Money well spent…
Money well spent…
It does say at the top of this page “rumours and conspiracy”. File this theory under conspiracy. Shriti is the most loyal of Brownies, you would expect her to remain in the bunker with the dear leader until the bitter end, so why is she going to a non-existent G20 secretariat job?
Paul Waugh’s cynical thought is: “has Shriti quit as a minister today because that allows her to continue working for Gordon without actually being covered by ministerial rules?” Thereby avoiding the six month ‘cooling off’ period before she can take up lucrative private sector jobs come the defeat. Tsk, tsk, tsk.
Guido’s alternative theory derives from the knowledge that Gordon has always fancied beefing up the international financial architecture, and would crave a legacy of that kind. Given the disastrous state of the British economy, the idea that he would go to the IMF is laughable, the IMF is more likely to have to come to British shores. The OECD prefers trained economists who understand econometrics rather than merely how to fiddle the figures. The World Bank is a possible career direction for Gordon, though it has a focus on project finance and global development.
The G20, if it was beefed up, would provide Gordon with a bolt-hole. He could spin that he is off to save the world, it includes India, China and Brazil, so lots of very important travel would come with the job. He could give himself the task of setting up structures to rival the IMF and World Bank. Give the G20 a remit to review global financial regulation, or as Gordon prefers to call it, the “global financial architecture” and he could save face, busying himself saving the world.
That would solve a huge headache for Mandelson – where to put Gordon before the election – it would appeal to the vanity of the Prime Mentalist, building a global quango allowing him to tell everyone he was “getting on with a big job”.
The first step would be to send Shriti, his trusted emissary, to lay the groundwork. Does anyone really believe the Koreans are incapable of taking on the chairmanship of the G20 without the shrieking Shriti’s advice? Korea is a major developed economy. They have hosted the Olympics so surely they could organise an agenda and haute cuisine menus for a couple of conference summits and a few photo-ops on their own?
Is the loyal Shriti merely puffing the pillows for a new seat for Gordon at the G20? Do you think Gordon is mentally prepared to courageously face his biggest, in some senses first, electoral test knowing it is doomed. Will he wish to lead Labour to the greatest swing against the party in electoral history or do you think he will do his usual Macavity trick?
Dodgy Serbian non-solicitors, Tongans tricking Attorney-Generals and much, much more to come. Is it any wonder that Max Clifford has arrived on the scene? All this just in time for Labour Conference. Gordon has expressed his full confidence in the Baroness.
Excellent news, remember how Max Clifford was around for the scandals at the end of the Major regime. He is the politico-media equivalent of the undertaker.
UPDATE : There are questions as to the status and paperwork for Alexander Zivancevic. UKBA having problems establishing his right to residence. Oh dear…
UPDATE II : UKBA have now established Zivancevic was born in Hammersmith in 1968.
Andrew Sparrow is chasing a rumour that Shriti Vadera, a trusted loyalist Brownie is quitting. HMS Gordon Brown will be like the Marie Celeste at this rate. Although credible rumours abound that Alastair Campbell will be joining the ship for the election campaign. No doubt bringing his moral compass with him…
Obama swerved no fewer than five requests from Downing Street to hold a bilateral meeting either at the UN in New York or at the G20 summit starting in Pittsburgh today. Obama himself was in New York to deliver a speech to the UN. Brown’s own speech to the UN was delivered to a half-empty auditorium.
Brown is paying a price for encouraging the release of the Lockerbie bomber…
UPDATE : Downing Street is denying the story and briefing that the two leaders had already had one “wide-ranging discussion”. Here is where it gets comical. The “wide-ranging discussion” appears to have taken place in a kitchen at the UN.
Guido thinks it might have gone something like this:
Gordon: Mr President could you pass the salt?
Barack : Sure. How is Tony?
Gordon : He’s fine I imagine. Nice weather you are having for this time of year.
Barack : Gotta go. Enjoy your tofu. Tell David I’ll see him next year. See you in Pittsburgh.
UPDATE II : Despite invitations to all, only one American banker turned up to a meeting with the man who “saved the world” and the global banking system. How ungrateful of them.
Rumour going around that the first Gordon knew about this resignation was live on BBC Radio Five:
10 Downing Street
23 September 2009
Dear Gordon Brown
It is with considerable personal regret that I find myself writing to inform you of my decision to resign my positions as PPS to several ministers, principally the Solicitor General.
My decision comes about because as an aide to the Law Officers, whilst I have great personal regard for the Attorney General, I cannot support the decision which allows her to remain in office.
In my view the facts of the case do not matter. It is the principle which counts, particularly at a time when the publics’ trust of Whitehall is uncertain to say the least. We have to be seen to be accountable.
In addition, could I just mention matters of policy where I believe leadership is vital.
On the constitution: We must legislate to offer a referendum on how we elect Members of the House of Commons. We must finish off reform of the House of Lords. Generally, I would urge you to move as quickly as possible to withdraw from Afghanistan and to signal a change in our position over Trident replacement.
Finally, on the economy, the Government is to be congratulated upon its clear-sighted and effective response to the downturn. You have my continued support in your resistance to David Cameron’s myopic and siren calls for an “Age of Austerity”. My constituents benefit greatly from using our much-improved public services and they would not wish to see these jeopardised nor have our continued economic recovery put in doubt.
With best wishes
Stephen Hesford MP
Lord Mandelson — who knows a thing or two about being sacked from the cabinet in the middle of a front page scandal — says of the Baroness “You have to inform yourself properly before rushing to judgment. That’s what the Prime Minister has done…”
Bookies William Hill are offering odds of 9/4 that the Attorney General, Baroness Scotland, will resign or be sacked before the end of this year.
The headlines don’t look very good for her.
Andrew Rawnsley has resigned as editor-in-chief of PoliticsHome:
I became Editor-in-Chief on the basis that PoliticsHome was dedicated to being a non-partisan site clearly independent of any party both editorially and financially. It was essential for users of the site