You Needn’t Make It Up

Yesterday Guido was bombarded with emails from one outraged and perhaps over-emotional Labour spinner accusing him of making up the story about staffers being invited to pad out the Congrssional chamber. So for their benefit here is an excerpt from this morning’s Washington Post:
…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.

How Many Standing Ovations Will Congress Give Brown?

Guido never tires of reminding his Labour minded friends that they got rid of a three-time election winning political genius and replaced him with Gordon Brown. They took a leader who instinctively understood the dynamics of a personal or political situation and replaced Blair with a man who suffers from social autism and an unceasing ability to make himself look an embarrassing twat.

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.

Prize Competition : 
What is the White House Head of Protocol Thinking?

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.

The wittiest entry in the comments describing what she is thinking wins a copy of John Laughland’s A History of Political Trials: From Charles I to Saddam Hussein and a copy of The Big Red Book of New Labour Sleaze. Entries close midday Friday.

Via Nigel Fletcher from the Downing Street Flickr feed. Many thanks to the Downing Street digital team for this, you are not a complete waste of taxpayers money after all.

Flashback : Brown Visits America – 2008 v 2009

2008 Gordon lands in America in the morning and the dollar crashes to an all time historic low by lunchtime:

2009 Gordon lands in Washington and the Dow crashes to an historic low by teatime:

Once again the Jonah effect is felt transatlantic, God punishes all those who come into contact with the accursed one-eyed son of the manse.

Mr Brown Goes to Washington

This is pure comedy; Ben Brogan reflects on the gift of a pencil holder (?) made from wood from HMS Gannet:

…I wonder what Mr Obama will make of the fact that the only action it saw was in Sudan when it shelled rebels against the British empire. He’s also getting Sir Martin Gilbert’s seven volume biography of Churchill, which will help him find out more about how the Mau-Mau were successfully suppressed in Kenya by the British Emp… Oh, I’m sure it will be fine.

It was of course Churchill who ordered the suppression of the Mau Mau rebellion in Kenya in the 1950s; Obama’s grandfather was detained as a subversive for six months at that time. Hopefully Obama will see the funny side. Already in Washington, Adam Boulton said yesterday that

… observers will be on the look out for any hint of a patronising slight from the President. For example Downing Street is hoping for a joint news conference with the President as was routine with Bush and Clinton…

On landing outside snowbound Washington after a 7 hour transatlantic flight, while Brown was getting his post-flight make-up done onboard, the rest of the Lobby learnt there is to be no press conference with Obama.

Brogan says there will just be

… a quick question or two on the fly, not the standing podium-to-podium with the Messiah image that Mr Brown imagined. The joint presser is usually a given on these trips, so this is odd.

Over at the Telegraph Toby Harnden mocks

Mr Brown might be forgiven for thinking that his friend, rival and predecessor Tony Blair would not have been treated the same way by his bosom buddy President George W. Bush. After all, there are 132 rooms in the White House at least some of which, presumably, are currently be free of snow.

On the other hand, President Obama is terribly busy this Tuesday. The White House schedule tells us that he is delivering remarks at the Department of Transportation to deliver remarks about the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act and is also speaking at the Department of Interior to mark its 160th anniversary.

There’s a conflab with Pentagon chief Bob Gates. Oh, and Mr Obama will also meet “a delegation from the Boy Scouts of America and receive their 2008 Report to the Nation” in the Oval Office.

Mr Brown might lament that despite the so-called “special relationship” Britain is now getting the same treatment as the President of Uruguay but he need not despair. I’m told there’s a chance he might get drinks with Vice President Joe Biden on Tuesday evening.

The Boy Scouts of America obviously are better prepared than the Downing Street boys…

Jonah Goes to Washington: Ill Wind Blows From the EastStorm Strikes Capital, Dow Falls Below 7,000

Jonah Brown Sinks Southampton

Gordon’s visit to Southampton is not without casulties:

42 dock workers are to be axed at ABP … equivalent to 10% of the workforce … from across all sectors and will include senior managers … Trade in key areas has “dropped like a stone”… The jobs blow comes hard on the heels of a succession of bad news for hard-hit dockworkers and just days after Prime Minister Gordon Brown hailed the port as “one of the most important parts of the economy”

Source Daily Echo

A worried student co-conspirator has just emailed:

Dear Guido,
Just thought you might want to know Gordon turned up unannounced at Oxford University today to deliver the annual Romanes lecture, titled ‘Science and the Economy’. Despite beginning by talking about the fact Gladstone put more effort into researching and writing his Romanes Lecture than anything else he did in his life, Gordon’s lecture was the dullest of SpAd-written drivel. He also told a completely bullshit story about Einstein and his chauffeur (debunked here), even having the cheek to set it in Britain, adding to the lie. Finally, and no doubt striking fear into the heart of the audience, he invoked the curse of Jonah by praising Oxford’s scientific achievement and hoping it continues into the future. Will we ever discover anything again? I’d be surprised if the University’s still here this time next year after that endorsement!

 

Guido will be cheering Ireland on in the rugby tomorrow. England fans should note that on Wednesday the England rugby team visited Downing Street. Diplomatically he didn’t wish them luck (Scotland are in also in the six nations).

 

But frankly the Jonah curse is on our side…

Osborne : Brown is a "Walter Mitty"

Osborne has once again come close to saying what many in Westminster think – the PM is at the very least delusional, if not bonkers.

The FT reports Gordon’s fantasy that the tripartite regulatory system worked and is being copied around the world. Osborne clearly could not bite his lip, retorting that Gordon is “still living in his Walter Mitty world where his system of banking regulation didn’t fail, where boom-and-bust had been abolished and where Britain is best placed to withstand the recession”.

Just say it straight : Brown is Bonkers.

Kawcznyski Irony

Daniel Kawczynski, the tallest MP in the house, who handed over a constituent’s letter to the police without a warrant, is blaming one of his interns for what happened with the police. His wife is pushing him to fire

[…]

+ READ MORE +

Jonah Brown Mini-Curse

Guido thought the BMW Mini plant was doomed back when Gordon met the works apprentices. However production struggled on until last Thursday when the curse was doubled. Gordon signed a Mini for a charity photo-opportunity. Four days later:

BMW

[…]

+ READ MORE +

Gordon’s Depression Slip

At PMQs Brown said: “We should agree as a world on a monetary and fiscal stimulus that will take the world out of r… depression.”

Like when he said he had “saved the world”, it gives an insight into what

[…]

+ READ MORE +

It’s For You! Brown’s Accidental Tinkle

BBC Davos Blog said…

0947 Gordon Brown looked angry when it turned out some dope had forgotten to turn off his mobile phone during his G20 talk – until the red-faced British PM found out it was his handset ringing.

[…]

+ READ MORE +



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