Chinese speaking Rudd also said he had a prior appointment and would not be receiving the flame personally. “We will not be having Chinese security forces, or the Chinese security services, providing security for the torch when it is in Australia. We – Australia – will be providing that security.”
Downing Street’s spin machine went into over-drive to conceal what will look like a bad error of judgement by Gordon. The official line is, implausibly, that David Pitt-Watson has contractual duties which preclude him starting before the Labour Party’s annual conference in September. Guido has confirmed that this is far from true.
No. 10 has been desperately searching for a face-saving way out of the embarrassing situation for the last week. The person selected and championed by Gordon in the face of opposition by traditionalists has decided he doesn’t want the job. The Brownies plan is to maintain the pretence that David Pitt-Watson is to be Labour’s new General Secretary until after the party conference. At which time an excuse will be found and the acting General Secretary, Chris Lennie, will slip into the post. As preparations for civil war post Mayor Boris advance they couldn’t even keep that from leaking to bloggers….
YouGov asked voters who they would choose from a list of politicians “at the peak of their powers” to be prime minister. Maggie Thatcher was the most popular with 27% wanting her back.
Brown was unpopular even among Labour voters: 43% of whom wanted Blair back, even Tony Benn was wanted by 17% of the party’s voters, Brown was the first choice of only 10% of Labour voters.
The line from Gordon that he didn’t touch the torch itself is characteristically cowardly. He should have had nothing to do with the event in the current circumstances. It should not have been accorded full political honours.
No need to dip into the £137,000 salary paid to the worst Speaker in living memory. It might be legal, it still stinks. The Speaker is overseeing the investigation into parliamentary expense padding, no wonder he wants to hide the truth from us. What will it take to shift the fiddler-in-chief?
Downing Street’s spin-master Stephen Carter realises that, much to Guido’s satisfaction, the “PM is a twat” meme is gaining popular traction. Vince Cable vocalised what even Labour MPs think – the PM is a Mr Bean style nerd. It is one thing to be feared as a malevolent weirdo, another thing to be derided. So we now have the appointment of an ex-BBC producer, Nicola Burdett, 35, “to stop the embarrassing photographs and television footage that risk turning Brown into a figure of fun”.
An impossible task. Too late. People are already laughing down the pub at Gordon picking his nose on a mobile phone viral video.
UPDATE : Makes you proud don’t it? 19 heads of state met Britain’s Prime Minister looking like this…
Whatever Progressive Governance is, it’s not about freedom and democracy.
Dec 2003 IMF gives Brown borrowing warning
Sep 2005 IMF report warning over £1 trillion mountain of debt
Sep 2005 Brown besieged over growth and borrowing plans
Dec 2005 IMF fires new warning over Britain’s finances
Sep 2006 IMF warns over UK property crash
Oct 2007 IMF report UK house market is ‘heading for crash’
Apr 2008 IMF: UK vulnerable to US-style housing slump
Andrew Grice in the Indy this morning tells us why:
There was an embarrassing hiccup before Gordon’s arrival: the logo for today’s summit of world leaders bore an uncanny resemblance to a Nazi swastika. Downing Street removed the logo from its website and ordered the designers to come up with a new one. “It would be totally wrong to read anything sinister into the intentions of the designers,” said a No 10 spokeswoman.
It would, however, be right to laugh at their serial incompetence.
So these conferences are completely separate, got that? Different organisers, different logos, the whole lot. You even had to accredit twice, with different people. By an uncanny coincidence, of the sort that one sees all the time in real life, they feature the same people, meeting in the same place, under the same title (Progressive Governance). But they’re totally different things.
Just like when Gordon’s Smith Institute invited U.S. pollster Bob Shrum to outline an attack strategy against David Cameron to an invited audience of Polly Toynbee, Ed Balls, Dougie Alexander and the rest of the Brownies fan club in the media. That invite wasn’t from the independent non-partisan charity the Smith Institute. It was from the private limited company called the Smith Institute, 100% owned by the Trustees of the charity, from the same office, with the same people. But a totally different thing.
All the SpAds and ministers and security are at the conference on the public payroll. Guido would be surprised if other subsidies hadn’t slipped through. The same applies to all the foreign attendees as well. The Euro-gravy train has come, at their respective taxpayer’s expense, via the channel tunnel bringing the social democratic elite to wine and dine. They really know how to trough on the continent. The British taxpayer is picking up the tab for the European socialist’s weekend break in London courtesy of Gordon Brown. Bet you are happy about that…
This is just a jamboree for the international parties of the tax and spend policy persuasion, paid for by taxpayers. You can be sure that they will not be holding back on the wine list either. What Guido wants to know is: how much this junket for global social democracy is costing British taxpayers?
UPDATE : Unbelievably delegates at the conference’s plush Grove Hotel just laughed and clapped as the Chilean finance minister talked about the “poetic justice” of the subprime crisis. What planet are these people on? Millions of people around the world are losing their homes and they laugh?
Subject“Add your voice to the debate” – PM
The Prime Minister has urged people to add their voice to the debate on “some of the biggest challenges of our times” by logging onto a website dedicated to the Progressive Governance Summit …
Guido seems to recall that Flanagan was in the running to be Bromley and Chislehurst’s candidate for Labour.[…] Read the rest