fists, his forced insincere gurning grins, his inability to tell a decent joke, his crap excuses for not knowing his facts ("The honourable gentleman forgets that I have only been in the job for 5 days") - and the complete inability to give Cameron any kind of body swerve is embarrassing to watch. - Second only to the passive reaction of Speaker Fat-Man Mick Martin as he allows Brown to ignore answering the same question asked 4 times in a row. ...
There is really no doubt about it, Brown is a political sociopath. A man devoid of any human interaction and warmth. He trusts no one - certainly enough to allow him or her to make a decision. Gordon doesn't do delegation or sincerity. He tries so hard to act the part of the conviction politician, but that is failing also - if you look closely, you can see the trowelled-on make-up is running...
All this was confirmed on Sunday night with the first part of the TV trilogy 'The Blair Years' on BBC 1.
Blair was interviewed about his relationship with Brown. He sat there, 'doing' sincerity like only Tone can do, resplendent in his newly rediscovered Bambie-esque persona, trying his very 'hardest' to defend the Heath Robinson hard-wire that is the world of Brown - but in spite of his very best efforts, the control freakery of the puppet master from number 11 just shone through.
Machiavellian, borgian, iagoian, uriah-heepien, hissing-sydian - Brown was all of these and more. A man absolutely obsessed with being head cohoanie of Great Britain Limited. The schemer of schemers, the man who told Blair "When the fuck are you going to fuck off out of here, so I can have the job?" was at the centre of virtually every Blair initiative. Most government decisions of the time seemed to revolve around whether Gordon would free up the cash - and when 'stuff happened' Brown always seemed to be able to be somewhere else as Blair got roasted......
Well, it's all coming home to roost now. There is nowhere to run and hide for Gordon. The shit has hit the plastic English football fan - and what's more, it's sticking. That's the trouble with assembling a team of yes-people around you, Gordon - they are selected on the premise that they will be docile sheep rather than talented decision makers - and when things go tits up, they cannot cope.
But can you? Or will you continue to rely on your 'Government of all the sycophants' - the 'GOATS' to manage things?