Wounded at home … wanted a news conference… got a low key meeting … didn’t seem to mind being the American President’s poodle …. Brown is desperate … the President pointedly didn’t make any promises about a global new deal…
This was on left-leaning CNN, Fox News basically ignored Brown. That went well didn’t it?
It was Wanless who failed in his responsibility to rein in that reckless gambling.
The government’s holding company, UK Financial Investments Ltd, is the majority shareholder in both RBS and Northern Rock. Based on the pensions data below, the taxpaying public as shareholders are funding a £14 million plus pension for Wanless. Does Brown think his friend Derek Wanless should be so rewarded given his catastrophic failure in his responsibility to exercise oversight of the risk?
Graphic credit : Paul Waugh
*Based on standard 20 x multiple.
*NatWest merged with RBS.
+++ More to Follow +++
UPDATE 12.00 : At this mornings Lobby briefing when asked about the City minister’s alleged pension links with RBS, the Prime Minister’s spokesman said: “It is not for me to comment on a minister’s personal financial interests.” Why not? After all, the taxpayers are paying for it.
…Several dozen members of Congress skipped the speech. Their seats in the chamber were taken by House and Senate staff and other guests.
According to the office of the House clerk, Brown’s appearance marked the 107th time a foreign leader or dignitary has addressed a joint meeting of Congress, going back to 1874 when King David Kalakaua of Hawaii gave an address.
No need for an apology.
UPDATE : From the Indy this morning;
Boy Scouts Swell the Clapping Crowds
It was all hands on deck with congressional aides ensuring the chamber was packed. Minutes before the session began, Senator Byron Dorgan of North Dakota led a knot of young aides and interns down the corridors of the Capitol. They were joined by a scout troop and other staffers brought in to fill empty spaces.
Finally Gordon Brown entered the chamber to resounding applause, reaching to greet members on both sides of the aisle like old friends. Many were. Mr Brown has spent decades cultivating the top political leadership of the Democratic party. It was the political version of This Is Your Life and he basked in the glory of it.
Gordon is not exactly a room filler…
On Wednesday, March 4, 2009 at 11:00 a.m., The Right Honorable Gordon Brown, Prime Minister of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, will address a Joint Meeting of Congress. Permanent Congressional staff who are appropriately attired and displaying a Congressional ID will be permitted to attend the speech as space allows.
Permanent Congressional staff may begin assembling in the Hall of Columns (first floor of The Capitol near the South Door) at 10:00 a.m. Chamber security staff will seat Congressional staff on the House floor as space allows. Chiefs of Staff should proceed to the front of the staff line in the Hall of Columns and identify themselves as such so they may be seated first.
Should you have questions or need additional information, please contact the Office of the Sergeant at Arms office at 224-2341.
How embarrassing that they have to pack the chamber with staffers…
The Americans are a polite and courteous people, they will undoubtedly give Brown a standing ovation. Congress however is not an audience that can be manipulated by party apparatchiks and placemen “spontaneously” clapping. Nevertheless when Blair turned on the charm and upped the oratory to the US Congress they gave him 19 standing ovations. How many standing ovations do you think Gordon will receive?
UPDATE : Those young staffer’s legs have a lot of energy in them. By Gordon’s standards that was one of his better speeches. Guido counted even the half-hearted stand-ups ,making it 17, BBC reckons 18. Adam Boulton reckoned only half-a-dozen or so proper standing ovations.
The Prime Mentalist arrived at the White House yesterday and was welcomed by Gladys Boluda, who as the US State Department’s Chief of Protocol, is too polite to point out to Gordon that he was about to meet the most powerful man on the planet with his trousers tucked into his sock.
They gave her the benefit of the doubt. Spelman ironically contradicted herself in her own evidence and shot herself in the foot. [Full report here.]
Mrs Spelman told us that Mrs Haynes “would have been most interested in the take-home pay received for her employment as a whole.” In our view, this does not help Mrs Spelman’s case. Rather, it tends to support the Commissioner’s view that Mrs Haynes would have been unlikely to have worked as Mrs Spelman’s nanny without some separate financial remuneration. The fact that Mrs Haynes was paid nothing as Mrs Spelman’s nanny while she was also working and being paid as Mrs Spelman’s administration assistant, but after giving up the latter role was paid a salary as nanny of £13,000, is in our view telling.
Many would say that just demonstrates what a poor advocate she is, others would say she was just being honest. Nevertheless she hired her own nanny subsequently at the rate she was previously paying Tina Haynes out of our taxes.
Guido regards this as a victory over the piggies, it established the principle that wrongfully claimed expenses – even if “inadvertently” claimed – must be repaid. Take note Jacqui. So now what do we do about the Wintertons?
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A ‘senior Conservative party official’ passes judgement on Theresa May:
“She is boring. A technocrat. She is Philip Hammond with a fanny. Not interesting, but rendered interesting by circumstance. And that circumstance is that she is a woman. And in an age when the Prime Minister gets it in the neck for refusing to wear a fucking T-shirt that says he is a feminist, that is a rocket boost right underneath you.”