Gordon in Commons, But Not for Constituents

The last piece of business in the House before half term tomorrow will be an Adjournment Debate by the member for Kirkcaldy and Cowdenbeath. Dropping in for a rare ten minute speech, you might have thought the former Prime Mentalist would be standing up for his oft abandoned constituents, who don’t see very much of their wayward MP. Nope.

Gordon will be speaking in the Commons about educating Syrian refugees which, while a noble cause, is a little convenient given that he is currently fundraising under that banner. When he’s not globe-trotting as UN Envoy for Education (which essentially consists of having his photo taken with Malala a lot) Gordon is coining it on the speech circuit. His rare appearances in Parliament should be to represent the interests of his constituents rather than to wangle money out of the British government for his latest pet project. Using Parliament as a begging bowl is beneath even him.

EXC: Gordon Brown Office Has £10,000-a-Week “Expenses” Raises Over £3 Million, Gives Less Than £1 Million to Charity

  • Office of Gordon and Sarah Brown has £10,000-a-week expenses
  • Not a registered charity, two thirds of funds raised spent on expenses
  • Less than  £1 million given to charity out of over £3 million raised
  • Vanity project lets  Gordon and Sarah enjoy jet-set premier life-style of first class flights and five star hotels

Gordon Brown has since leaving Downing Street raised over £3 million to support charitable projects yet has given less than a £1 million to charity. Nearly three-quarters of the money raised has gone on his office and globe-trotting travel expenses that run at over £10,000-a-week – allowing Brown to vainly swan around in Davos like old times. Gordon Brown always insists that he does not profit from the arrangement and that all the income goes either directly to charities or to support other charitable public service projects.

The Office of Gordon and Sarah Brown is not a registered charity, it is a private limited company. Guido’s investigation reveals – by piecing together some 133 declarations made in Gordon Brown’s parliamentary register of interests – a picture of the until now private accounts since the company was set up by Sarah. Brown has declared to parliament that the total amount paid to the company since 2010 is £3,605,197. According to a recent announcement on the company’s website, only £912,702 has so far been given to charity after three years. Leaving over £2 million to be accounted for when according to the latest available records the company had only £160,978 in cash at the bank. You can see an itemised spreadsheet compiled from Guido’s investigations here.

The company admits it budgets £550,000-a-year for expenses to meet salaries, accommodation costs and staff expenses. Gordon can be paid as much as $100,000 for a single speech in America to investors at finance conferences. By funnelling his speaker fees through the company he does not have to pay tax on the income, even though it covers the £10,000-a-week expenses for Gordon and Sarah to maintain the jet-set premier lifestyle they were accustomed to when in Downing Street, travelling first class around the world and staying in top five star hotels attended to by flunkies. Something Gordon would not be able to do on his backbench MP’s salary…

Gordon Plotting By-Election With Balls
Shadow Chancellor Lovebombs Clegg, Who Hates Him

Leaving aside the naked positioning and re-writing of history by Ed Balls in his New Statesman interview, there was one line that the fearless interviewer did not pick up on. When asked when the Shadow Chancellor last spoke to his political father Gordon Brown, Balls replied: “he actually emailed me today about a by-election coming up in the next couple of weeks”. Well we are certainly overdue one in Kirkcaldy and Cowdenbeath…

The other line that made Guido chuckle was Balls’ claim:

“I can disagree with Nick Clegg on some of the things he did but I’ve no reason to doubt his integrity, we’ve never, I don’t think, ever had a cross word.”

Which will come as news to the Deputy Prime Minister, who said over Christmas:

“I always try to keep a good sense of humour, and if I have an argument with someone to keep the argument about what the argument is about and not allow it too often to become sort of personal. I make one exception, for a man named Ed Balls. But other than that I try not to make it about insults and stuff.”

Well we can forgive him that…

McMental: I Saved the World But No One Listened

Gordon Brown has taken the time to represent the people of Kirkcaldy in the pages of the New York Times. Like a drunk shouting on a park bench about the apocalypse, Gordon’s new line is that he saved the world but nobody was listening:

“In early October 2008, three weeks after the Lehman Brothers collapse, I met in Paris with leaders of the countries in the euro zone. Oblivious to the global dimension of the financial crisis, they took the view that if there was fallout for Europe, America would be to blame — so it would be for America to fix. I was unable to convince them that half of the bundled subprime-mortgage securities that were about to blow up had landed in Europe and that euro-area banks were, in fact, more highly leveraged than America’s.”

Remember kids, Gordon “not only saved the world, but we saved the banks too.” Yes, the food banks…

Oh Dear Sarah

That curse must be contagious… 

Via everyone.

“Ex-Politician” Gordon Paid £349,501 in One Month

No wonder the Prime Mentalist has forgotten he is still an MP. In October alone he has declared payments for outside work of £349,501, including for speeches and junkets to Shanghai, Johannesburg, Monaco and New York. As ever Gordon warns the press:

“I am not receiving any money from this role personally. It is being held by the Office of Gordon and Sarah Brown for the employment of staff to support my ongoing involvement in public life.”

Presumably that’s the “ongoing involvement in public life” he cannot remember he is still supposed to be doing.

That “office” flies Gordon around the world first class and puts him up in five star hotels, refuses to disclose how much it gives to charity, how much it pays Sarah Brown, how much is sitting in its bank account for when he finally quits. Who does he think he’s kidding…

WATCH: Gordon Brown Forgets He is an MP

Gordon Brown, speaking to Mishal Husain and the Queen of Jordan in Qatar today, reveals he sees himself as an “ex-politician”. Someone should tell the people of Kirkcaldy and Cowdenbeath…

Prime Mentalist Going Loco Down in Acapulco

Parliament has a full schedule this week, so of course Gordon is instead jetting off to a Mexican party town to address a conference on the financial crisis. He has clearly brought the Curse of Jonah with him. Just this week Acapulco has been battered by storms and heavy flooding, if that wasn’t enough CNN reports on its recent “economic devastation”. It is also reportedly set to go bankrupt. Hurricane Jonah strikes again…

Gordon Confronted About McBride

Gordon’s alive!

And he’s been spotted on the fringe…

…of the United Nations General Assembly:

[…]

+ READ MORE +

Where’s Gordon?

An MP sitting in the chamber texts to confirm the former Prime Minister is not present for a debate on a major international crisis that could ultimately result in British troops being committed to military action.[…]

+ READ MORE +

Gordon’s Alive!

Perfectly timed as Ed goes for MPs with second jobs, the Prime Mentalist will speak in the House this evening for just the third time in the last year:

ADJOURNMENT DEBATE

Until 7.30pm or for half an hour (whichever is

[…]

+ READ MORE +

Where’s Ed Balls?

When the going got tough, Gordon Brown would pull his favourite Macavity trick and disappear. It seems his prodigy Ed Balls has learnt exactly the same trick. There has been a lot of grumbling over the weekend in Labour circles […]

+ READ MORE +



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Quote of the Day

Tim Farron is asked by GQ how he will be remembered:

“I won’t be. So there’s no point in worrying about how you’d like to be remembered at all.”

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